Topic Transport ORTEC

Resource assignment

What is Resource Assignment?

Resource assignment is the process of creating the most efficient route, both from a total mileage/km and resources point of view. In the assignment process the usual restrictions should be taken into account, e.g. resource capabilities, driver fatigue regulations and depot turnaround times. In today's complex environment of route restrictions, carrier availability and warehouse operations, maximizing resource utilization is quite an exercise. Traditional scheduling methods may not always be sufficient, because they are not designed to deal with big and ever changing data.

Why optimize Resource Assignment?

The traditional role of the planner is changing as more and more logistics companies opt to split the resource assignment and route optimization role.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Route optimization can be done locally at DC level, while resource assignment is carried out centrally; there they can also decide whether to use sub-contractors
  • Route optimization has to finish as early as possible during the day, to enable the warehouse process to start on time; resource assignment however can be postponed to the very last minute
  • The option of separating responsibilities

Based on this trend, transport and distribution planning processes can be roughly broken down as follows:

  • Route optimization: creating routes by logically assigning and sequencing orders to a route
  • Resource assignment: assigning these routes to the best resources (trucks, trailers and drivers)
How to achieve a level of independency between these planning roles, while at the same time keeping both processes aligned and working to realize the same goal: decrease costs and obtain higher service levels through a high quality schedule that makes efficient use of the available resources.

Recent trends show that the concept of the ‘resource planner as a separate role’ is gaining popularity within logistics companies.

How to optimize Resource Assignment?

Resource assignment allows resource planners (or: the planner assigned to the resource role) to produce/create the most efficient route, both from total mileage and resource point of view. Furthermore, in the assignment process the usual restrictions should be taken into account, e.g. resource capabilities, driver fatigue regulations, depot turnaround times, etc.

Image: Input and output of the optimizer. Availability of resources is determined via the concept of resource shifts.

What are the results of optimizing Resource Assignment?

Optimizing Resource Assignment with ORTEC results in a number of vital benefits:
  • Cost savings: maximizing resource utilization
  • Operational excellence: separate yet closely related planning roles accommodated in one single solution, supporting a centralized planning organization
  • Flexibility: consequences of last minute driver and truck swaps are visible immediately
Why contact ORTEC to optimize Resource Assignment?

The ORTEC algorithm used to optimize Resource Assignment is applicable to distribution environments; transportation companies, logistics service providers, bulk carriers and international carriers as well as to optimally assign routes to personnel and equipment shifts. The calculations take into account various restrictions such as driving time regulations and, if required, the algorithm can also plan accompanied multi-modal transport.