Currently we see more and more companies implementing and using SAP Transportation Management. One part of our TM solution is Transportation Planning including optimization solutions.
Because of its nature optimization is different from most of the other parts of TM: You work on large sets of business objects, it’s mainly batch processing, it’s not ABAP and several differences more. These differences can make it very hard for consultants or customers, if they use the optimizer the first time, even if they are very experienced in the other areas of TM. For these people I write this blog. I want to explain various aspects of the TM optimizers and their usage. It will be possible to read only the sections you are interested in to get the information for your project as fast as possible.
I want to focus on the optimization specific parts, so that you don’t need to read an introduction about basic concepts again and again. So you will not find another explanation for Freight Orders or other basics. The focus of the first sections will be on VSR optimizer, the optimizer for vehicle scheduling and routing. Maybe other optimization engines like Load Planning, Carrier Selection or Strategic Freight Management will follow later. As far as not explicitly written, the remarks and issues concern all releases of the optimizer for TM.
The table of content below shows the already written blogs and the planned ones (italic). I would be happy to receive your feedback, which topics sounds most interesting to you or which ones are missing. I wish you success and some fun in studying details about one of the best parts in TM.
Successful projects – early optimization runs
- Start early
- Network – Start with simple Network
- Runtime – for everything there is a season
- Different Problems – different optimizers
Cost – or what do we optimize at all?
- Why cost and not rules?
- Keep costs as realistic as possible
- Cost for trucks and trailers by Hongmei Zhao
- Cost for Schedules and Bookings
- Utilization and why you should avoid cost-functions
Insights into the VSR engine
- Vechicle Sceduling&Routing: Scope overview
- Explanation Tool – Understanding surprising Results by Hongmei Zhao
- Optimization- BAdI – create your own world for optimization
- Incremental Planning – expanding freight orders
- Prallelism – Utilize your hardware
- Proposal and Optimizer – the (un)-similar brothers
Using and administrating the optimizer
- Installation alternatives
- Troubleshooting and speeding up of message processing
- Performance tuning
- Updating the optimizer
Other very recommendable sources about optimization:
- Bernd Dittrich: TM Optimizer Podcast
- Marcus Zahn: MKS – 31 Optimizer Explanation Tool
- Marcus Zahn: MKS – 43 TM 9.1 Load Planning: Enhancement Options
- Rodion Schuster: Optimizer How-to-Guide describing the parameters of the profile in detail