Integration of a Real-Time Stochastic Routing Optimization Software with an Enterprise Resource Planner
In order to manage their activities in a centralized manner, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a fundamental tool to many companies. As a generic software, many times it’s necessary to add new functionalities to the ERP in order to improve and to adapt/suite it to the companies’ processes. The Intelligent Fresh Food Fleet Router (i3FR) project aims to meet the needs expressed by several companies, namely the usefulness of a tool that makes “intelligent” management of the food distribution logistics. This “intelligence” presupposes interconnection capacity of various platforms (e.g., fleet management, GPS, and logistics), and active communication between them in order to optimize and enable integrated decisions.
This paper presents a multi-layered architecture to integrate existing ERPs with a route optimization and a temperature data acquisition module. The optimization module is prepared to deal with dynamic scenarios, as new demands may appear during the optimization process and the routes will admit several states (e.g., open, locked and closed), according with the ERP manager instructions. The data aquisition module implements the retrieve of some vehicles parameters (e.g., chambers’ temperatures and vehicle’s global positioning system data), used to validate the routes and provide information to the company’s manager.
A distribution company was selected as case-study, having up to 5000 daily deliveries and a fleet of 120 vehicles. The integration of the developed modules with the company’s ERP allowed the maintainance of most of the existing procedures, avoiding routines disruption.
KeywordsEnterprise resource planning Vehicle routing problem Geographical information Application programming interface Data acquisition
This work was partly supported by project i3FR: Intelligent Fresh Food Fleet Router – QREN I&DT, n. 34130, POPH, FEDER, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), project LARSyS PEstOE/EEI/LA0009/2013. We also thanks to project leader X4DEV, Business Solutions, http://www.x4dev.pt/.
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