Routes

4 Supply Chain Entities: 1. Products –>  2. Facilities –>  3. Vehicles –>  4. ROUTES

ROUTES are the paths that vehicles follow when they move products from one facility to another. A route is a list of one or more stops. And for each stop there is a list of delivery or pickup quantities for one or more products.

Every vehicle must have one or more routes assigned to it our the simulations will not run. When you click the “Simulation” button an error message will appear and the simulation screen will remain grayed out.

Create a new route by first selecting the vehicle (in Vehicles menu) that  will travel this route. Then click on “Routes” in the menu on the right side of the screen (1) as shown below, and click the “New” button (2).

(click on screen image for bigger picture)1-6 Creating Routes

A dialog box (3) for routes opens up. The vehicle type, carry volume and maximum weight for that vehicle will be shown in the dialog box for the route. Enter route name. Then follow these steps:

  • Add a stop to a route by selecting a facility from the “Available stops” drop down list and click on “Add Stop to Route” button (4).
  • If the vehicle is a truck or a train the route will default to a suitable road between the start facility and the destination facility. Click on the route and pull it over to a different road as needed. For railroads choose roads that are close to the railway line.
  • If vehicle is an airplane or a ship, the route will be a straight line between the starting and destination facilities. See small white globes along the route line – you can drag these globes to better shape the route line so that ships do not cross over land and airplanes do not cross closed airspace.

Assigning Products to Stops on a Route

Once a stop has been added to the route as shown below, click “Product” (1) and add a product to drop off at that stop.

1-7 Add Prod to Route

  • Select a product from the “Product” drop down list (2) and enter a delivery quantity (3) for this product at this stop.
  • “Add Drop Volume” window will display the demand, production, and on-hand quantities for that product at the facility being delivered to. You cannot deliver a product to a facility that does not already have that product assigned to it.
  • The total amount of products carried on a route cannot exceed the volume and weight specifications of the vehicle on that route. Error messages will appear if you attempt to enter more product amounts than a vehicle can accommodate.

Repeat these steps to add more stops and/or more products to a route. A route can have one to many stops and at each stop one to many products can be delivered.

Note: If you can’t deliver a certain product to a facility because you don’t see it in the product drop down box for a facility on a route, it means you need to go to the facility and assign that product to the facility – you can only deliver products that are already assigned to a facility.

Remember to click the “Update” button (4) when finished to save your changes.

It is also possible to pick up products at a stop and either deliver them to another stop or return them back to the home facility for that vehicle. This enables a vehicle to pick up products from a facility other than the facility where it starts its route. A vehicle can drop off products at facilities on its route and it can also pick up products at facilities on its route. Products that are on the vehicle when it returns to its starting facility will be added back into the on-hand amounts for those products at the starting facility.

In this example the Indianapolis Store (1) has a demand for 50 items per day of a product called “New Stuff”, and it produces 10 items per day of a product called “Used Stuff”. The delivery vehicle on the route will pick up 10 items of “Used Stuff” at the two stores where it delivers “New Stuff” (2). The 20 items of “Used Stuff” will be on the delivery vehicle when it returns to its starting facility and those items will be added into the on-hand amount for “Used Stuff” at the starting facility. This models the return of products back to a central facility where they can be recycled or repaired.

This adds another level of accuracy to modeling supply chains. In the real world companies try to avoid sending vehicles back to their starting facility without picking up other products that need to be transported on the return trip. Sending vehicles back empty is called “deadheading”, and it is a wasteful use of vehicles because when they are empty they are not generating revenue to offset their cost of operation.

Change data for an existing route by highlighting the facility where the route begins (in the list of facilities in the Facilities menu), and the vehicle that travels the route (in the list of vehicles in the Vehicles menu), and select the route you want to change (in the list of routes in the Routes menu). Then click the “Edit” button (next to the “New” button).

Remove a route by highlighting the facility where the route begins (in the list of facilities in the Facilities menu), and the vehicle that travels the route (in the list of vehicles in the Vehicles menu), and select the route you want to remove (in the list of routes in the Routes menu). Then click the “Remove” button (next to the “Edit” button).

Remove a stop on a route by clicking on the red “X” next to the stop on the right side of the route dialog box.

Remove a product from a stop on a route by clicking on the red “X” next to the product on the right side of the route dialog box.

Always click the “Update” button in the route dialog box to save your changes.

 

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