Maximising efficiencies with route optimisation
Processors in the dairy industry face many challenges when it comes to the procurement and collection of milk. The issue extends beyond simply choosing the best route for milk lorries as there are factors other than physical distance which need to be considered.
Production at farms depends on a number of elements including calving, weather and diseases. In addition, milk quantities required at processing factories can vary.
Dairy farms can have different pumping technologies (e.g. pump, voltage) and storage capacity, all of which influence the types of milk lorries that they are able to serve. Likewise, milk lorries themselves have different capabilities for milk transportation.
Agreed collection times of farms and dairy factories also need to be considered, as well as delays from the production end or indeed traffic congestion which may result in late arrivals and customer dissatisfaction.
Many, if not all, of these concerns can be eliminated / controlled with proper route optimisation planning.
The OptaHaul solution can take into account various factors like farmer, dairy factory and lorry specific parameters for milk collection plans. The algorithm employed optimises milk collection plans automatically on a daily basis. Plans can also be exported into MS Excel.
Costs can be analysed for the overall plan or for specific factories. Simulations can be run allowing you to model potential changes to your logistics planning without the need for a separate solution. It also helps businesses be sustainable by comparing CO2 emissions for different routes and plans.
Works with industry leading map data providers (e.g. TomTom, HERE, ESRI). Using cloud-native technology, the solution is powered by SAP Cloud Platform and supports seamless integration to ERP systems.
In milk procurement it is never just about finding the shortest route. The OptaHaul solution takes into consideration a vast array of other factors, e.g. capacity of trucks, compatibility between farms and trucks, time windows, capacity and milk quality preference of factories, roads limitation etc.
To provide best results OptaHaul and Zoosh has employed several map providers during the development process, each having different limitations regarding automatic route planning (e.g. outdated road structure, missing road limitations, suboptimal support for trucks etc.). Following the initial optimisation run, users can then manually fine-tune individual route fragments if needed, providing maximum flexibility, increased accuracy and enhanced user experience.
Working with Zoosh from initial concept to bringing the OptaHaul product to market has helped us to work on the right things from day one as its not just about creating software, it is about combining agile product development with continuous customer feedback and a strong focus on product-market fit.