AutoScheduler was previously recognized (under affiliate Transportation Warehouse Optimization) as a Gartner Cool Vendor because it breaks new ground in the warehouse: capacity-based dynamic scheduling of all activities. While this is new for the warehouse, manufacturing has been doing this for more than 25 years. Nobody today would think about running a manufacturing operation without a schedule to orchestrate activities, but it happens in warehousing all of the time.
AutoScheduler optimizes complex warehouse processes, intelligently directing the installed WMS (or ERP) how to best sequence activities according to Thomas A. Moore, AutoScheduler CEO. It is truly a “bolt-on” solution, integrating seamlessly with both the WMS and ERP solutions. As such, AutoScheduler is an innovation landmark when it comes to eliminating the inefficiencies of dock scheduling for warehouses, plants, or distribution centers. Developed for Procter & Gamble, AutoScheduler uses an expert planning and optimization engine to schedule constrained resources, such as dock doors, while “optimally” deploying inventory to meet customers’ needs. This cloud-based scheduling tool works by first gathering data from everything that impacts the operation. If there is an associated plant, AutoScheduler will learn what is arriving from production. In addition to the orders in the WMS, it will also look into the future via the ERP system to understand what expected shipments are coming in a few days, as well as ingesting projected receipts, inventory, and trailers in the warehouse. This data and the constraints of the facility are then used to make all of the necessary crucial decisions, such as: which shipments should be loaded or unloaded first, where the product should go when it first comes off a production line, and how to optimally create transfer shipments between warehouses in a campus to meet shipment needs. These decisions are then prioritized to create systemic plans for all activities in a single or across multiple warehouses.
Orchestrating Activities Saves Money
In a single building warehouse, AutoScheduler schedules which trailers to unload, when to pick, and when to load. By tracking trailer inventories, AutoScheduler determines which shipments can be moved early to match inventory availability. To avoid resending case pickers into the racks when inventory has not been unloaded yet, the intelligent solution creates a pick schedule that requires a single pick for a shipment while still fitting in with the loading time. Additionally, because AutoScheduler is able to account for staff capacities, it eliminates the need for management to constantly update task schedules. “Just do what it says,” instructed one warehouse manager who uses AutoScheduler at his facility.
In a multi-building campus, planners are faced with a number of decisions like: “where should this truck be unloaded, or in which warehouse should this product be stored, or which location should ship this customer order?” Making the wrong decision may force trucks to move from one building to another and delay customer shipments. AutoScheduler plays out all of the potential scenarios and creates a plan that minimizes touches and respects labor limitations in any location. Just as ‘prevention is better than cure,’ AutoScheduler predictively determines the best place to put inventory, as it is received, in order to avoid the need for later relocations.
By providing a digital twin of the warehouse environment, we are able to identify the optimal schedule moving forward and highlight any issues that will need resolution
For each customer, such as Walmart, the current mantra is “OTIF”–on time and in full. In addition to losing sales, consumer product companies face fines for missing OTIF targets. By coordinating activities to ensure inventory is available in the right place at the right time with enough labor, dock doors, and trailers, AutoScheduler positions all the orders in the warehouse to ship complete and on time. Of equal importance, because it looks into the future, AutoScheduler can accurately tell where an item is going to be out-of-stock and when. Warnings like these give staff time to eliminate or mitigate the problem. “By providing a digital twin of the warehouse environment, we are able to identify the optimal schedule moving forward and highlight any issues that will need resolution,” says Kevin DiVincenzo, VP of product development.
AutoScheduler is adding significant value in light of the COVID-19 crisis, where labor constraints have become even more pronounced, and minimizing inventory touches is critical. For example, AutoScheduler can increase the use of cross-docking, which involves bringing materials through one door and shipping them out through the adjacent door.
While the original AutoScheduler was developed for Procter & Gamble over a decade ago, it was battle-tested and kept under wraps for many years. With the green light for a commercial launch, AutoScheduler is leveraging the rich expertise and brain trust of supply chain veterans, and pairing them with a team of artificial intelligence experts to create a final solution that is constantly learning and adapting to the warehouse environment. While there are many firms addressing various aspects of warehouse and dock scheduling, AutoScheduler’s approach to fully orchestrating all activities and creating a schedule for all warehouse operations minimizes complexity in a novel way. “Our objective is to remove the pain points that exist in today’s warehousing environment without being too intrusive from an IT perspective,” remarks Keith Moore, Chief Product Officer.
It’s All about Orchestration
AutoScheduler, through orchestrated scheduling of all warehouse operations, effectively eliminates waste at all levels of activities such as clerical time, rehandling, waiting, campus travel, or poor OTIF. This cuts the operational costs of a plant, distribution center, or warehouse and enhances savings. At a single campus location, AutoScheduler has created over 4M USD in savings in a single year.
At heart, AutoScheduler is a GSD company–get stuff done according to Thomas A. Moore, AutoScheduler CEO. The company interacts with top management and experts of the supply chain realm, understands their processes and business, and then configures the AutoScheduler solution to drive value. By pairing advanced optimization solutions with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and maintaining the vision of the new technologies entering the warehouse management market, AutoScheduler is all set to reinvent and revitalize the supply chain industry through its cutting-edge capabilities.
Visit us @ www.autoscheduler.ai or 615-428-2035
A strong partnership in Latin America rises: Implico Group and Aquarius Software join hands to drive the digitalization of the oil and gas industry together
To continue its global growth strategy and access a very promising market, Implico Group is eager to work with strong local partners – especially in Latin America, a key area for the oil and gas trade of today and tomorrow. The company is particularly eager to bring its next-gen terminal management system OpenTAS to the region’s huge tank storage sector. For this, Implico Group has found a perfect match with Aquarius Software, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Combining their deep know-how and experience, the two partners aspire to introduce their clients to the many benefits of digitalization, such as streamlined processes, increased transparency, better collaboration and more safety along the entire supply chain.
“Aquarius Software has a thorough understanding of the downstream industry plus a wide-spread network, a spotless reputation and a forward-looking mindset,” lauds Thomas Roller, Head of Sales & Marketing at Implico Group. “Sharing similar aims and values, we look forward to drive digital transformation for oil and gas enterprises in Latin America together. In fact, we are already at it. The cooperation agreement has already been signed and the first implementation project is well underway.”
Marcia Campos, Executive Director & Partner at Aquarius Software, is excited about the union as well: “We always look for the best solution for our customers. Implico is recognized in this market with awarded solutions and numerous customers worldwide. There is a natural synergy between the companies, which have a strong focus on digital transformation and clear orientation towards their customers’ businesses. I am sure that this partnership will lead to more project opportunities for both companies as well as strong benefits for our customers.”