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Time windows

This table is used within the simulation-based experiments only (Simulation, Variation, Comparison, Safety Stock Estimation, Risk Analysis).

By defining the time windows, you specify the operating hours within the working days of the required object / group of objects. Once a time window is defined for a supply chain facility, it will become available during this time window only. The rest of time the facility will be unavailable.

If a facility has overlapping time windows, scenario validation will show an error. You should avoid overlapping of start and end hours as well.

The mechanism of time windows is a sort of delay, postponing the operation of a facility. As a result it affects your supply chain.

Column Description
Facility A customer, a site (DC or factory), a supplier, or a group of objects, for which the time windows are defined.
Operation The type of operation the defined Facility will be doing within the operating hours.

Depending on the type of the defined facility this can be:

  • All Operations — Any of the operations available in this list can be carried out within the defined operating hours.
  • Loading & Dispatching — the specified Facility (DC, Factory, Supplier) will be loading the demanded products per the prepared shipment with further dispatching it to the destination object.
  • Processing Orders — depending on the facility, this operation can be:
    • Processing incoming orders for supplying the demand products (refers to of DC, Factory, Supplier).
    • Generating outgoing orders with the lacking products (refers to DC, Factory).
  • Production — the specified Facility (factory / group of factories) will be producing products within the defined operating hours.
  • Receiving & Unloading — the specified Facility (Customer, DC, Factory) will be receiving and unloading the received shipments.
Days of Week Defines the days on which the time windows will be available. If no day is selected, the defined Facility is considered available every day within the specified Start Time and End Time.
Start Time

The start of the operating hours:

  • Customers, sites and suppliers become available.
  • Shipments and orders can be processed.
End Time

The end of the operating hours:

  • Customers, sites and suppliers are no longer available.
  • Shipments and orders cannot be processed beyond this time.
Time Period The time period, within which the time windows will be considered.

The cell contains a list of periods (previously defined in the Periods table).

Peculiarities of Time Windows

How Time windows affect our supply chain:

  • The Shipping table defines the priority that uses orders to form shipments. Using time windows may result in a shipment (that is formed our of the optimal orders at that specific moment of time) to be kept in queue for dispatching, while the required facility is unavailable. However, by the time dispatching becomes available that same shipment could have been formed out of the completely different orders.

    The same logic applies to the Vehicle Selection Mode and the Sourcing tables.

  • The statistics on lead time may be inflated with the time an order / shipment is waiting for the facility to become available.
  • Also note the following case: a shipment arrives at a DC that is currently unavailable. The shipment stays there waiting for the DC's working hours. Then DC closes before the time comes for it to become available. The shipment is still there and it will be taken through the DCs workflow (e.g. Receiving & Unloading) when the DC's operating hours start despite this DC being closed.
  • The carrying costs will accrue on regular basis while the shipment is waiting to be dispatched because of the time windows.
  • Time windows for production differ. When a production facility becomes unavailable, the production process is stopped, the current order in production will not be produced.
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