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Bulk Plan Orders (Buy or Sell)

Bulk Plan Configuration | Bulk Plan Notification |  Considerations & Configuration | Bulk Plan Processing Configuration | Related Topics

Bulk planning is the consolidation of two or more orders into one or more shipments. When you create a shipment from an order release, OTM determines the equipment group, costs, stop times, the stop sequence, and itinerary for the new shipment according to the rules of shipment planning logic.

Use this action when you want OTM to determine the optimal shipment plan for multiple order releases at one time. OTM builds direct or multi-stop shipments with the least cost. For example, during bulk planning, OTM evaluates the most cost effective shipment plan based on the attributes of the orders you are planning and does one of the following:

If the selected orders do not all fit on one shipment, additional shipments are created. OTM does not automatically split orders to maximize equipment capacity, but tries to put as many whole orders as possible on a piece of equipment.

The order release status value is set to PLANNING_PLANNED - FINAL after a shipment is successfully created. OTM also updates this status value as shipments move to execution.

After you perform a Bulk Plan, the Bulk Plan Manager appears with the results of the bulk plan.

Each Order Release that is part of the bulk plan is assigned the Bulk Plan ID that appears (only if you are bulk planning Buy shipments; if you perform the Bulk Plan action for Sell Shipments, an ID is generated but not assigned to the order releases). You can use the Bulk Plan ID to search for orders and shipments that are part of the plan using the Order Base Manager, the Order Release Manager, and the Buy Shipment Manager.

When you launch this action, you are given several options before the shipment is planned.

  1. Select a Parameter Set ID. Different parameter sets may have different bulk plan parameters specified.

  2. Enter a Description for the bulk plan.

  3. Enter a Scenario Group for the bulk plan. You may query on bulk plans by scenario group to limit the results returned by the query.

  4. Select the What-If Scenario check box if you do not want shipments to be generated.

  5. Click OK.

Order Movements

You can also configure OTM to automatically create order movements when planning order releases using the Auto Create Order Movements parameter.

If you use the parameter and want to unassign an order from a shipment, you can also use the Unassign and Delete Order Movements action so the appropriate order movements are removed as well.

If an order movement is split onto multiple shipments, new order movements will be created, one for each shipment.

Bulk Plan Configuration

The following represents the standard routing of orders through the bulk plan process.

However, you can also configure the bulk plan process using the BUILD DIRECT SHIPMENT OPTION parameter. For example, you can specify if you do not want OTM to build multi-stop shipments and to only build direct shipments or you can have OTM plan through a pool first and then try to plan multi-stop shipments.

You can also create a parameter set that maps out the process you want OTM to follow. This set could then replace the DEFAULT set under Domain Settings so that the one you created is always used. In addition, when you run a bulk plan, you can specify which parameter set to use. You can create multiple parameter sets and choose a different one for each bulk plan. For example, one parameter set may have multi-stop shipments planned first and then pool shipments planned. Another parameter set could indicate the reverse.

When you initiate the bulk plan action, OTM asks you to specify a parameter set that determines the parameter settings that are used to process the bulk plan. The default parameter set configured for the domain in Domain Settings appears if a default was configured.

Accept the default or choose a new set from the list.

Bulk Plan Notification

You can use the Communication Manager to configure notifications when a bulk plan completes processing or when a bulk plan fails (a bulk plan failure is rare but if this happens no order releases are planned on shipments). For example, you can have OTM send a person an email when a bulk plan completes processing. The email displays the same data as the Bulk Plan Details page in the Bulk Plan Manager. It also includes a link that takes you directly to the Bulk Plan Manager.

  1. Navigate to Contact Notification.

  2. Type Bulk_Plan in the Notify Subject ID field and click Search.

  3. Click the BULK PLAN - COMPLETED or the BULK PLAN - FAILED events and configure the event to meet your communication needs.

Bulk Planning Considerations and Configuration

Also note that if you choose order release with a status of PLANNING_PLANNED - FINAL, OTM will unassign the order release from its existing shipment(s) and re-consider it in the bulk plan optimization.

Bulk Plan Processing Configuration

When orders are sent into bulk plan, OTM tries all the various options to build shipments for each order sent. You can configure the routing and processing of orders processed during bulk plan. For example, if you know that you do not want to do any type of pool swapping, you can turn this parameter off and OTM will bypass this functionality.

Standard Order Routing through Bulk Plan

The following represents a high level view of the standard routing of orders through the bulk plan process.

Configurable Routing

The bulk plan process is configurable using parameters.


You can set up a parameter set mapping out the process you want OTM to follow.

You can specify what types of shipments OTM should create first.

  1. Click Transportation Planning and Execution > Power Data > Planning > Parameter Sets.

  2. View the Parameter Set DEFAULT (this is in the Public domain).

  3. The following options can be configured using the Parameter BUILD DIRECT SHIPMENT OPTION.


OTM builds pool and cross-dock shipments, when feasible, during bulk plan.
OTM does not build direct shipments or multi-stop shipments during bulk plan.


OTM builds direct, pool, and cross-dock shipments, when feasible, during bulk plan.
OTM does not build multi-stop shipments during bulk plan.

BUILD MULTISTOP BEFORE PLAN THRU POOL (Value = 3). This is the default option.

OTM builds direct shipments and multi-stop shipments, when feasible, before building pool and cross-dock shipments.


OTM builds direct shipments, pool and cross-dock shipments, when feasible, before building multi-stop shipments.

Related Topics