Phase 1. Import Scenario and Add Factory

In this phase we will import the scenario, add factory, define its location, and update the inventory and sourcing policies. 

Let us start with obtaining the data that will serve as the basis for our experiment. You may either provide your own data or you can instantly import the scenario. Either way, you should have a supply chain scenario comprising:

Download and import the scenario

  1. Download the scenario. No internet connection is required, since the scenario is supplied with ALX.
  2. Import the downloaded scenario. The GIS map will appear showing the content of the imported scenario.
  3. Explore the connections by clicking the Show filters button to open the filter options, and then clicking the  Show connections button.

In this scenario 20 UK customers are supplied with food storage containers and cake moulds by two DCs located in Oxford and Manchester. 

Run the Simulation experiment and observe results

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

    You will be taken to the Simulation experiment view with the current experiment's settings. You will see that the experiment is already configured (the statistics are defined and located in the dashboard).

  2. Click the toolbar Run in virtual time mode without animation button to run the experiment at max speed without displaying the map. The experiment will be completed within a few seconds.
  3. Click Stop when the experiment completes and choose Yes in the dialog box to save results.

  4. Examine the gathered statistics, which will be available in the Statistics sub-item of the Simulation experiment tree branch:

We have observed the current status of the supply chain. Now we will extend this supply chain. Let us start with adding a factory object.

Add factory to the supply chain

  1. Click Data to return to the input tables.

  2. Open the DCs and Factories table and click Add.
  3. Rename the object by clicking the Name cell and typing Factory.
  4. Define type of this object by double-clicking the Type cell and selecting Factory from the drop-down list.

We have added a new factory, now we will define a specific location for it.

Define location of the factory

  1. Open the In Use tab to see only the tables containing scenario data.

  2. Open the Locations table and scroll down to the Factory location record.

  3. Define the city in which this factory is located by typing Hereford in the City cell.
  4. Now type United Kingdom in the Country cell to define the country, in which this city is located.
    Alternatively you can copy the country name from any other cell of this column and then paste.
  5. Finally, enable the toggle button in the Autofill Coordinates cell. The factory will be moved to Hereford.

We have just added a new object, which is the source of the products now. To properly define the product flow we must adjust the sourcing and the inventory policies.

We will start with the inventory policy. We will assume that the DCs are using the Min-max policy to replenish the available stock from the factory, while the factory has Unlimited inventory.

Adjust inventory policy
  1. Navigate to the inventory table. 
  2. Double-click the (All sites) cell in the Facility column and select the [Sites] group from the drop-down list of available facilities. This group contains the two DCs only, since it was created before we added the factory object.

    Note: You can check the content of this group by navigating to the Groups table and double-clicking the Sites cell of the Sites group.

  3. Change the Policy Type for objects in this group to Min-max policy, which allows products to be ordered when the inventory level falls below a fixed replenishment point.
  4. Double-click the Policy Parameters cell and set the Min and Max parameters to 45 000 and 145 000 respectively.
  5. Click OK to save the changes and close the dialog box. The record should look like this:

  6. Now create a new record by clicking Add and define Unlimited inventory for the Factory facility:

Now we will define the sourcing policy that will consider the factory object. According to this policy the customers will be supplied by the DCs, while the DCs will be supplied by the factory.

Create a sourcing policy

  1. Navigate to the Sourcing table. First, we will adjust the default policy.
  2. Double-click the cell of the Sources column and double-click [Sites] to select it from the drop-down list.
    This will allow all customers to be supplies by the two DCs.
  3. Create a new record by clicking Add in the table's toolbar.
  4. Set Delivery Destination to [Sites].
  5. Double-click the Sources column cell and double-click Factory to select it from the drop-down list.

    Note: If you single-click the check box, you will have to deselect the default (All sites) option.

    The sourcing table should have the following records now:

There, we have introduced the factory and defined the inventory and the sourcing policies. We may run the experiment now.

Run the experiment
  1. Navigate to the experiments section and click Simulation experiment.

  2. Click Run in the toolbar of the Simulation experiment.

While the experiment is executing, we may add statistics that will help us analyze the product flows. We will add two statistics:

Add statistics to the dashboard
  1. Right-click the empty content section of the Dashboard tab and select Add item from the shortcut menu. The Properties dialog box will open.
  2. Expand the Orders section and check the Demand Placed (Orders) by Site statistics.

  3. Double click the ALL cell of the Object record in the Additional settings table. 

  4. In the opened dialog deselect the Factory object by clicking the toggle button in the Include column, then click OK.
    Now the data will be shown on DCs only.

  5. Finally, in the Show column switch the toggle button to Per Item
    Now the data will be shown per DC.

  6. Click OK to close the dialog box and add the statistics to the dashboard.
    You will see that the added statistics instantly shows the current number of placed orders.

  7. In the same way add the Available Inventory statistics from the Products section.

  8. Set up the new statistics:
  1. The chart will instantly show the current available inventory of each DC. Observe the data.

  2. Click Stop when the experiment completes and choose Yes in the dialog box to save results.

With the final step we complete the first phase of this tutorial. We imported the supply chain scenario, added factory and defined the sourcing and inventory policies.

In the next step we will define production with raw materials.

Click the link below to proceed to Phase 2 of this tutorial.


  Production tutorial |  Phase 2. Create scenario and specify customers