Customer Demand Fluctuations Made Driver Scheduling Difficult and Costly
Main US distributor manages a vast fleet of trucks and thousands of drivers whom they schedule on a monthly basis to deliver its customers’ freight. Within a fast moving economy, the company needed a systematic methodology to create and evaluate static schedules, the manual scheduling process being too slow and mostly reactive. Specifically:
- Customer demand is seasonal: need to be able to identify shipment patterns that change by customer, by hub, by month, or by quarter. The extensive customer base made this task onerous.
- Manual scheduling impacts profitability: The fluctuation of demand throughout the year resulted in a mismatch of trucks and drivers versus shipping needs. The risk was to incur heavy costs either because of suboptimal truck loads or because of the necessity of hiring expensive contract drivers to fill gaps
- Errors propagate and amplify throughout the network: a sub-optimum schedule on one leg of the network has rippling effects throughout the entire network and can generate significant cost increases.