LLamasoft Supply Chain Blog


Sensitivity Analysis in Network Optimization

By Dan Kogan    February 6, 2019

Reasons for sensitivity analysis Optimization, by definition, provides the single best answer given a prescribed set of inputs and a specific objective. The power of algorithms makes it easy to return an optimal answer to a relatively complex problem. For instance, network optimization is a fantastic tool for providing the single best answer for a problem such as minimizing cost under known conditions, including demand, supply, and transportation and labor Read More >>

Inspirational Mentorships at LLamasoft

By Rebecca Janowiak    January 31, 2019

Mentorships are important because they provide a safe environment for discussion and guidance that can often go both ways between mentor and mentee to strengthen leadership, networking, and interpersonal skills.  They also help break down barriers and encourage cross-team discussions. I have had several mentor/mentee relationships over the years, and every discussion opens my eyes to new perspectives and challenges my thinking.  I helped start the mentorship program at LLamasoft with Read More >>

The Psychology of Building Enterprise Platforms

By Arad Adler    January 29, 2019

We live in a platform-powered shared economy. Nearly all industries from transport (Uber), retail (Amazon), payment (Square), service (Etsy) and much more have been touched by the power of digitalized platforms. In some instances, the power of industry disruptions has been such that governments and regulators have lagged far behind the changes. Over time, governments needed to adjust laws to conform to these new socially accepted conventions. In just the Read More >>

Model Building: Approaches to Automation

By Dan Kogan    January 18, 2019

An early step in the typical model-building process is identifying data requirements and tracing them back to data sources.  Though generally good advice to start with the end in mind, it can be overwhelming to trace Supply Chain Guru tables and fields back to various data sources, especially if you are unfamiliar with either – or both – the SCG tables or the organization’s source or reporting systems. The good Read More >>

Automating the Model Building Process

By Dan Kogan    January 10, 2019

The Why: Reasons for Automation The holy grail of supply chain design is to have a ‘living model’ at your fingertips.  From this living model, you can quickly test scenarios by pulling the supply chain levers under consideration and assessing the impact to key metrics.  While extremely valuable insights are unlocked by applying scenarios to the living model, this metaphoric pot of gold is far-too-often at the end of an Read More >>

Thoughts About Supply Chain Design Org Structure

By Mark Armstrong    January 2, 2019

Two common questions among supply chain professionals are, “How should we set up our Supply Chain Design organization?”, or “What is the best structure for a Supply Chain Design organization?”  To start, there is no single best structure for a design organization.  There are various factors that will help shape the decision, so it really requires some thought on the given organization’s set-up and overall objectives with design.  In most Read More >>

Defining Metrics for Success in Supply Chain Design

By Mark Armstrong    December 28, 2018

Mark Armstrong is a Customer Success Strategist at LLamasoft. Not enough companies are measuring successes (or failures) when it comes to supply chain design. As I engage with more and more through our DECODE methodology I consistently see a gap with teams not having metrics in place to measure their Supply Chain Design organization.  Or if they do have something in place it’s simply tracking savings opportunities identified through their Read More >>

Meet LLamasoft’s Talent Acquisition Team

By LLamasoft    December 20, 2018

Looking to start a new job at LLamasoft? Want to know more about our recruiters? Meet LLamasoft's Talent Acquisition team to find out what they look for in new members of the herd, and why LLamasoft is a great place to work! Sang Lam, Talent Acquisition Manager What do you look for in recruits? Technical ability is a piece of the puzzle but it goes further than that in our Read More >>

Supply Chain Agility: When Design Meets Planning

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    December 12, 2018

While supply chain planning and execution get talked about quite a bit as the two pillars of supply chain management, the third pillar, design, is often thought about as something that is done once a year or so, if at all. However, rapidly evolving business climate as a result of rising consumerism, economic nationalism, channel and SKU complexity, dynamic pricing and promotions amongst others – is necessitating organizations to have speed and Read More >>

How Santa’s Elves Design an Optimized Supply Chain

By Jack Jolly    December 5, 2018

Get in the holiday spirit by reading a guest blog from one of Santa's elves, Jack Jolly. For thousands of years, a group of dedicated elves have tried to optimize Santa's supply chain with handwritten notes and excel sheets. In order to boost elf esteem, the elves at Claus Industries started using LLamasoft's sophisticated supply chain design software to make sure everyone gets everything on their Christmas list at the Read More >>

