A day in the working life of Brigitte Brem-Kleiner

Brigitte Brem-Kleiner is a bit of a later riser, given that she "only" starts her day at 11.30 p.m. She and her three colleagues work on vehicle routing all through the night. She gets off work just as some of us start thinking about lunch. Brigitte Brem-Kleiner is going to tell to you why she does not mind working at night and what her job involves to ensure the smooth operation of Migros' transport logistics.

"My day is always well organized and starts at 11.30 p.m. on the previous day. Having worked as a driver and self-employed road transport operator, I'm used to working at night.  I get up, have a coffee and then walk my dogs. When I'm back after about an hour, I have a shower, another coffee and a yogurt. I check whether my children need anything in particular for school. Then I leave the house.

I arrive at work between 1.45 and 2.00 a.m. First I start up my PC, get another coffee and open the various working programs of scheduling groups 1, 2 and 3 and Migros Distribution Center, Neuendorf (MDN). Then I check my e-mails for specific scheduling information for the coming day.[A(1]  Three colleagues and I work in scheduling group 3 and for MDN on the early morning shift. I plan the truck routes that start from the Migros Distribution Center, Suhr (MDS) and Neuendorf. Between 2.15 and 3.00 a.m., I receive the branch store orders transmitted electronically from the distribution centers, which I import into our scheduling software. This allows me to see how many pallets are allocated to the basic routes. My task consists in ensuring "roadworthiness", i.e. putting trips together in such a way as not to load too many or too few pallets. If too many pallets are allocated to a trip, I have to "unload" the pallets that exceed a truck's transport capacity and reconfigure the trip. I need to consider various aspects, such as weight, delivery time, vehicle type and additional branch restrictions.

Once I have finished configuring the trips, I compare them with the cooperatives that use their own vehicles for trips. Using the scheduling software, I retransmit the now "roadworthy" trips to the distribution centers, which allows them to establish the order of consignments based on my list. Then I transmit the finalized routes to the scheduling groups and cooperatives to enable them to start scheduling these. I also check whether all drivers of scheduling group 1, who loaded their freight in Estavayer during the night, are on their way.  In case a driver does not know what he/she has to load, I can check the working program for the day's dispatch group and give him/her the relevant information.

My "main business" is finished between 6.00 and 6.30 a.m., after which I take a break. If the weather is nice, I sit on the terrace and enjoy the first rays of sunshine. Administrative matters come next. I have configured basic routes in our scheduling system, which cover all Migros branch stores. I send these basic routes to the Suhr Distribution Center two to three weeks in advance, which then serve as the "skeleton" consignment structure. Each Friday, the MDS coordinator informs me by e-mail how many special-offer pallets have to be delivered where a week later. I configure the trips based on this information, taking care not to overload the high-bay storage in Suhr. It is important to ensure that no more than 450 pallets an hour are delivered there. Moreover, I enter new branch stores into our scheduling software. For combined traffic, I display how the goods were actually transported in the system, in order to ensure correct invoicing. It's "chocolate time" twice a year, i.e. at Easter and Christmas. We start planning this three months prior to the first delivery. By the time I've done all that it's between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m., which is the end of my working day.

When I get home, I cook a nice meal for my children and deal with household chores. If I come home a little later than planned, I always have a precooked meal on hand to save preparation time. After lunch, I walk the dogs for an hour or two. This helps me relax and unwind after a busy working day. Back home, there's always something to do in the household before the children return. Then it's time for homework and solving problems. In the evening, when my husband comes home, we take some time together, sit in the conservatory and talk about our day. I go to bed between 5.30 and 7.00 p.m.

What I enjoy most about my job is working autonomously and our well-coordinated team.
After each day's work, I look forward to my family, dogs and leisure time.
I like Chinese food, listen to pop and rock music and read medical magazines and books.

Brigitte Brem-Kleiner
Route planner at Logistics Transport National