To successfully integrate a planning system requires careful design and proper modelling before go-live. Without modelling beforehand, you don’t know if you’ll significantly reduce driving time, unserved customers or if you’ve missed any working rules. With on-demand you don’t book a pizza to arrive, taxi to come, or laundry to be cleaned days in-advance; you can book an hour or so before you need the service. This means drivers are already out on the road working when new jobs come in and so you cannot plan a whole day’s work at the start of the day.
To model real-time properly, you need to use a simulator. A simulator wraps around the planning engine and simulates the evolution of the planning over the entire shift. So at the start, only a few jobs are known and the simulator plans for just those ones, whilst separately simulating the vehicles as ‘agents’ which depart for stops, arrive and complete them. As more jobs become known, the simulator re-plans taking into account the positions of the simulated vehicles at the time and what deliveries are already completed. Within the simulation, the delivery plan evolves continually over the course of the day as the situation changes.
Open Door Logistics has an offline simulator tool for use with ODL Live which we can use to properly model your on-demand delivery networks.