Supply chain design is a continuous process. In today’s global economy, the business environment you are working in is changing continuously, and, to be efficient, your network has to adapt to these changes. As an analyst, you have to evaluate scenarios with possible changes by finding out how these adjustments would affect operations across the whole chain. In all cases, the anyLogistix (ALX) supply chain network design software tool will give you a set of features to address the issue.
If you are expanding, you may need to find optimal locations for new facilities, including distribution centers, warehouses, and production sites. In some regions, the solution can be straightforward, driven by factors like cost of labor, existence of roads, spots available, customer locations, etc. However, in most cases there is no obvious decision. The challenge of finding the number of required sites, their capacities, and the right locations for them is a complex task because you have to carefully balance costs and service level, taking into account the restrictions.
ALX allows you to find suitable site locations and characteristics by carrying out network optimization, which will take into account demand volume and seasonality, product types, customer locations, roads, variable and fixed costs, capacity limitations, inventory, and sourcing policies. You will be able to make an informed decision based on costs, revenue, service levels, utilization rates, and other important statistics gathered in your ALX supply chain model.
Your decision may affect not only operations in new region, but also the rest of your worldwide logistics network. With ALX, you can analyze how the new part of the supply chain will fit with the existing one, and what changes are required to handle this transformation.
You may want to find out how efficient your current distribution network is, and check if it makes sense to reconfigure it, by opening additional warehouses or closing some of the existing ones, for example. Or, due to an increased demand, you may be deciding whether you should invest in opening a new production site as opposed to simply expanding your existing one. In both cases, you would have to compare all supply chain design alternatives by transportation costs/times, facility opening/expansion/rental costs, service level, and other metrics that make sense to your supply chain.
ALX gives you an ability to build a model of your supply chain, taking into account the required level of detail. Models can include policies and characteristics specific to your network only. Also, ALX’s simulation modeling allows you to capture randomness in the behavior of the chain elements that allows for risk assessment.
What if I change inventory policies or find alternative suppliers? Will I save if I switch from my own transportation fleet to a rented one? Do I need to move production to a low-cost country or relocate it closer to customers? How would inventory costs change if I apply a new transportation policy? How would opening a new distribution center in a certain region affect lead times and service levels in my global supply chain?
There are a lot of “what if” questions when you design your supply chain, and many require looking into the network with the level of detail unsupported by traditional analytical optimization software. With ALX, you are never limited by the level of detail you can take into account, thanks to simulation modeling.
Simulation modeling also gives you visibility into how your chain actually works in dynamics. You can see how parameters change over time, which enables you to identify cause-end-effect dependencies in the network. This provides additional data points for analysis, which can be crucial in decision making.
The ALX supply chain network design software tool addresses these and many others challenges: