Distribution Software & Logistics Planning Systems

Distribution Planning Software

MJC²'s distribution planning & logistics optimization software DISC (DIstribution SCheduling) is designed for scheduling and optimizing large, complex logistics operations:

  • trunks - linehauls - consolidation - crossdocks - LTL/FTL
  • radial deliveries - multidrops - delivery slot planning
  • backhauls/backloads - driver hours balancing - tramping
  • warehouse & yard planning - reverse logistics - returns
  • sortation - assembly - load building - compatibility rules
  • capacity planning - fleet profiling - demand planning

Our customers tell us DISC is the fastest logistics planning software on the market and its powerful artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can cope with even very large logistics management and transportation planning problems.

Multi-Depot Logistics Optimization

MJC²'s transport planning software schedules the entire multidepot logistics operation:

  • Primary Distribution: collections from suppliers, inter-depot trunking and consolidation
  • Secondary Distribution: distribution centres to retail outlets, customers or branches
  • Reverse Logistics: equipment repositioning, customer returns & waste
  • Backhauls/backloads: from third parties to maximise fleet utilisation and reduce cost

DISC provides powerful lean transport optimization tools for solving complex operational and strategic distribution planning problems. Typical applications include:

  • Delivery Planning
  • Vehicle Optimization
  • Haulier Planning
  • Home Delivery Scheduling
  • Bulk Haulage Planning
  • Parcel Delivery Networks
  • Road Haulage Scheduling
  • Retail Distribution
  • Freight Optimization

DISC is particularly applicable to operations which handle short shelf life products and fast moving goods in a highly dynamic market, where rapid response to changing orders while meeting tight delivery windows is vital.

 

Delivery Planning Software

MJC²'s delivery software tools optimize allocation of work to drivers and vehicles to maximise productivity and resource utilisation. The delivery route planning algorithms take into account constraints such as time windows, vehicle type and capacity, driver hours, access restrictions, load compatibility and temperature control.

The multi drop route planner optimizes each vehicle delivery schedule to minimise distance travelled and hours worked while fulfilling customer orders. DISC can also schedule collection operations or integrated delivery/collection routes to maximise vehicle utilisation while minimising empty running.

DISC's route planning tools have the flexibility to plan vehicles and drivers for a wide range of delivery/collection operations: home delivery, distribution to retail stores, bulk delivery/collection, parcel delivery, food & beverage distribution, palletised logistics, waste/refuse collection, etc.

 

Integrated Distribution Logistics Optimization

DISC optimizes transport and warehouse activity schedules to create integrated logistics solutions. This ensures that all aspects of the distribution operation are planned in a coordinated way, maximising efficiency and helping businesses move away from a "silo-based" planning approach. Vehicles, drivers, trailers, shunters, loaders, warehouse operatives, docks, bays, lanes, etc. are all included in the distribution schedule if required.

Accurate Logistics Planning Model

To achieve this, all transport and warehouse variables and constraints are modelled, including:

  • Volumes & Orders: forecast/actual orders by customer, location and product
  • Loading constraints: vehicle type/size, compartments, temperature, compatibility
  • Delivery routing constraints: time windows, priority deliveries, sequencing rules
  • Production/manufacturing: real-time/planned stock availability, shelf-life, cut-offs
  • Warehouse constraints: loading/picking capacity, docking constraints, floor space
  • Consolidation: cross-docking, transhipments, trunk moves, hub-and-spoke, linehaul
  • Resource constraints: trailers, tankers, tractors, drivers, shunters, bays

Warehouse Load Planning

Taking this information into account, and following other rules and constraints as required, DISC produces an integrated distribution schedule and load plan which covers:

  • Loading, laneing and bay allocation for each warehouse or delivery point
  • Warehouse employee schedules and assembly/picking and loading sheets
  • Shunting movements and trailer docking schedules (inbound & outbound)
  • Vehicle schedule for trailers and tractors (with load contents & plan)
  • Driver schedule, employee shift start & end times and overtime usage

Different rules are used at different levels of the plan. For example in long-term mode the strategic planning system might advise on the need for new docking bays for a given store, warehouse or plant, while in short-term mode it might only be able to request agency drivers for a given day. In real-time vehicle scheduling mode it might only be allowed to indicate delays expected due to a shortfall in warehouse capacity or available vehicles at a given time.

 

Driver Planning & Scheduling

DISC includes powerful driver planning tools for real-time scheduling of drivers and strategic optimization of rosters and shift patterns. All transport schedules take account of constraints such as working hours directives, contractual rules, preferred start times, driver skills/training, annualised hours, etc.

Complexities such as changeovers, night-aways, tramping, driver swaps, etc. are modelled. Integration of DISC with our roster creation tools enables forward planning of driver rotas based on anticipated demand and required working patterns. The transport scheduling software plans vehicle utilisation and includes configurable rules to optimize the use of own resources or 3PL (third party logistics) drivers and trucks.

Load Planning Software

DISC's load planning algorithms can automatically optimize the load building process. The system automatically determines each pallet load and vehicle allocation, taking into account factors such as product compatibility, temperature control, stacking/packing constraints, weight balancing, load scheduling rules, dispatch unit sizes, preferred loading sequence, drop-trailer operations, etc.

Load building rules can be configured, ensuring that load optimization is part of the overall planning and delivery process so that resulting transport and warehouse schedules are feasible in terms of vehicle loading constraints. Resulting load plans include manifests and job sheets, and the load optimizer integrates with WMS and TMS systems for real-time management of the operation.

 

Strategic Logistics Optimization

DISC is also used by distribution services and logistics managers to examine 'What if' scenarios for strategic planning. In 'What if' mode the user can simulate future operations (e.g. seasonal variations) or can derive contingency plans for anticipated peak periods.

Similarly DISC allows users to answer questions like:

  • What if my fleet size was reduced by 10%?
  • What if I used a third party logistics provider?
  • What if my employee/workforce costs change?
  • What if the transport schedule could change daily?
  • What if the WTD rules change? How will I optimize distribution logistics accordingly?
  • What if I centralise transportation logistics planning?
 

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