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Logistics Planning Software

Distribution Planning Software

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

Clients 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.

Our distribution planning software schedules parcel delivery & linehaul, bulk logistics, building materials distribution, retail logistics and many other goods transport operations.

Multi-Depot Logistics Planning

MJC²'s logistics software schedules the entire multi-depot transport operation:

  • Primary Distribution: supplier collections, inter-depot trunking and consolidation.
  • Secondary Distribution: distribution centres to retail outlets, customers or branches.
  • Reverse Logistics: equipment repositioning, customer returns and waste.
  • Backhauls/backloads: integrate third party work to maximise fleet utilisation.

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

Typical applications include delivery planning & load scheduling for retail distribution; last-mile optimization & home delivery scheduling; bulk haulage planning and scheduling of mechanical offload (MOL) vehicles.

Our distribution software 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 planning software optimizes allocation of work to drivers and vehicles to maximise productivity and resource utilisation.

DISC takes into account constraints such as time windows, vehicle type and capacity, driver hours, access restrictions, load scheduling/compatibility and temperature control.

Multidrop route planning algorithms optimize the 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 provides vehicle planning and driver scheduling algorithms for a wide range of delivery/collection operations: home delivery, distribution to retail stores, bulk logistics, parcel delivery, food & beverage distribution, palletised logistics, waste/refuse collection, etc.

Integrated 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 and Orders: forecast/actual orders by customer, location and product
  • Loading constraints: vehicle type/size, compartments, temperature, compatibility
  • Delivery planning 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 Planning

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

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

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 plan.

For a shorter planning horizon the system can optimize numbers and balance of agency drivers and overtime usage. In real-time vehicle scheduling mode resource availability is taken as a constraint and the system makes best use of the active drivers and vehicles.

Driver Planning and Scheduling

DISC includes driver planning tools for real-time scheduling of drivers and strategic optimization of rosters and shift patterns. The 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 ROCS roster creation tools enables forward planning of driver rotas and corresponding fleet schedule based on anticipated demand and required working patterns.

DISC optimizes vehicle utilisation and includes configurable rules to allocate work to own resources or 3PL/agency drivers and trucks.

 

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