LLamasoft Supply Chain Blog


What Kind of LLamaCon Attendee Are You?

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    April 18, 2019

Are you the Newcomer, LLamaCon Loyalist, Knowledge Seeker, Green Machine, or Networker? Find out what LLamaCon has to offer you! This can't-miss-supply chain event will take place in Chicago from June 18 - 20. First-time LLamaCon attendees - this information is for you! Be sure to attend the LLamaCon 101 Session on Tuesday afternoon of the conference. This will help all attendees make the most of their conference experience with information about Read More >>

Patient centric networks and some fascinating supply chain stories from LogiPharma Europe 2019

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    April 12, 2019

I just returned from the LogiPharma Europe 2019 conference held in Montreaux, Switzerland. Patient centricity dominated the conversations at this year’s event. This is driven by a number of factors. The payor’s shift from volume-based payments to outcome-based certainly is a major driving force. The rise of digital technologies and the rapidly evolving field of personalized medicine are certainly contributing factors as well. Here are some insights from the event Read More >>

LLamaCon’s Main Stage Speaker Lineup

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    April 8, 2019

LLamasoft's annual user conference, LLamaCon, is packed with learnings from some of the top supply chain professionals. There is more to come with our main stage lineup but get a sneak peek in this blog! Razat Gaurav, LLamasoft's CEO, brings more than two decades of experience in the supply chain planning and execution space to LLamaCon. Throughout his career, Razat has played a critical role in the digital transformations of some Read More >>

5 Unique Aspects of the Avocado Supply Chain

By LLamasoft    April 8, 2019

With trade and border tensions rising, your avocado toast could be in danger! What else goes into finding the perfect avocado? Learn about 5 unique aspects of an avocado's supply chain here! 1. Demand for avocados has skyrocketed It may not surprise you to find out that demand for avocados has risen. You have probably enjoyed some avocado toast, added it to a smoothie, or had some guacamole during the Read More >>

Can You Crack the Code of LLamasoft’s Applied Research Scientists?

By LLamasoft Applied Research    March 28, 2019

Can you crack the code of LLamasoft's Applied Research team? Try to answer these four questions below and share your results with your friends! Question #1 Click the answers below to see if you can crack the code! A. 120 B. 140 C. 160 Question #2 Click the answers below to see if you can crack the code! A. 115 B. 126 C. 131 Question #3 Click the answers below Read More >>

How Long Will it Take Companies to Break Even After Purchasing an Electric Vehicle?

By Bhanu Potluri    March 27, 2019

Bhanu Potluri is an Applied Research Scientist at LLamasoft and wants to share his thoughts on a data-driven decisioning and electric vehicles. Here he tests a simulated model in California, the U.S. state with the most charging stations) and the Midwest, where there are far less charging stations. With endless variables at play, Bhanu Potluri predicts it will take companies approximately 2 - 5 years to break even on the Read More >>

An industry caught between its digital ambitions and the ground realities: Insights from LogiChem EU 2019

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    March 22, 2019

I just returned from the LogiChem EU 2019 event that took place from March 19th to 21st in Amsterdam. The event was packed with who’s who of the supply chain community of chemicals industry in attendance. With so much ground to cover, let me get straight to my takeaways: 1) The digital agenda is ambitious – but then the ground realities intervene: Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI/ML, Big data, and Read More >>

Meet Two Female Leaders on LLamasoft’s Engineering Team

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    March 21, 2019

Meet the two women at LLamasoft who are making a difference in and outside of work to encourage more women to pursue STEM educations and careers! LLamasoft is proud to share their inspiring perspectives on the state of women in tech, and encourage anyone who is considering a career in STEM to follow their dreams. Diverse teams create diverse and innovative ideas. The more unique perspectives that are brought to Read More >>

The State of Women in Tech [Infographic]

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    March 20, 2019

As a part of Women's History Month, LLamasoft wants to spread awareness about the benefit of diverse teams within technology and business. See the infographic below to learn how more diverse groups lead to a stronger business, as well as the challenges facing women in the technology field. Apply today!

