Distribution Planning Software
MJC²'s distribution planning & logistics optimization software DISC (DIstribution SCheduling) is designed for scheduling and optimizing large, complex logistics operations:
- Multi-depot Logistics
- Delivery Scheduling
- Driver/Vehicle Scheduling
- Integrated Logistics
- Load Planning
- Strategic Planning
Our customers tell us DISC is the fastest distribution software solution on the market and it is the only system that can cope with very large logistics management and transportation planning problems.
Multi-Depot Logistics Software
DISC can schedule the whole multidepot logistics operation:
- primary distribution including collections from suppliers and inter-depot trunking and consolidation;
- secondary distribution from distribution centres to retail outlets and customers;
- reverse logistics of waste, equipment & customer returns;
- backhauls and backloading from third party sites to maximise fleet utilisation and minimise costs.
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.
- Home Delivery Scheduling
- Parcel Delivery Networks
- Bulk Haulage Planning
- Vehicle Optimization
- Haulier Planning
- Retail Distribution Optimization
MJC²'s delivery software tools optimize allocation of work to drivers and vehicles to maximise productivity and resource utilisation.
The delivery route planning system takes account of constraints such as time windows, lorry 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 includes powerful user-friendly graphical tools which display multi-drop routes in maps and barcharts.
DISC can also schedule collection operations or integrated delivery/collection routes to maximise vehicle utilisation while minimising empty running.
Flexible Vehicle & Driver Planning
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 Logistics Optimization
DISC optimizes transport and warehouse activity schedules to create integrated logistics solutions. This ensures that all aspects of the distribution logistics 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.
To achieve this, all transport and warehouse variables and constraints are modelled, including:
- Volumes & Orders:
- forecast or actual by customer, delivery point, product or product type
- Transport constraints:
- vehicle type & size, compartment size, temperature control, bulk/packed, compatibility
- Delivery routing constraints:
- time windows, vehicle docking constraints, priority deliveries, multidrop sequencing rules
- Vehicle tracking:
- GPS, in-cab, real-time rescheduling in response to delays
- stock availability, repositioning requirements, shelf-life constraints
- Warehousing constraints:
- loading/picking capacity, docking constraints, floor space, holding vessel capacity
- cross-docking, transhipments, groupage, trunking, hub-and-spoke
- Resource constraints:
- trailers, tankers, tractors, drivers, shunters, cranes, loading/unloading bays, etc.
Warehouse Load Planning
Taking this information into account, and following other rules and constraints as required, the logistics scheduling system produces an integrated distribution and load plan which covers:
- Loading, laneing and bay allocation
- Warehouse employee schedules
- Assembly/picking and truck loading sheets
- Shunting movements and docking schedules
- Vehicle schedule & truck/trailer planning
- Driver schedule and employee shift start times.
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 branch, warehouse or plant, while in short-term mode it might only be able to request agency drivers for a given day.
The DISC logistics system 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, etc.
Tramping & Long-Distance
Complex operations such as changeovers, night-aways, tramping, driver swaps, etc. are modelled. Integration of our vehicle scheduling software 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.
DISC can be run constrained by resources, unconstrained or partly constrained (e.g. adding agency drivers and spot hire vehicles when necessary).
As a result the transportation management system advises on shortfalls and resulting degradations to the optimal plan and allows the user to add or change resources if appropriate.
DISC includes sophisticated load planning software which can automatically optimize the load building process. The load planner 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.
The load scheduler algorithms are configurable, 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.
The load plans include manifests and job sheets, and the load optimizer can export schedules to warehouse or transportation management solutions as required.
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.
DISC's transportation & logistics management solutions allow 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 changes daily?
- What if the WTD rules change?
- What if I centralise transportation planning?