3 Reasons to Start an Exciting Career at LLamasoft

By LLamasoft    November 16, 2018

LLamasoft has been named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Metro Detroit Area for six consecutive years, and we are not stopping anytime soon! If you are looking for an exciting career with meaningful impact at a highly respected company, LLamasoft may be the place for you. Keep reading to find out why this global company is a great place for the next phase Read More >>

LLamacon EMEA Day 2 Takeaways: Faster, Smarter, More Frequent Decision Making and More

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    November 16, 2018

Day 2 of LLamacon yet again was packed with some great content and several thought-provoking and highly inspiring presentations, just like day 1. Here are some key takeaways from day 2 by Madhav Durbha, LLamasoft's Group VP. Get comfortable with complexity: Allistair Balderson of IGD kicked the day off with some very interesting insights into 3 key supply chain features for growth – Self-disruptive and technologically adept, Transparency and Trust, Read More >>

LLamasoft Intern Spotlight: Sarah Wolf, Graphic Designer

By LLamasoft    November 15, 2018

LLamasoft is proud to have LLama interns as a part of the herd! Learn more about this great opportunity, and the young talent at our global company by reading about Sarah Wolf's experience as our Graphic Design Intern. 1. What type of internship are you working on at LLamasoft? Graphic Design, in the Marketing Department. 2. Where did you go to school, and what's your degree? I went to school Read More >>

LLamaCon EMEA 2018 Day 1 Takeaways: Digital decisioning, Brexit, and more

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    November 15, 2018

Day 1 of LLamaCon EMEA 2018 was a packed, content-rich event. Here are some key takeaways captured by Dr. Madhav Durbha, LLamasoft's Group Vice President. A case for a Digital Decisioning platform: The proceedings kicked off to a great start with a keynote by Razat Gaurav, CEO of LLamasoft, wherein he made a passionate case for speed and agility in supply chain decisioning. Whether it is external factors such as Read More >>

How Supply Chain Design is Rising to Prominence

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    November 5, 2018

Early in my career,  supply chain design as a discipline was just emerging. It used to be a once a year or so exercise. A company would charter a project to assess how its network consisting of its suppliers, plants, distributions centers, and points of delivery was performing to support the demand and the overall business objectives. Design decisions were made, policies were set, product flows were determined, capital expense Read More >>

3 Key Takeaways from the LLamasoft Southeast Xchange Forum

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    October 19, 2018

About 25 users and managers of LLamasoft SupplyChainGuru from several companies converged earlier this week at the UPS Global Supply Chain Headquarters in Atlanta for our Southeast Customer Xchange Forum. Here are few takeaways from the event: Supply Chain network design used to be an annual exercise for many companies. However, leading companies are now modeling networks much more frequently. Increased business volatility and complexity are driving them to constantly Read More >>

What It’s Like to Dine with Demand Planners

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    October 18, 2018

I recently met with Stacy, director of demand planning at a large apparel company. The dinner conversation turned to the role of data science in supply chain. She excitedly mentioned that they hired some smart data scientists who are writing machine learning algorithms to improve forecast accuracy. I knew her company invested millions of dollars in implementing a demand planning software over the years. I enquired what they are doing Read More >>

LLamasoft on BBC’s Business Live Inside Track

By LLamasoft    October 12, 2018

On 25th September, Razat Gaurav, LLamasoft's CEO was interviewed on the BBC Business Live’s Inside Track on what LLamasoft is and how the company is designing supply chains for large global brands. If you are in the UK - you can watch the full interview on BBC iPlayer from 25th September until 25th October 2018, or read the transcript of the conversation below. Sally Bundock: Now getting products where you want them Read More >>

Smarter Supply Chains Save Lives (Infographic)

By LLamasoft    October 5, 2018

Although there have been significant improvements in global health over the years, low and middle-income countries still face many challenges in terms of accessing life-saving supplies. These issues are deeply tied to inefficiencies within the global health supply chains. LLamasoft is passionate about leveraging our technology to have a meaningful impact on these efforts. Explore our infographic on smarter global health supply chains and learn more about our global impact Read More >>

Meet LLamasoft’s Customer Experience Team!

