AutoCDO (Constrained Dock Optimiser) is designed to schedule shipments from a production facility which has limited storage space. In essence, produced items must be shipped somewhere almost as soon as they come off the line. A good solution is one which ships items to places they are desired, while at the same time reducing shipping costs by producing trailers that are as full as possible.
Many production facilities are very short on storage space. As products are produced, they must be placed on a trailer. Quite often, this means sending products to a holding facility from which shipments to other warehouses or customers are made.
While this solves the immediate problem of what to do with the products, it leads to a more costly solution than needed. Products are shipped twice and handled twice, leading to delays in the supply chain, additional costs, and potential product damage.
There has to be a better way!
The solution to this problem comes in two parts:
Firstly, there’s a planning function that looks at planned production, customer demand and available doors, and comes up with a shipping plan. The output is a sequence of planned trailers to each of the possible destinations, along with proposed trailer content. This part of AutoCDO is a large mathematical programming engine that solves for, say, 2 days ahead.
Live Execution Mode
Secondly, there’s an execution function that deals with the immediate problem of what to do with each item as it appears on the slide. Production can be delayed, or a run could be extended. Items could be replaced, and customer demand can change – perhaps with a “hot” item. The execution mode of AutoCDO looks at each possibility and determines the best possible place to put each item.
AutoCDO can allow direct shipments that are more full than before, as well as containing more of what the destination actually wants. It does this while at the same time reducing or eliminating double handling and the costs and delays associated with that.
We typically see savings of 5% or more immediately upon installation. Greater savings are possible if some staging or other storage space is available.