FortnaDCoptimizers Take the Science of Distribution to New Levels

FortnaDCoptimizers uses multidimensional models of distribution design decisions to identify the best alternative among choices

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Reading, PAOct. 1, 2015Fortna, the distribution experts, announced the FortnaDCoptimizers™, a set of multidimensional models of key distribution design decisions that quickly identify the best alternative among a continuum of choices. Fortna clients have complex distribution operations that require custom solutions for their unique product mix, order profiles and service requirements. Designing the optimal distribution centers for these companies requires answering hundreds of interconnected and cascading questions. The FortnaDCoptimizers are models that accelerate and automate the work of analyzing and designing these custom operations so that they maximize the return on investment.

They go beyond single-dimension rules-of-thumb guidelines and currently include:

  • The CrossDock Strategies Optimizer™, which analyzes customer data and operational practices to identify products that could flow through the distribution center without needing to be received, put away, picked and repacked. It uses multidimensional models to project the impact on space and labor, and the associated savings.
  • The ExtraTouch Fulfillment Engine Optimizer™, which evaluates picking and downstream extra-touch methodologies to optimize system design. It considers the interrelationships between workers to identify tipping points where traditional systems break.
  • The Pick Module Configuration Optimizer™, which balances productivity and investment for the optimized pick module with the best business case. It is based on thousands of client profiles and tailored by the relevant cost of workers through multidimensional mathematical models.
  • The Unit Sortation Engineering Optimizer™, which configures the unit sorter so that it meets throughput requirements with the smallest investment in capital and labor costs. It uses mathematical models that capture worker interaction and the utilization of sorter trays in virtual configurations.

A Fortna client saved $1.3 million when Fortna used its Pick Module Configuration OptimizerTM model to estimate the productivity, cost and labor impacts of implementing one, two or three pick modules in its new distribution center. The client was planning to invest in three pick modules, but the optimizer data showed that two pick modules were sufficient and the optimal solution for its requirements.

“The FortnaDCoptimizers™ are models that represent the next chapter in Fortna’s quest to bring the benefits of distribution science to our clients,” said Russ Meller, vice president of research and development at Fortna. “These optimizers allow us to quickly hone in on the sweet spot of the solution so we can use our extensive experience to fine-tune the attributes that a mathematical model cannot consider.” 

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