Debugging Tools for Network Optimization

By Stella Lee    March 18, 2019

Introduction Supply Chain Guru is a tool that is easy to use. Tables and Fields are all pre-populated, and users just need to convert and translate the company data into the information a model need. When the model gets more complex and contains more data elements, the chances to have an infeasible model increase. The reasons a model is infeasible can be categorized into two: Model Structure issue. For example, Read More >>

Supply Chain Design Takes Center Stage at the 2019 Logistic Summit in Mexico

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    March 15, 2019

I just returned from the Logistics Summit & Expo 2019, the largest supply chain event in Mexico with over 2000 attendees and hundreds of more exhibitors. It was an action-packed event with a number of industry verticals and companies across US, Mexico, Central & South America, representatives from academia, industry consortia, and media in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised to find more conversations around Supply Chain Design in a variety Read More >>

How LLamasoft’s Learning Experience Team is Helping Build Better Supply Chains…with Knowledge!

By Andrew McGuire    March 13, 2019

We at LLamasoft are pumped. Better yet. We are psyched. We are on the verge of being able to help our customers more than ever. We are doing it new ways, but the backbone is doing exciting things with data as we have always done. My name is Andrew McGuire. Over a year and a half ago I joined the Instructional Technologist position on the Learning Experience (LX) team. Our Read More >>

14 Brain-Building Books About Supply Chain and Decisioning

By LLamasoft Editorial Team    March 7, 2019

You have the power to develop yourself professionally by simply opening a book. Expand your thinking and learn new ideas about supply chain and decisioning from some of the members of LLamasoft's team! Supply Chain Logistics Management by Donald Bowersox Recommended by Arad Adler, Product Tech Manager Interesting fact about this is Mr. Bowesox - he was a professor at Michigan State University and is considered as one of the Read More >>

Modeling Service in Network Optimization

By Dan Kogan and Steven Xu    March 6, 2019

With so much effort focused on cost minimization, modeling service can often be relegated to the backburner. However, the rise of eCommerce and our seemingly endless desire for ‘just in time’ consumption has ratcheted the importance of service across retail with ripple effects in other industries, as well. Whether or not service is considered as part of network design can have implications on facility locations, mode mix, and inventory from Read More >>

Is it the end of globalization?

By Don Brenchley    March 1, 2019

With protectionist policies increasingly threatening free trade agreements and associated increases in taxes and tariffs, the globalization of the last 20 years looks to be in reverse gear. Thanks to Trump’s trade wars, new NAFTA and not forgetting the Brexit – yes, of course, I mean Brexit, we live in torrid political times. As global organizations face potential supply chain disruption on a range of fronts, we recently ran a Read More >>

How math is becoming cool in supply chain – again!

By Dr. Madhav Durbha    February 22, 2019

When I started my career in the late ’90s, supply chain was a cool place for math geeks! As a discipline supply chain was not really that big in the universities. The traditional pathway into supply chain was through a major in operations research, industrial engineering, or business, often with each offering courses in their silos. Then there were those that managed to sneak in because of their experience in Read More >>

How to Leverage Supply Chain Design Amidst Trade Wars

By Hemant Bhave    February 21, 2019

Uncertainties between the world’s biggest economies continue to grow as nationalism and other geopolitical factors accelerate trade wars. Companies must face the realities of these risks and have a swift way of analyzing the impact on how they source and distribute products. The new tariffs of 10% imposed by the U.S. on some of its trading partners are currently postponed until March 2019 and will have a significant impact on Read More >>

Building a Business Case for a Supply Chain Optimization Project

By Glenn Wegryn    February 20, 2019

Supply chain optimization can enable businesses to keep up with the pace of change and sustain a competitive advantage by significantly improving in the areas of cost, service and risk. You may recognize possible benefits and savings for your organization, but getting there can be a challenge. Executives are short on time and resistant to commit resources unless they can clearly see resulting value. And without those resources, your project Read More >>

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 >>

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 >>