Model Logic have developed vehicle routing systems for the food and drink, construction, waste paper, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries, where the client did not wish to purchase expensive generic off the shelf routing software.
The Model Logic systems are tailored to the specific transport problems. If your business is facing any of the following issues, then a Vehicle Routing System would be a very useful tool to quantify cost implications of alternative strategies.
1 Investigate the trade- off between economies of scale on production and /or warehousing, and the difference in transport costs to the customer base. In other words when production or warehousing capacity is being re-aligned, then primary and secondary distribution will be affected, and the cost differences tracked.
2 In a multi depot problem – allocate customers to the closest depot or within capacity constraints.
3 Identify resource levels (eg men and vehicles) to deliver to or collect from a set of customers.
4 Quantify savings/on costs of removing or adding depots following re allocation.
5 Quantify savings/on costs of operational changes. (eg Delivery Time Window changes)
6 Bench marking of the operation for meaningful comparisons between depots.
7 Gain a better understanding of the distribution problem being solved with key statistics such as inter call distances, driving time, duty time, load factor achieved, journey times, distances and costs by journey being reported.
8 Identify potential savings of clustering by days of the week and better territory management.
9 Quantify savings/on costs of increasing or reducing delivery frequency.
10 VRP systems can also be used as a work study tool for analysing the driver working day in more detail.
11 Merging two or more distribution networks and identifying coincident delivery points. The system will quickly identify the level of savings which may occur from a known base case.
It is always useful to understand very early on whether the problem is time constrained OR capacity constrained, and an initial constraint free run will give an indication of this.
For example, in a time constrained problem, increasing vehicle capacity will be of no benefit to the operation, as vehicle fill will be even more inefficient, and the costs will be greater.
The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) is also sometimes known as the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). The only difference is that TSP usually requires a 1:1 customer to sales person relationship, so that the same sales person visits the same customers all the time. Other than this, the data input structure and core algorithms are very similar.