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ZIP Code Based Repair Parts Order Filling and Routing System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016384D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Nov-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

ZIP Code Based Repair Parts Order Filling and Routing System

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ZIP Code Based Repair Parts Order Filling and Routing System

ZIP Code Based Repair Parts Order Filling and Routing System

Service parts orders are filled based on availability of the part from a warehouse closest to the customer needing the part. To enhance the delivery of the part and more accurately track the origination of the need, a more specific way of routing the request to the nearest provider location is needed. The Spiral, or ZIP Code, router does this by using the ZIP Code of the requestor or customer as the basis for determining the closest provider location.

The Spiral router has three parts and is used as a functionally central part of an existing service part emergency order system known as the Real Time System (RTS). The three basic parts are: a database of provider locations ranked in commercial travel time and mileage order in ascending order for each postal ZIP Code in the U.S.A., a computer program to determine the closest and, therefore original location a part order should be placed at, and sets its initial functional condition as a waiting order or an active order, and a computer program that uses this information to find a location with the part available, and routes the order to that location. This program begins at the closest location to the delivery point and searches the inventory of the location for the requested parts (more than one part may be in an order). When a location can supply the requested part, the order is placed at that location automatically. If the closest location is unable to supply the part, the next closest is searched, and so on, until the set of locations is exhausted. If no part is found in the part network, the order is placed at the central parts warehouse.

The basis for the process using ZIP Codes can be substituted with any stable local method. For exam...