inpro developed the logistics planning software in ProLog already in the 1990s. This software was the first to realize a holistic logistics cost optimization between all suppliers and buyers involved in automotive manufacturing. The partners received a planning tool with which parts of logistics chains and their possible alternatives could be modeled and evaluated across companies in a uniform software. This made it possible to quickly select the most cost-optimal variant. inProLog was used worldwide for planning supply relationships and was an important precursor development of integrated supply chain management systems.
In today’s in-house production logistics, replenishment of production lines often takes place via clocked route trains that bundle the transport volume. In view of the large number of parts that have to be provided in certain quantities within fixed time windows, planning lean logistics processes without powerful software support is time-consuming and error-prone.
The OptiRoute software module developed by inpro combines route creation, timing and routing in conjunction with container selection for different means of transport. As a result, significant increases in transport performance can be achieved. Subsequent efforts can be optimized by means of logistical key figures according to the value stream principle – long before investments are made in the actual implementation. Bionic algorithms are used for this demanding task. Each optimization run generates several alternatives at the push of a button. In advance, the means of transport (forklift, tractor), algorithm (heuristic, ant), number of routes (min. and max.), resolution (segment, station, part number) and container variation (on, off) can be set.
The software was integrated into ZIP GmbH’s MALAGA planning system in 2009 and thus made available on an industrial scale. In numerous projects at Volkswagen and Daimler, the inpro route optimization proved its efficiency and showed potential savings of up to 50% in logistics costs and a reduction of planning times by about 50%.