Load Planning Feature and Benefit Summary


Overview

We’re sometimes asked for a comprehensive list of all the capabilities (or features) of our products and the corresponding benefits. This is somewhat of a challenge because each of our customers will use the features in different ways depending on the characteristics of their operations. And, for the same reason, the benefits derived from the use of a product will vary as well.

With that caveat, however, we’ve put together the following list a starting point for those companies looking at the potential use of the Syntelic Load Planning product.

Load Planning Features

FeatureDescription
Axle Weight BalancingAutomatically adjusts load plans to balance weight allocated to each axle based on the selected tractor-trailer configuration. Also warns user of adverse axle loads after manual changes.
Side-to-Side BalancingIn a similar manner to the axle balancing capabilities, the algorithm may be directed to ensure that the trailer is not out of balance from a side-to-side basis by more than a certain limit.
Dynamic DiagrammingAdvanced combinatorial algorithm builds each load plan dynamically based on the characteristics of each load.
Position Capacities and AssignmentsEach case is assigned to a specific position, or footprint, within the trailer. Each type of position is assigned a specific capacity.
Container Capacities and AssignmentsIn addition to the position assignment, each case on the load is assigned to a specific container. There may be multiple containers in each position, and there may be several different types of containers. Examples of containers include pallets, small-wood (undersized pallets), slip sheets, totes, coolers, and so on. Each type of container has its own capacity. Different types of products may be assigned to different types of containers based on the characteristics of each product.
Flexible Capacity MetricsCapacity limits may be expressed in a number metrics, including weight, cubic volume and number of units.
Double-StackingDouble-stacking of pallets within a trailer is provided as a specific loading strategy and the algorithm automatically adjusts which positions are single-stacked and which are double-stacked based on the load volume and axle loading considerations.
Pick SequenceGenerally, containers are built and positioned in a manner that minimizes the length of the pick path (such as by using the number of aisles to be traversed and the separation between those aisles). In certain operations, this may be overridden to favor other constraints.
Position and Container Breaks – Mix RestrictionsCertain products mays be assigned to separate positions or containers based on the characteristics of the products. For example, individual stops may either be mixed or isolated onto separate positions; or invoices may be isolated onto separate containers.
Quick-Max CapacityLoads are normally constructed using a specified standard capacity. A convenient feature is provided that allows the user, for especially large-volume loads, to quickly select a maximum capacity so that the products are loaded as tightly as possible; thus allowing the automated diagramming process to fit all of the products on the diagram and avoiding excessive manual intervention.
Unlimited Trailer TypesAn unlimited number of trailer types may be defined in order to model the equipment available for loading. These various trailer types may vary in a number of different ways, including the number of positions, capacities, pinwheel configurations, compartments, door positions, etc.
Flexible Unload SequencingThe diagramming algorithm primarily uses stop sequence to position products in a way that they be efficiently unloaded at each stop. There are also options that permit certain products to be unloaded before other products at a given stop.
Capacity Override by Door and PositionCertain positions within a trailer may be designated as limited capacity due to being adjacent to a door or where there may be obstructions in the ceiling such as cooling units or roll-doors.
Layer PickingContainers may be constructed in a manner that takes advantage of items ordered in whole-layer quantities by placing layers together to form a strong pallet base and/or by separating case-pick items onto separate containers to facilitate a separate selection process.
Each PicksItems ordered by eaches may be isolated into separate containers to support a separate pick process and/or to support specialized loading requirements.
StackabilityProducts may be assigned to different containers in a manner that restricts which products may be stacked onto other products due to crushability, contamination, or stability issues.
Bulk ProductsThe algorithm can automatically identify the items in each load that should be bulk-loaded (full pallets of an item, possibly for multiple stops) to eliminate case picking in the warehouse and improve productivity.
Customer OverridesMost of the load planning options may be overridden based upon the requirements of a specific delivery customer. For example, to facilitate efficient dock deliveries, certain customers may require that pallet contents not be mixed with the products for other stops.
Split Item ControlWith flexible batching of various product types, controls may be implemented that either eliminate or minimize an item for one delivery location being split onto more than one pallet.

Load Planning Benefits

BenefitDescription
Reduce Planning TimeMany operations continue to draw load maps manually. Depending on the operation, these maps may require 10 – 25 minutes each, and are oftentimes dependent on the availability of key warehouse personnel who are knowledgeable of all of the operation’s business constraints.
Reduce Selection TimeIn many operations, selectors must determine how to allocate cases to pallets. Having cases preassigned to pallets (or other containers) eliminates the selector think time and increases productivity.
Reduce Loading TimeOftentimes, pallets are staged on the loading dock in a manner that is not loadable. The loader must study the contents of each pallet, rearrange the loading sequence, and may frequently down-stack and rebuild pallets to achieve the correct number of positions that will fit on the trailer. All of this overhead time may be eliminated.
Improve Customer Service – Consistent MethodologyBecause automated diagrams are created based on a set of rules that follow your business guidelines and the requirements of your customers, the loads are produced correctly each time. This also means that building load diagrams is not dependent on an individual employee remembering certain guidelines in his head, and you’re no longer so concerned when that individual wants to take a vacation.
Increase UtilizationWithout an automated diagramming process, warehouse staff are oftentimes never sure if, or how, a given load will fit within the trailer. Because of this, warehouse personnel typically push back on raising target trailer capacities, and push back on high-volume loads. Automated diagrams provide the blueprint for how the load will fit, and the confidence that it will indeed load properly. This in turn permits capacity targets to be raised, resulting in an increase in trailer utilization.
Reduce or Eliminate Over-Weights and ReloadsBecause axle loading can be accurately estimated with automated load diagrams, fines and/or reloads can be virtually eliminated simply by following the plan.
Reduce OS&D (Credits & Claims)By having a clear plan for where every case is to be loaded in a trailer permits selectors and loaders to do their jobs accurately, and permits drivers to more easily find product. This results in reduced customer shorts (e.g., found later on truck) and improved customer service.
In-Progress Monitoring and Reduced Late DispatchesWith the clear planning provide by automated load diagramming, warehouse operations may be more easily monitored and are expected to run more smoothly, both of which promote on-time dispatches.
Direct Pick-N-Load OperationsBecause pallets are selected in the same form as they will be loaded, there is more opportunity to implement a direct pick-n-load operation where the time-consuming staging step is eliminated.