Busy weekends and less crowded on a Monday. Peak activity around holidays, promotions and a different shopping pattern in the summer. These fluctuations in customer behaviour create logistical challenges. How do you meet the customer's demand? Taking all those variables into account, how do you use the capacity in your distribution centre as efficiently as possible? And how do you plan the optimal routes for your trucks?
Workload Balancing App
Erik Stienstra, Senior Consultant at Districon: "A major player in retail with stores all over Europe, approached us with the desire to save on transport costs.
Shops received a delivery every workday. But there were huge differences in store turnover. Some of the stores could manage with 1 or 2 deliveries less, while others desired an extra delivery. The expected savings potential was significant. "
The change in delivery frequencies and delivery days meant an addition in complexity that required more advanced tooling. The Excel spreadsheets that were used on a daily basis could no longer cope with this complexity. The big challenge was to maintain a balanced workload in the DC during the week if they decided to differentiate with the number of deliveries.
Erik Stienstra explains: "First we created a model to calculate the potential business case, which resulted in a saving on transport costs of 2% to 5%. Subsequently, we developed the model into a planning application (the Workload Balancing App) which we also implemented. With the Workload Balancing App transport planners can create tactical delivery schedules to save on transport costs and DC efficiency. "
With the Workload Balancing App it is possible to calculate all kinds of scenarios with just a few clicks. The app ensures that the delivery times of the stores are chosen in such a way that order picking and the number of trucks are evenly distributed throughout the week in order to save costs. Planners can use the app to go through any scenario and respond to changes in the market.
Erik Stienstra: "The app has already proven itself for this customer. When the COVID crisis occurred, they were able to act very quickly on major changes in the supply chain and make fact-based and data-driven decisions. By working with scenario planning a company is much more agile and able to respond to disruptions in the supply chain. "
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