AutoO2 - Order Optimization and Load Building



AutoO2 (Automatic Order Optimization), is the only total solution that can reduce your transportation costs from the beginning to the end of your supply chain 



AutoO2 is able to maximize shipments for your end-to-end supply chain in a way that cannot be achieved manually, with a TMS (Transportation Management System) or with non-optimizing systems.  AutoO2 is able to link the planning and execution of orders.  Meaning, not only do we create an order up front that will utilize 98% of a truck's real capacity, but we also guide the pickers and loaders to ensure all the products get on the truck -- axle-legal and damage free.  With AutoO2, our customers are consistently achieving the following savings:

  • Transportation costs reduced 4 to 8%
  • Case-pick and loader productivity increased 15 to 20%
  • Damage reduced 75%


These savings only come when you realize trucks aren't always full and your existing systems have limitations.  Since AutoO2 is a "bolt-on", we leverage your current logistics systems to drive additional savings.  Over the past 25 years we've integrated with Legacy systems to best-of-breed solutions, and we're SAP® Certified.  



How does AutoO2 work?

AutoO2 takes requirements, for example what is shipping from a plant to a warehouse, and automatically turns this demand into efficient, low-cost truckloads that use almost every last lb. or cube of capacity.  Loads organized by AutoO2 are legal, damage free, and maxed out.

To maximize truckloads, AutoO2 uses real-world constraints:

  • Equipment size (for example 96 inch interior width does not allow turning pallets)
  • Special state restrictions such as California’s Kingpin rule (Bridge Formula)
  • Axle weight limits
  • The physical size and configuration of each product - for example is an item stackable - on itself, on other items.  You can't put the bricks on the eggs (unless you want an omelet)
  • What is needed today, tomorrow, and into the future


Contrast this to manual methods that use simple rules of thumb such as “A truckload is 42,000 lbs” or “A full load is 21 pallets.”  AutoO2 optimizes against the real constraints.  Below is a comparison of AutoO2 to other load builders:



Our closest competitor, "Vendor A", does a lot of the same things we do, but they are missing some key savings opportunities.  We've heard from few of their clients and have heard issues with:

  • Turning pallets wide-wide in a 98" trailer doesn't work if there's any overhang
  • When changes occur their solution cannot "re-run" or "re-solve"
  • Allowing the user to move the truck axle's to balance the weight -- why not just tell them where the axle's need to be and make the tool more hands-off? 


Getting more on a truck

We often hear “we always ship full loads.”  The reality is most company’s loads are far from full and simply looking at the data can validate this.  Most shipments have a healthy gap between the planning limit and the actual shipment weight.  Here is an example of why planners and non-optimizing-load builders have problems filling-up loads:

While the following adjustment may seem simple, most (99.9%) of companies computer systems don’t have the intelligence to do this - and it gets harder with more complex loads.  Additionally, without systems support, planners have difficulty making decisions that generate this kind of change.


Also, without optimization systems to help the loaders on the dock, load planners have to allow big margins of safety so the loaders can avoid any over-weight trucks or leaving product on the dock.  In a recent study of more than 600 overweight shipments, 94% were caused by loader error.  If you think it is easy, try the educational – but entertaining game by clicking here!



Doesn't my TMS already do this?

A TMS is really good at sequencing the routing for customer shipments and tendering loads to carriers, but when it comes to maximizing truck-fill it lacks in critical areas.  Head-to-head tests show AutoO2 outperforms planning and TMS systems.  Below are a few reasons why:



Let's look at these individually:

  • Optimizing to maximize truck-fill -- A TMS doesn't always have small orders to consolidate with so they're typically utilizing 90-95% of a truck's capacity.  Why not create a shipment upfront that will utilize 98% or greater of a truck's capacity so the TMS doesn't have to look for small orders?
  • Including all the pallet weight -- Pallet weight can equal thousands of pounds on every shipment.  Why wouldn't a TMS factor in this weight?
  • Building damage free loads -- A TMS inability to see the end picture, how the truck will be loaded, can create damage issues during loading and transit.  We provide loading diagrams via paper, RF, voice, and 3D to direct where every pallet goes on the trailer.
  • Ensuring axle-weight-legal loads -- When you have a shipment that's pushing the legal axle limits; if you're not guiding the loaders then you will most likely have dock cuts, over-axles and damage issues
  • Splitting pallets to maximize load size -- Case Study: With “reefer” loads of its products costing $6,000, Nestle recognized that splitting pallets would enable larger load factors so they introduced “supersizing”.  AutoO2 was able to help Nestle gain up to 50% more on every truckload (depending on the product). 



How can we save on customer shipments if we can't change the orders?

Your customer will usually have several buyers ordering the same products, but for different aisle's or gondola's in a store.  AutoO2 takes the large orders and breaks them into a minimum number of trucks.  While doing so we factor in:  product stackability, getting the axle's legal, trailer dimensions and damage mitigation.  Then, order consolidation puts the right combination together (shown in the chart below).




Through order consolidation we see 4 to 8% transportation savings and 15 to 20% labor savings.  Furthermore, by directing the case-picking process we drive additional savings over time as explained below: 



This process of increasing load size required for "best price" has saved Procter & Gamble millions.  P&G announced to APICS that AutoO2 saved them 13¢ per case on their HCBC (health care and beauty care) products. 


AutoO2's cutting-edge technology:

  • Coordinated total package that optimizes customer order fulfillment
  • Takes axle and state laws into consideration to create legal loads
  • Builds pallets that will fit into a truck
  • Over 400+ rules and parameters to sequence the picking and loading of shipments
  • Optimizes palletized, floor-loaded and multi-stop shipments
  • Instructions can be given to users via paper, voice, RF and 3D diagrams

AutoO2's significant savings:

  • Cut product damage 50-75%
  • Reduce learning curve for new and seasonal employees 80%
  • Increase case-picking and truck loading productivity 15-20%
  • Increase shipment size 4-8%
  • Plus, advanced analytics that can help with re-slotting and other distribution challenges


Execution (case-picking and truck loading):

Considered by Procter & Gamble as their "Global best practice for case-picking and truck-loading"


2D and 3D Pallet and Loading Diagrams:

  • Unique for every load
  • Reduces learning curve for inexperienced staff
  • Creates a consistent and repeatable loading process
2D Truck Loading 3D Truck Loading 3D Pallet Building


What happens where we have to ship direct from the production line to the truck?

In situations where there is limited dock space and the plant has to "push" product out, AutoO2 relies on another system to create the optimized loads.  This system, called Automatic Constrained Dock Optimization (AutoCDO), creates a tactical plan that considers many factors - from the cost of the load to the exact timing of items coming off the line.