Industries like industrial gases, cement, chemicals, and petrochemicals face a unique need to produce and distribute their products to their customers in a short window of time. They are often responsible to track their customers’ inventories and maintain adequate supply on-hand at the customers’ sites. They have to plan production and distribution such that there are no stock-outs at customer sites, and, at the same time, the end-to-end cost needs to be minimized.
LTL shipment consolidation allows for maximum leverage of trucking capacity and hence impacts capital expense as well as operating costs. The solution to such problems hinges on solving a series of complex Traveling Salesmen Problems which is known to be hard to solve. In our experience, cost savings in the range of 5% to 9% can be achieved using DaRRT.
Vehicle routing (VRP) [single / multi drop, milk runs]
VMI and non-VMI customers
Multiple distribution centers (DCs)
Primary and secondary networks
Time-window constraints for pickup and drop-off
Traffic and weather effects
Varying vehicle capacity and costs
Handle committed and in-progress deliveries
Reduce idling time
Vehicle to site compatibility rules
Travel constraints / DoT rules
Travel constraints, night halts, breaks
Make vs. buy decisions
Powered by MIP solvers
Handle work in progress (WIP)
Available as a service – can be called by a client
Integrated with a relational DB
Multiple solve approaches – MIP solver and heuristics
Interfacing with actual road mapping providers
Intuitive User Interface
Rich Gantt chart
Tables and canned reports
Can be interfaced to ERP
Can upload/download data using Excel
Visualization on maps
Scenario analysis capability
Secure, role-based access
Traffic-lighting to facilitate collaboration between users
Error-handling of data
In these sectors, production and distribution are tightly coupled and hence they need to be optimized together. Additional complexities are introduced by imposing time windows for pickup and dropoff of shipments, driver to truck assignment, DoT regulations, driving curfews, etc. DaRRT uses proprietary algorithms and formulations to smartly solve the problem and achieves fast results and scalability. DaRRT produces optimal results while complying with end-user preferences for route generation. Our unique approach allows easy end-user adoption.
DaRRT’s four-year R&D was funded by US Department of Energy (DOE). In this endeavor we partnered with Praxair – a large industrial gases company and FICO – the makers of Xpress solver. It has undergone rigorous testing using real-life production data. The routes generated are optimal and incorporate our business constraints and preferences. Both VMI and non-VMI customers are handled. A unique advantage of using DaRRT is that it solves for both the primary distribution network (from plant to the DCs) and the secondary distribution network (from DCs to end customers).