To complete this tutorial, you must work with a scenario that
contains at least the following:
In this phase of the tutorial we will complete the following steps after creating NO scenario:
To create a scenario to work with, you can either instantly download and import the My Supply Chain GFA Result 2 scenario, which was created from the results of the GFA experiment, or you can provide your own scenario data that you would like to optimize with the help of the Network Optimization experiment. We will use the GFA scenario, containing experiment results as the basis for our Network Optimization experiment tutorial.
Convert scenario from GFA type to NO type
Note: The name of the scenario may seem quite long, you may rename it if you wish by right-clicking it, selecting Properties from the pop-up dialog box and specifying the desired name in the Scenario name field.
Let us have a closer look at the scenario's data. GFA executed rough calculation of DC locations. It did not consider roads, cities, peculiarities of geographical areas etc. We need to analyze the current locations and find the best locations considering infrastructure.
Since GFA does not take into account roads, cities, means of transportation etc., we should zoom in to see if the DCs are placed in the advantageous spots with easy access to highways. Depending on the remoteness of a DC from the required infrastructure we will either move it towards the nearest city/highway or specify a number of potentially interesting locations for it. We will find the best locations by running the Network Optimization experiment.Let us now examine the locations offered by the GFA experiment. We shall start with the DC in the middle.
Check DC location
Since we cannot tell where exactly to place this particular DC due to its initial location, we should define several potential locations, which would meet our requirements. These locations will be further used by the Network Optimization experiment, which will try to find the optimal location (or locations, depending on the set parameters) for this DC.
Let us consider Jackson and Vicksburg cities as potential GFA DC 3 locations.Define potential locations
The area with numerous intersections seems prospective. We will place a DC here to further consider this location in the experiment.
Click the Create Warehouse
icon in the GIS map toolbar
and double-click somewhere within the area to place a DC.
When done, click
mode icon in the toolbar to exit the editing
Now let us navigate to the Vicksburg city to find alternative potential location there.
Zoom in and place DC near the Iowa Avenue and Route 61 as shown on the screenshot below.
Rename the DCs
Type in Jackson DC and press Enter to exit the editing mode. The name of the DC will be changed, its Location name will be automatically updated.
Now we will move on and check locations of the other two DCs. Let us continue with the DC in the western part of the United States.Check DC location
Place mouse cursor over the GFA DC 1 to center the map while zooming in. Scroll mouse wheel to zoom in.
You will see that it is located too far from the closest highway/city. We will have to find a better location for this DC.
As we can see this DC is not in the most popular place either. We will consider Carson City, Elko and West valley city (located in the suburb of the Salt Lake City) as potential GFA DC 1 locations.
Define potential locations
The area shown on the screenshot below seems prospective. We will place a DC here to further consider this location in the experiment.
Click the Create Warehouse
icon in the toolbar of the GIS map
view and double-click somewhere within the area to place a DC.
When done, click thePanning mode icon in the toolbar to exit the editing mode.
Now let us navigate to the Carson City to find alternative potential location there.
Zoom in and place DC near the East 5th St as shown on the screenshot below.
Now let us navigate to the West Valley City to find alternative potential location there.
Zoom in and place DC as shown on the
Rename the created DC to West Valley City DC in the DCs and Factories table.
Check DC location
You will see that GFA DC 2 is located near Jim Thorp, which is quite small, and Hazleton city to the North-West, which is the nearest large city. If we look closer at Hazleton, we will see that It is a good location with numerous PA routes, Interstate highway 81, and Hazleton Regional Airport.
Adjust location of the DC
Zoom into the Hazleton city area close enough to see its
potentially prospective locations somewhere near the highways.
There is a vast piece of land right next to the city with easy access to the intersection involving Interstate 81 and PA 924 route.
Zoom out, click GFA DC 2 and drag it to this area.
At last we have completed setting up the potential DC locations. You may zoom out now to observe the whole picture.
