Become more agile thanks to intuitive and configurable business rules

A key aspect of WMS and TMS life cycles is their adaptability

With 30 years of experience implementing and supporting WMS and TMS for our clients, at Savoye we fully understand the complexity of establishing, managing and then continuously adapting the rules for a logistics platform.

New customers with new services, new suppliers and the continuous renewal of product ranges are all events that need to be managed and which involve new and specific processing rules. These rules can have an impact on the receipt of items, storage rules, replenishment of picking areas, the organization of order preparation and even carrier allocation.

Conventionally, a WMS or TMS offers a more or less limited set of parameters with modifiable values. Two major drawbacks:

1. You generally need to have a complete command of the tool to amend these parameters because they are often spread across the solution’s various screens and not centralized.

2. There are very often limited options which entirely satisfy requirements, and in this case the only solution is to make use of a custom development - with the associated costs, delays, risk, and maintenance.

The ODATiO rules engine: intuitive and highly configurable

This is where ODATiO offers a unique and fully user-configurable business rules engine.  This rules engine allows users to independently define and amend their business rules, with no limits on the number of business-related parameters and without the need for any prior technical knowledge.

ODATiO is supplied with a set of rules and default behaviors, which can be adapted to the circumstances of each distribution center. For each rule, the user adds, edits, deletes, and prioritizes the trigger conditions, allowing a particular scheduling profile to be selected, as well as the parameters associated with each profile.

As a result, with ODATiO the user has complete control over their business rules, ensuring the scheduling system seamlessly adapts to updates in their activities. 

A rule can be summarized as:

  • A question for defining a use case: “When I am in a particular situation... ? ”
  • A response that applies a behavior: “... I want the system to do this”

Examples ? 

For goods in, definition of the processing mode such as quality control, pallet storage status or breaking down of its contents, complete or partial transfer to the picking area, etc.. All of these behaviors can be configured on the basis of item profiles, their quantity in the picking area, or even the supplier and type of supplier order.  Another example: It is entirely possible to activate automatic creation of the inbound receipt file for simplified processing of inter-site transfers, goods arriving directly from production, and even specific suppliers.

The ODATiO rules engine makes it easy to assign product group specific traceability, such as on a batch number, serial number, date of production, best before date, use by date, etc.., while also providing upstream and downstream traceability for specific suppliers or customers

In terms of storage, the definition of dedicated areas, quarantine areas, and even the mixed product pallets is not only based on product data sheets, but also on product origin, supplier, stock status, etc.  In addition, determining storage strategies for things like hazardous products, high-value items, stock for specific customers or brands has never been easier!

Replenishment patterns are also fully configurable based on activity-specific criteria: Association between storage and picking areas, grouping replenished items, etc. Stock release strategies are fully configurable, allowing for prioritization between the remaining quantity per storage location, date of entry into stock (FIFO approach), use by date (FEFO), warehouse location, or even product sheet data.

The same applies to pre-cubing orders, where the compatibility rules for products or product families, the type of packaging and the process for assembling kits can be specified by customer requirement or by sales channel.

The great strength of the ODATiO rules engine is in the options it offers for organizing order preparation. The management of urgent orders, assignment to a picking process and even the rules for grouping a pick-then-pack collection are all aspects that can be configured based on the number of order lines, the weight of items, the type of customer (example: retail, export) or preparation areas. The approach is the same for checking parcels before closing, which can be defined based on the type of customer, the type of order or even the profile of the operators (example: temporary personnel) who prepared it.

Full control for allocation of orders to carriers by the user.  Users are able to take account of all the relevant attributes from a business point of view: customer, number of pallets, destination zip code, pallet height, delivery service, etc.


Yet another example: the ODATiO rules engine also allows all value-added services (VAS) to be configured, from producing shipping documents (delivery note, labeling), including the configuration of services (placing on hangers, price label, gift message, outer packaging), as far as the need for palletization on the basis of criteria such as the type of customer, the product families shipped, the carrier and shipping method.

A new way of working and organizing your activity

In short, it is impossible to list all the possibilities as the user is free to define and choose the criteria associated with each rule, for a perfect fit with their choice of scheduling.

The rules are centralized on a single screen and can be directly exported in order to be easily imported into another ODATiO environment, thereby enabling multi-site deployments to be accelerated.

The other added value of this rules engine is that it can work directly with management rules on the basis of criteria and attributes originating from ERP, thereby enabling rules to be applied seamlessly, without needing to add ad hoc fields in the application. Thus, for each new product, new supplier or new product family, ODATiO integrates them directly and dynamically, with no additional configuration.

Ultimately, the ODATiO rules engine provides significant gains on many levels, in terms of adaptability, convenience and budgetary control. These are all major advantages in ensuring both the scalability of the logistics tool and the sustainability of the information system.

 
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