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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

Joint SORG/CORMSIS/Third Sector SIG Seminar Event

16:00 - 17:30
11 June 2015

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Chris Potts on 23651 or email .

Event details

OR & Oxfam: Optimising donation bank collections using remote monitoring sensors

Abstract: The major charities can spend around 20% of their income on logistics, collecting new donations from donation banks and recycling unsellable textiles via various outlets. This talk will describe the key learning outcomes from a project undertaken with Oxfam which installed remote monitoring sensors into a subset of their textile donation banks and using the fill levels reported daily, derived collection strategies using tabu search methods. These were based on a set of rules to only allow banks to become eligible for servicing once they had reached a specific fill level.

The problem was made more complex by the need for the collection vans to also visit Oxfam shops on a fixed schedule basis to remove unsold textiles.

Following live and simulated trials, the results suggested that time and distance savings of up to 30% over the current fixed schedules could be achieved when a minimum bank and shop fill level of between 50% and 60% was used as a collection trigger. Some of the outcomes from the project are now being developed commercially in the form of an app, to allow the area managers, shop managers and drivers to communicate and manage collection scheduling in a more dynamic way.

Speaker information

Tom Cherrett,Tom Cherrett is Associate Professor within the Transportation Research Group. He teaches transport planning, freight and passenger systems and construction management to Masters level and Undergraduate students. He is involved in several areas of research: • How can we use remote monitoring technology and optimisation techniques to collect waste and recyclables more efficiently in urban areas? • How we can move core goods (things that we buy) more efficiently within and between our urban areas and in what ways can new delivery concepts such as locker boxes help us receive goods we buy through the Internet? • Can smartphone technology be used in logistics operations to enable customers and employees to better share and use data? • In what ways can interactive games help young children learn about road safety?

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