A leading national grocery, liquor, and convenience retailer in Australia, Coles operates over 700 supermarkets nationwide. With more than 100,000 employees, the chain has a major presence in every Australian state and territory. Coles and its main rival Woolworths, jointly represent around 80 percent of the Australian grocery retail market.
To simplify and coordinate operational route planning and optimize transport by addressing these dynamics:
- A multitude of vehicle types each with varying loading capacities and operating costs
- Store delivery restrictions—time windows, access requirements
- Captive and subcontractor resources with appropriate cost models
- Complex road networks—traffic, road closures, etc.
In addition, Coles frequently faces tactical challenges such as peak and seasonal volume variations, changes in store delivery windows, and federal and state transport legislation updates. These challenges require a powerful tactual modeling application to determine the cost, time, and resource impacts of various models and scenarios.
In 2012, Coles licensed ORTEC Routing and Dispatch to optimize transportation loads, trips and routes, and to dispatch the resultant drivers. ORTEC Routing and Dispatch’s sophisticated optimization algorithms consider an extensive range of goals and constraints, and produce a feasible transport plan while minimizing the overall cost. ORTEC Routing and Dispatch also receives GPS heartbeats from dispatched vehicles. This feature provides real-time execution information, including updated ETA, any exceptions, and other relevant information to the transport planners.
Coles also licensed ORTEC Tactical Routing to perform complex tactical modeling analysis to address some of the above challenges. The software’s innovative algorithms allow powerful scenario based tactical modeling, while ensuring operational rules and constraints are considered. By including operational constraints in tactical modeling, when appropriate, ORTEC Tactical Routing produces feasible tactical scenario results that closely represent operational reality.