Logistics planning

In the 1990s, inpro developed inProLog, a logistical planning software. inProLog was the first solution to provide integrated logistics cost optimisation at the interface between suppliers and customers in the automotive industry. The partners received a planning tool in which parts of the supply chain and their possible alternatives across the company could be modelled and evaluated in a single software progran which allowed the most cost-efficient option to be quickly selected. inProLog was used worldwide for planning supplier relationships and was a key precursor of integrated supply chain management systems.

In internal production logistics, the replenishment of production lines often is organized through precisely scheduled route trains. These combine transport volumes for different stations. Given the large number of parts provided in specific quantities within strictly defined time windows, the planning of lean logistics processes becomes a time consuming and error-prone task if powerful software support is not used.

OptiRoute, the software module developed by inpro software, combines route definition and scheduling, as well as routing in conjunction with container selection for different means of transport. This allows transport volumes to be significantly increased. Additionally, subsequent efforts can be optimised using logistic metrics according to the value stream principle, long before investing in the actual implementation. This challenging task is accomplished by means of bionic algorithms. Each optimisation run generates several immediate alternatives. Prior to that, planners can define the means of transport (truck, tow tractor), algorithm (heuristics, ant), number of routes (min. and max.), resolution (segment, station, part number) and container variation (on, off).

In 2009, the software was integrated into the planning system MALAGA by ZIP GmbH and thus made available industrially. The performance of inpro’s route optimisation module has been proven in numerous projects at Volkswagen and Daimler, delivering logistics cost savings of up to 50% and reducing planning time by about 50%.

„inpro’s approach for activity-based costing in logistics, which allowed all members of a supply chain to be included for the first time, has led to large savings and was an important precursor of modern supply chain management systems.“

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Fiebig, Plant Management and Vehicle Construction at Wolfsburg, Volkswagen AG