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Phase 3. Add Operating Hours for DC

In the previous phase we added operating hours for our customers, ran the experiment and compared the received results. In this phase we will add operating hours for our DC.

We will assume that the DC starts working at 4 a.m., i.e., the first vehicle can set off at this time.

Add operating hours for DC

  1. Click Data to open the scenario input data.

  2. Click In Use and open the Time Windows table.
  3. Click Add to create a new record.
  4. Double-click the Facility column cell and select Gabrovo from the drop-down list.

  5. Click the Start Time cell and set the time to 4:00 AM by either using the arrows on the right side or typing 4.

  6. Double-click the Operation column cell and select Shipping from the drop-down list.

Now we will set up the CTO experiment and run it.

Run the experiment

  1. Navigate to the experiment's properties, by clicking Capacitated TO experiment in the experiments section.
  2. Click Run to run the experiment.
    A warning message will pop up notifying you about the inability to visit certain customers.

  3. Click OK co close the message.
  4. Another message will pop. This one refers to the second shipment. Click OK to close it. The experiment will be aborted.

Now, as you understand the operating time of the DC limited the time window within which the customers can be visited. Let us look into this problem.

Analyze the previous result

  1. Select Result 2 and open the Generated Path Segments table.
  2. Scroll down to find Vidin customer in the Destination folder and analyze the data:
    • The route comprises Gabrovo DC, Vidin customer and Vratsa customer.
    • The vehicle arrived at Vidin at 6:27 a.m. and at Vratsa at 8:57 a.m., i.e., 3 minutes to deadline.
    • With the current speed of 50 km per hour (defined in the Vehicle Types table) it takes the vehicle 6 hours and 44 minutes to reach Vidin.
    • We defined that the Gabrovo DC starts shipping at 4 a.m. This means that the vehicle will now arrive at Vidin at 10:44 a.m., which is beyond the customer's operating time. Hence the warning message.

  3. In the same way analyze the routes comprising all other customers that cannot be visited.

We now know that the vehicle lacks almost 2 hours to fit in the operating hours of the Vidin customer. Let us shift the DCs Shipping time by 2 hours.

Change the DCs shipping time and run the experiment

  1. Click Data to open the scenario input data.

  2. Click In Use and open the Time Windows table.
  3. Change the Start Time for Gabrovo DC to 2:00 AM.

  4. Navigate to the Capacitated TO experiment experiment's parameters and click Run to run the experiment.

This time it all worked well. The experiment created a new combination of customers and managed to visit all of them within the specified operating hours.

Let us have a look at the new result.

Analyze the result

  1. Navigate to the Optimization results page below the experiment view. The result contains 20 routes for 2 shipments.
  2. Switch to the Generated Paths page, group data per Shipment, then click the Add to comparison button, and name it Result 3.
  3. Open the Generated Path Segments tab, group data per Shipment and scroll down to find Vidin customer.
    Let's see into this:
    • It is now a new route comprising Gabrovo DC, Vratsa customer and Vidin customer.
    • The vehicle first visits Vratsa customer, which is 197 km away from the DC, then it travels another 124 km to arrive at Vidin customer at 08:30.
    • Finally, it took vehicle another 6 hours to get back to Gabrovo.

  4. In the same way you can check the routes comprising other customers that we previously couldn't visit.

Now we will compare the results.

Compare results

  1. Navigate to the comparison dashboard by clicking Comparison below the result pages.

  2. Compare transportation costs in the Cost, USD column, and the number of routes in the Destinations column.
    We have the same number of routes now (but it could increase). The costs have increased. All this is the inevitable result of the constraints that we added (the time windows).
    The good part again is that we managed to visit all the customers.

We have completed the third phase, and with the last step of this phase we have also completed the tutorial. In this tutorial we optimized the existing delivery routes by adding the operating hours, during which the shipping and the acceptance are available.

How can we improve this article?