Phase 4. Configure and Run GFA Experiment

In the previous phases we created our supply chain scenario, specified customers, product, its parameters and added demand for our customers. We covered all those steps to provide the necessary information to run the Greenfield Analysis experiment. 

In this phase we will configure and run the GFA (Greenfield Analysis) experiment.

Let us create GFA experiment and see what results we can get.

Create a new GFA experiment

  1. Navigate to the experiments section and click GFA experiment. 

    You will be taken to the GFA experiment's view with its settings.

    Now we can set the experiment a task to either define the optimal quantity of DCs needed to provide our customers with a high quality service or calculate the best locations for a certain quantity of DCs. 

    Since we are ready to invest into 4 distribution centers, we will start with configuring the experiment to find the optimal locations for 4 DCs.
  1. Click the Number of sites field and type in 4.

  2. Set Product measurement unit to pcs, since we have previously set our product to be measured in pieces.

  3. Click the toolbar   Run button in the experiment's view to run the experiment.

    Once the experiment is completed, a new Result item will be created in the GFA experiment branch. You will be automatically taken to the new item's page containing the experiment results.

    Let us take a closer look at the Result page. You can see new elements on the GIS map. These are the distribution centers (DCs), which were created during the GFA execution. They were placed in the most advantageous locations, which were defined by the experiment considering all the data that we had provided in the previous steps of this tutorial.

The customers and the DCs are currently not visually connected on the GIS map.

Activate paths visualization
  1. Click the  Show filters button to open the filter options.

  2. Click the Show connections button in the GIS map view toolbar to see the paths from each distribution center to each customer.

    Note: The connections are drawn straight because thу GFA experiment does not consider actual roads. Use the GFA with roads experiment if actual roads and popuation of the cities must be considered.

Note: The GFA branch items can be renamed if needed. It might be useful in case of multiple experiment runs, resulting in numerous similarly named branch items (Result, Result 2, Result 3 ... Result 17).

Rename a branch item

  1. Right-click the Result and select Rename from the opened pop-up menu to open the editing box.

  2. Type in the meaningful name reflecting the content of the experiment run (e.g. 4 DC locations to refer to the specified quantity of facilities).

  3. Click OK to save the changes and close the dialog box. The name of the Result item will be changed to the specified one.

We will keep the default name of the GFA experiment result in this tutorial.

Now we will configure the experiment to find the optimal quantity of DCs, which could satisfy our customers' demand and at the same time maintain high level of service. To do that we must make sure that orders will be delivered in time, i.e. the DCs must not be located too far from the customers to be able to deliver the ordered product within a few days. Taking into account that customers are scattered from the east coast to the west coast, we will set the Service distance to 1000.

Note: The Service distance parameter is not available in PLE version.

Modify GFA settings

  1. Click GFA experiment to navigate back to the experiment's configuration page.

  1. Click the Service distance option toggle button and type 1000 in the parameter's field to consider this service distance, i.e. the maximum distance between a customer and a distribution center.

  1. Click the toolbar   Run button to run the experiment.

    You will be taken to the Result 2 view with the current experiment's results, in which ALX suggests us to have 3 distribution centers.

  2. Click the Show connections button in the GIS map filter options.

    Note: The connections are drawn straight because thу GFA experiment does not consider actual roads. Use the GFA with roads experiment if actual roads and popuation of the cities must be considered.

Apart from being displayed on the GIS map, the experiment results are also available in the dashboard below the experiment's view in the form of statistics distributed through the tabs on the left (each tab refers to a certain type of statistics). The tabs contain detailed statistics on:

If required, you can rename, remove a tab, or export the content of the tab's statistics to MS Excel file.

The results we received can be further used in our supply chain. We consider Result 2 offering 3 DCs to be the best solution for us. Now we need to convert it to a scenario to be able to modify it later and use it in other experiments.

Convert experiment results to a scenario

  1. Right-click Result 2 in the GFA experiment branch. A pop-up menu will open.

  2. Click the Convert to GFA scenario option in the pop-up menu. The current results will be converted to a new scenario with its name reflecting:

    Note: The experiment results will not be deleted. You will be able to find them by simply switching to the original My Supply Chain scenario.

The following tables of the My Supply Chain GFA Result 2 scenario contain new data as compared to the original My Supply Chain scenario: DCs and Factories, Groups, Locations, Sourcing. Let us examine the new data.

Observe new data in tables

  1. Navigate to the DCs and Factories table. This table is used to specify distribution centers and factories that comprise your supply chain. The table contains three records, one for each DC:

  1. Now switch to the Sourcing table. The Sourcing table is used to define sourcing policies:

    In other words it shows the dependencies between warehouses and customers.

    The Sourcing table, just like the DCs and Factories table, contains the results of the GFA experiment. Let us take a closer look at the records in this table:

With the final step of converting the GFA experiment results to new scenario of GFA type we have completed GFA tutorial.

We can move on now to further use this scenario in the Network Optimization experiment.


  Phase 3. Add demand