If you click the Show Sourcing Paths button in the GIS map view toolbar, you will see the paths from each distribution center to each customer. The actual routes are used by default in ALX.
Use actual routes instead of
Use actual routes instead of straight lines
Click the Show Sourcing Paths button in the GIS map view toolbar. The paths will be depicted as straight lines. Let ALX download the data. This may take some time depending on the internet connection speed and the number of routes. Once ALX applies the downloaded information to our map, we will be able to see the actual routes, which connect customers to each distribution center. The GIS map sourcing paths will change their shape in accordance with the available roads leading from the warehouses to the customers.
As you can see, the GIS map currently shows the total of 8 DCs. Here belong the three DCs that were taken from the Results 2 GFA results and the five DCs that we have just created while defining the potential locations. By default all these DCs are included in the Network Optimization experiment. If you navigate to the DC and Factories table, you will see the DCs and their types of inclusion.
Above the line you can see the DCs, which were initially present in this scenario. Below the line you can see all the DCs that we have just created.
Now we need to specify the inclusion type for each DC. We will assign the following inclusion types:
Change the inclusion type of a DC
Note: Once you have marked the GFA DC 1 and GFA DC 3 as “Excluded”, the table records will turn gray and the corresponding facilities will disappear from the GIS map.
In the end your Inclusion Type column must look like this:
We have successfully defined alternative locations. Now, to make Network Optimization experiment choose the best DC locations among the defined ones, we will create a condition in the Assets Constraints table, specifying the final number of DCs that we want the experiment to find. Since DCs to choose from refer to two different locations with two independent groups of customers, we will have to first create two new groups of alternative locations the experiment will work with.
Create groups of alternative locations
We have created and renamed a new group. Now we need to define the content of the group. We know that this group will contain distribution centers. The DCs we need can be defined in the Sites column of this table.Define DCs for the group
Now we can proceed to creating a condition that will be used by the Network Optimization experiment.
Create condition optimizing DC locations
We have set the alternative DC locations and defined conditions for the Network Optimization experiment to work with.
Please note that It is obligatory to have a supplier to run the NO experiment. We currently have no supplier. Let us place it in the port of Los Angeles, which also happens to be the busiest US port.
a PS4 Supplier
Add a PS4 Supplier
We have added Sony PS4 supplier, which will provide our DCs with the consoles and now we need to configure it within our supply chain.
Navigate to the Product
Flows table and create a new flow of products from the
supplier to the DCs:
When done, the Product Flows
table should look like this:
As you remember we have previously created two DC groups containing alternative DC locations, which must be considered by the NO experiment. We need to set those groups as product sources.
Configure product sources
The last thing to do before running the experiment is to modify the parameters of the Cost Calculation policy, which can be found in the Paths table. The changes will affect the product measurement unit type (it must correspond to the one specified in the Unit column of the Products table) and the cost of transportation the specified measurement unit type.Modify Cost Calculation policy
Set up and run Network Optimization experiment
You will be taken to the NO experiment's view with its default settings. We will leave them as they are, since we have already set all the currently required parameters in the tables of this scenario.
You will see that initially anyLogistix is downloading the routes for all the combinations of customers and distribution centers. Once all the routes are cached, the experiment will be executed.
Once the experiment is completed, the Result 1 sub-item will be created in the NO experiment tree. You will be instantly taken to it.
The result of the experiment will be available in the Optimization results tab below the experiment's view in the form of a table which lists all the possible options. All other tabs below contain additional information on the received results in the form of statistics (each tab refers to a certain type of statistics).
Note: You can sort or filter the results table just like any other ALX table.
The top option is the best one found during the optimization in terms of transportation costs (specified in the Paths table).
The results of the experiment can be visually observed on the GIS map. We will also visualize routes for all sites.
to have it displayed on the GIS map.
We have received the basic Network Optimization results with real routes and exact DC locations.
Now we can move on to specify the price of the product, cost of opening a warehouse and the cost of processing the outgoing shipments.