By LLamasoft    October 2, 2018

LLamasoft's commitment to helping our customers solve complex problems has always been at the core of our culture – but we’re also dedicated to delivering excellent experiences through every interaction our customers have with our products, services, events, and people. It’s not enough only to offer fantastic solutions that meet your needs, but fantastic solutions that are simple and enjoyable as well.  LLamasoft’s Customer Experience Team is responsible for understanding Read More >>

5 Unique Aspects of the Avocado Supply Chain

By LLamasoft    September 6, 2018

Everyone likes to have their fair share of guacamole – but have you ever stopped to think how your avocado made it to the tip of your tortilla chip? Here are 5 unique aspects of the avocado supply chain that will make you say, “Holy guacamole!” 1. Demand for avocados has skyrocketed It may not surprise you to find out that demand for avocados has risen. You have probably enjoyed Read More >>

4 Ways Supply Chain Design Can Improve Public Health

By Ryan Purcell    August 21, 2018

Optimization is essential for all supply chains, but for global health supply chains – it can be a matter of life and death. Low and middle-income countries face challenges in providing their citizens with access to immunization, diagnostic tests, and other life-saving materials. The lack of access is deeply tied to inefficiencies within the supply chain of these materials. Keep reading to find out how LLamasoft assists global health supply Read More >>

How Competent is Your Design? Increasing the Speed to Benefit with the DECODE Methodology

By Carlos Valderrama and Toby Brzoznowski    July 25, 2018

It’s well established that the supply chain industry is evolving and changing at an unprecedented pace. It’s challenging enough to keep up and maintain a business-as-usual approach in light of changing customer expectations, disruptive technologies and economic and geopolitical implications that seem constantly in-flux. But some businesses are exceeding expectations and making major gains despite them. How? With the increased agility and responsiveness provided by establishing an internal supply chain Read More >>

Supply Chain Superhero Status

By Allison Fowler    July 12, 2018

This was my sixth SummerCon and each year there is no shortage of key learnings. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a chance to speak with attendees and llamas and hear their experiences from SummerCon. On Wednesday of the conference, our co-founder, Toby Brzoznowski, presented on LLamasoft’s Product Roadmap. As a company, it was exciting to share where LLamasoft is headed, but most importantly, it was exciting for our Read More >>

Demand Modeling at SummerCon & Beyond

By Vikram Srinivasan    June 27, 2018

Demand modeling was a buzzing topic at SummerCon this year. With enormous volatility in demand and constantly fluctuating market and economic conditions, there is an increasing sense of urgency to focus on demand more proactively to understand the impact of demand variability on our businesses. One of the use cases that particularly aligns with this is a leading steel manufacturer, Gerdau. Earlier this year when a 25% tariff tax was Read More >>

SummerCon 2018 Trip Report

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 20, 2018

Last week 600+ of the LLamasoft community took to Atlanta for our eighth annual SummerCon conference. It was a great week of training, workshops, keynotes, sessions and fun. Here are a few highlights from the week. Keynotes After an intro from LLamasoft Chairman of the Board Don Hicks, LLamasoft CEO Razat Gaurav took the stage and offered his perspective on the state of the supply chain industry, where LLamasoft is Read More >>

Getting the Most from Your SummerCon 2018 Experience

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 4, 2018

Next week we’ll welcome hundreds of the supply chain industry’s best and brightest to Atlanta for the must-attend supply chain event of the year, SummerCon 2018! At our eighth annual conference we will explore, “The Next Evolution of Supply Chain Design.” With so much going on, it’s best to enter the week with a plan. Here are a few tips to maximize your time in Atlanta. Download the Mobile App Read More >>

SummerCon 2018 Preview – Can’t Miss Sessions

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    May 16, 2018

Our annual supply chain conference, SummerCon 2018, is just around the corner! This year we look forward to welcoming 600+ of the most innovative thinkers in the supply chain industry to Atlanta,  June 11-15! Much like the industry in general, LLamasoft is moving at a rapid pace. At this year’s conference, we look forward to exploring the theme, “Evolving the Supply Chain, Together.” We hope you’ll join us! But before Read More >>

LLamasoft Honored as GM Supplier of the Year

By Toby Brzoznowski    May 9, 2018

As some of you may have seen, LLamasoft was recently named a GM Supplier of the Year for 2017. The award was presented to LLamasoft by General Motors during its 26th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony, held Friday, April 20 in Orlando, Florida. I was lucky enough to attend this special event along with LLamasoft’s Customer Success Manager, Bill Kincaid, who has been working with GM since they first started Read More >>

A Letter from LLamasoft’s CEO, Razat Gaurav

By Razat Gaurav    April 23, 2018

Many of you likely saw the recent news that I “Joined the Herd”, so to speak, and have joined  LLamasoft as its new CEO.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the company as it continues its incredible growth trajectory, powered by its dedication to provide the best, most innovative supply chain solution that enables strategy, design and policy decisioning all in one product. Having been a part of the Read More >>

Eating Up Increased Costs: Supply Chain Optimization Tips for the Food and Beverage Industry

