Logistics is an essential part of e-commerce. It is an activity that OOGarden chose to internalize but which raised some problems. Indeed, orders processing and packing was not optimal. The products to be delivered were not correctly distributed and packaged, which multiplied the number of parcels per order without the useful volume of each one being well used.
Neovision designed and developed a smart packaging solution. This solution guides the order picker and shows them which items should be put in which box as well as where and how to place the items inside the package. The goal is to maximize the number of items per box and thus reduce empty space. Subsequently, a similar technology was created for loading trucks, with an additional constraint: some products need to be loaded first, and others last due to them being fragile.
With this smart packaging solution, which optimizes the orders packing and trucks loading, OOgarden optimizes the management of its logistics. For the same order, the number of boxes used is reduced (reduced environmental impact, financial savings) and all boxes are correctly filled. In the same way, trucks are loaded efficiently with as little empty space as possible.
Oogarden is an e-merchant and sells gardening and landscaping products via its website
As for all online stores, logistics, and especially delivery, represents a major stake and it is an activity that some companies choose to internalize to better control it. This choice was made by Oogarden.
However, after having set up their process, the company realized that order preparation was a problem.
Indeed, when analyzing the packaging method, it became clear that optimizing the volume of boxes was too difficult a task for the operators, who were already subject to other time and efficiency constraints. As a result, orders were packed into more boxes than necessary and some packages left half empty.
OOgarden wondered how to solve this problem. By exploring this issue with Neovision, a solution was finally obvious: an assistant to guide the operators in order picking. Knowing the dimensions of each product, each type of cardboard and the composition of the order, a solution based on operational search algorithms seemed to make sense.
Neovision developed a software program that recommends the right type of cardboard box for each order and then shows where to put the ordered products inside of each box. To do this, the software takes into account various parameters such as the dimensions and weight of the products.
With this software solution, each operator can see the contents of the order, which boxes to use and how to correctly distribute the items inside. The operators are not replaced but rather assisted by this technology (see video below).
For OOgarden, this solution implies many savings: reduced order preparation time, better packaging (less damage during delivery), reduced use of cardboard boxes, transport of full boxes (better use of useful volume in the trucks)… The benefits are many. So many that the company asked Neovision to develop another solution, very similar, but also complementary.
Indeed, filling the boxes as well as possible is good, but it is also necessary to correctly load the delivery trucks in order not to travel empty. Neovision therefore added a new constraint to the previously created technology: the heaviest boxes had to be placed on the ground, while those containing fragile and light products had to be placed at the very top.
In the end, OOgarden now has a global solution for optimizing order picking and truck loading. The result is a fast and substantial ROI for the company, but also for its employees and the environment.
OPERATIONS RESEARCH, WEB APPLICATION, CLOUD
« We were looking for a company of true specialists in Artificial Intelligence to optimize the way we dispatched orders. I discovered Neovision at the BlendWebMix show in Lyon where Lucas Nacsa was giving a conference on AI in e-commerce. Neovision developed two algorithms based on operational research to optimize the loading of products into boxes and then to optimize the loading of packages into our trucks. The project was framed, developed and put into production fairly quickly, it is fully satisfactory»
Renaud Causier – CIO at OOGarden
16 October 2020
Applications Web, Cloud, Recherche opérationnelle