The text narrates the problem that is faced by New Zealand dairy companies. They are required to schedule the picking and delivery of milk to dairy companies. They are required to pick the milk from the suppliers who are farmers in New Zealand. The supply of milk will depend on the season which therefore means that the quantity will vary depending on the season. The milk is collected by tankers from the farmers. The collection of suppliers which the tanker will serve a day is referred to as a run. The runs are scheduled by schedulers who have to ensure that the various milk companies get enough milk on daily basis. The factories will have to get enough milk daily; the reason as to why the schedulers are tasked with ensuring that thus happens. The tanks are given specific codes which will be used to collect the milk. A complete collection of runs in a given day is referred to as a schedule. The factories will have to get some supply of milk in a given data.
The article describes a decision support system that is based on a PC that is referred to as a FleetManager. This system addresses the routing of the tanker in order to serve all the milk factories in New Zealand. The system was built basing on the experience of schedulers working in New Zealand. The system can also be used to act as a strategic tool that is used. The system came out as a result of long experience and collaboration between the schedulers in New Zealand and the department of Management Systems in the University of Waikato.
The system requirements of the FleetManager were got by first looking at the approach of schedule managers. It was realized that the schedulers will first look at eth suppliers and what they want. It was noted that the schedulers will first look at the previous schedules then modify the schedules or come up with a new schedule all together. Given the experience of the scheduler, the schedulers can know the requirements of the tankers and the map of the areas that are to be visited. With the use of a computer system, it is possible to automatically update the schedules. If there is a change that is to be made in the map, the computer will automatically change this to reflect the given changes.
With the above information, the requirements of the DSS include Map interface, which shows the roads that are to be visited, and the milk that are available and the locations. Another requirement is that of schedule creation. The DSS should be in a position to create a new schedule from scratch. Another important requirement is that of schedule checking where the system will be required to check the schedule if it is logical. The checking will involve things like the milk that will be collected, the milk that will remain and the capacity of the tanker. Another system requirement is that of schedule editing. This is the ability of the scheduler to edit a given schedule in case there are changes that are required.
The DSS has a database that has the suppliers, the tankers, roads and the factories. The user interface is a map which is digitized. The users after using the system got satisfied with the new system. It made the scheduling easy to manage.
This system can be transferred to a public sector problem. This is because it has features that can be altered to fit the requirements. It can be edited to suit the requirements of the system to suit the public sector requirements.
Basnet, C., & Foulds, L. (2005, December). Fleet manager milks efficiency out of dairy company. Retrieved November 29, 29, from http://www.orms-today.org/orms-12-05/fleet.html