By Bob McFarland    April 4, 2018

A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report highlighted how rising logistics costs are squeezing the food and beverage industry. With the increased cost of moving goods, food and beverage companies are being forced to increase the price of their products to maintain their profit margins. But in a world of heightened competition and rapidly-shifting consumer demand, increasing price carries its own risks. So, what can companies do Read More >>

You Had One Job! Managing Supplier Breakdowns with Contingency Planning

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    March 22, 2018

It seems almost too absurd to be true. A tire store without tires, a car dealership without cars, a chicken restaurant without chicken. Or even more alarming, pharmaceutical companies without vital medications and vaccines. And yet, from time to time these stories hit the front-pages leaving consumers stymied and frustrated and organizations scrambling to recover. How does this happen? And how can you prevent it from happening to you? The Read More >>

Tariffs, Trade and the Global Supply Chain

By Toby Brzoznowski    March 8, 2018

Last week President Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum., setting off talk of global trade wars, prompting the departure of a top economic advisor and rattling an already volatile stock market.  And although these topics are the ones that make headlines, there is another group of professionals behind the scenes whose jobs have quietly shifted into overdrive --- of course, I’m talking about the people in the field Read More >>

  • App: Long-Range Demand Modeling

How Three Companies are Incorporating Demand Modeling for a Better Supply Chain Design

By Vikram Srinivasan    February 21, 2018

Have you ever said something along the lines of, ‘well, I thought I had seen it all, but this year was really the craziest yet!’ With the unprecedented pace of change in regulations, political and socioeconomic shifts, and rapidly evolving customer preferences, it’s absolutely critical for supply chains to be able to rapidly respond, or risk reduced profit and market share. Designing better, more responsive supply chains is more than Read More >>

RILA Event Preview: How Walmart Achieves Network Design Excellence

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    February 7, 2018

Every day there is a new headline about a retailer shutting stores, filing for bankruptcy or dramatically revising their strategy to survive in an overwhelmingly competitive environment. Running a retail supply chain isn’t easy, and it’s only getting worse. In this “live or die” retail environment, retailers are being forced to put all options and scenarios on the table to drive greater efficiency, meet the increasingly high demands of their Read More >>

3 Ways to be Successful in Merger and Acquisition Activities with Supply Chain Design

By Jeff Metersky    January 23, 2018

M&A deal volume and deal value remains strong. According to recent surveys, 56 percent of responding companies expect to actively pursue acquisitions in the next 12 months[1], with global M&A value projected to top $3.2 trillion, up 23 percent from this year[2]. Despite the increasing numbers, failure rates for M&A initiatives are extremely high. Depending on which report you consult, M&A initiatives have a failure rate of anywhere between 50 Read More >>

Millennials in Supply Chain: An Industry and Supply Chain Design Perspective

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    January 8, 2018

Toward the end of 2017 two supply chain industry organizations, APICS and CSCMP, released research about the perceptions of millennials working the supply chain industry today. The results were positive overall, with 80 percent of respondents in a study completed by CSCMP and Penske stating that they find the supply chain industry to be a good one on which to focus their career. The reason for this satisfaction spans a Read More >>

2017: A LLamasoft Year In Review

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    December 19, 2017

2017 has flown by and the team at LLamasoft is working at top speed ringing in 2018 with continued momentum! We had so many accomplishments this year, here’s a quick recap of some of the highlights. Winter We started off the 2017 winter collaborating with key customers, sharing our exciting solutions and successes with the marketplace, and teaching others about the many benefits of designing optimal supply chains. LLamasoft, and Read More >>

EMEA LLamaCon 2017 Recap

By Michelle Newton    December 13, 2017

LLamasoft was thrilled to welcome over 120 customers and partners (and 30+ LLamas!) to Amsterdam for our second annual LLamaCon user conference November 14 – 16. There was a wealth of great content and learnings over the event as well as a fantastic venue. Here are just a few highlights. Keynotes In his opening address LLamasoft Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Toby Brzoznowski emphasised the need for a global approach Read More >>

Looking Ahead: Supply Chain Predictions for 2018

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    December 5, 2017

With a roller coaster of political, regulatory, and weather-related supply chain disruptions, 2017 has certainly taught us that volatility and uncertainty are a given. Anticipating and reacting optimally to those challenges can be the difference between supply chain success or failure. Our team at LLamasoft works closely with customers, as well as industry analysts, analyzing supply chain challenges and trends. Here are our predictions – which include some big changes Read More >>

  • Sid Rupani gets animated talking about Objectives in the Immunization System at TechNet 2017

Three key takeaways from TechNet 2017 for the LLamasoft Global Impact Team

By Sid Rupani    November 22, 2017

“If we aim to keep improving, we must keep designing” TechNet-21 is a global network of immunization professionals committed to strengthening immunization services. The TechNet Conference is held every two years to discuss the latest developments in immunization practices and policy. The 2017 event brought together 350+ attendees from October 16-20 in Cascais, Portugal to discuss the theme "Building the next generation of immunization supply chains". I had the pleasure Read More >>

  • Growth

Why “Going Green” With Your Supply Chain is the Smart Decision

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    November 15, 2017

A decade ago, sustainability efforts were often de-prioritized in favor of corporate survivability considerations. Today, as the economic recovery has gained strength, enterprises are again evaluating sustainability and environmental improvement initiatives, with the presumption they can now "afford" to make their operations greener. What those organizations are discovering, however, is that changes designed to benefit the environment are also good for the bottom line. Green thinking can be applied across Read More >>

  • Demand Guru Explainer Video Still

Event Recap: Demand Guru Customer Launch with Gartner

By Sarah Leitz    November 8, 2017

On October 17, with the help of a lot of hard work and customer feedback, we launched our newest product: Demand Guru. To celebrate we invited a few of our customers to join us on October 24 for a two-day event. The event included early adopters from global customers that heard insights and observations on the demand modeling market from featured guest Kamala Raman, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner; shared use Read More >>

  • SupplyChainPlanning.com Screenshot

Trip Report: Planning by Design Pre-Launch Event

By Jennifer Randall    November 1, 2017

How do you empower the supply chain planners of the future to make better decisions? This was the focus of the October 24th pre-launch event for LLamasoft Planning by Design in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The event invited early adopters and leaders from global customers to hear insights and observations on the planning market from featured guest Tim Payne, Research Vice President at Gartner; share use cases and get a glimpse Read More >>

Testing Warehouse Layouts Using Transportation Optimization at Land O’Lakes

By Erik Lopezmalo    October 25, 2017

When I was a kid, I was amazed on how my older brother creatively used pop cans to build a launcher that throws tennis balls (Figure 1). He did so by making some holes in the top and bottom of the cans and then taping them together. He’d make a lateral hole in the bottom can to load the fuel (alcohol) and completely open the top can where the tennis Read More >>

  • American Flag

Mitigating Supply Chain Risk: What the Military Does and You Should Too

By Greg Grindey    October 11, 2017

Militaries around the world have been trying to introduce commercial best practices to the way they do business for many years.  However, the commercial industry may be able to learn a trick or two from the military as well, particularly with respect to risk in their supply chains. Since at least the time of Alexander the Great, military leaders have understood the importance of logistics and a resilient supply chain Read More >>

  • Trucks and Cars Driving on Motorway

World Record Tied: Transportation Optimization in Supply Chain Guru X

By LLamasoft Applied Research    September 27, 2017

Earlier this summer LLamasoft launched Supply Chain Guru X, a completely new supply chain design software application. We’re proud of this new generation of our flagship product, combining the best of the best supply chain optimization technologies, with exhaustive rounds of user-feedback to offer the best solution to meet needs and objectives. As part of this latest version, we’ve also made significant improvements to our transportation optimization solving technologies. Here Read More >>

Event Preview: LLamasoft at CSCMP Edge 2017

By Toby Brzoznowski    September 13, 2017

With the unofficial close of summer now behind us, we’re looking forward to a busy and exciting events season as we head into Fall. One landmark supply chain event every September is the CSCMP Edge conference, this year to be hosted in Atlanta September 24-27. The event draws supply chain professionals from around the world to take in sessions and exhibits and discuss the latest trends and challenges facing the Read More >>

Get in the Game for Supply Chain Learning

By Allison Fowler    September 6, 2017

A Multi-Dimensional Supply Chain Challenge Much has been written about the generational change happening in the supply chain industry as baby-boomers pass the baton to the next generation of supply chain practitioners—Gen X, Y and Millennials.  But when you overlay the generational shift against the equally formidable task of balancing supply chain metrics in systems with increasingly nonlinear relationships, the challenge can seem overwhelming. Businesses are struggling to effectively package Read More >>

Amazon and Whole Foods: Four Keys to Combat Changing Grocery Landscape

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    August 23, 2017

The news of Amazon’s planned acquisition of Whole Foods in June caused quite a stir for the grocery industry. Amazon’s traction and reach only continues to expand and grocers are seeking new ways to keep the pace and remain in-the-game in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Couple that with the rapid expansion of direct-to-door services like subscription-based meal kits and the grocery industry is on an innovation track set at lightning Read More >>