LLamasoft Supply Chain Blog

  • 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 >>

  • Drone Delivery

UAVs in Supply Chain: Designing for Today and Tomorrow

By Sid Rupani    August 9, 2017

As part of this year’s SummerCon conference, the LLamasoft Global Impact Team hosted a half-day, interactive workshop to bring together 30 supply chain professionals to discuss the use of unmanned aviation vehicles (UAVs) in today’s supply chain landscape. LLamasoft built upon its position as a supply chain thought-leader and convener of conversations to bring together customers and partners to discuss the potential of this exciting new technology. Participants represented a Read More >>

The All New Supply Chain Guru

By Rebecca Janowiak    July 26, 2017

We're excited about the upcoming launch of the entirely new Supply Chain Guru X - an incredibly intuitive and powerful supply chain design software. We've combined the best of multiple modeling applications to bring you a completely re-designed supply chain design platform that solves more problems and enables powerful visualization of your supply chain.       What’s Awesome About Supply Chain Guru X? New Solving Capabilities: Detailed end-to-end financial, cost and process Read More >>

Investigate and Predict Demand: Five Reasons you Need to Consider Demand Modeling as part of your Supply Chain Design Process

By Vikram Srinivasan    July 11, 2017

Can you confidently predict your future customer demand? How does your business and external factors such as economic indicators and weather influence that demand across different time horizons (short, medium and long-term)? How might that information help improve the design of your future supply chain to better account for the changing demand? In today’s demand-driven marketplace, it’s more critical than ever to understand your customers’ buying behavior as well as Read More >>

SummerCon 2017 Trip Report

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 28, 2017

LLamasoft was thrilled to welcome nearly 500 customers and partners (not to mention 150+ LLamas!) to Detroit for our seventh annual SummerCon user conference June 12-16. There was a wealth of great content and learnings over the week-long event. Here are just a few highlights. Keynotes In his kick-off address LLamasoft CEO and President Don Hicks encouraged attendees to “think hard” - outside the parameters of the status quo today. Read More >>

Twenty-Three of the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains for 2017 Have Modeled with LLamasoft Technology

By Toby Brzoznowski    June 22, 2017

Every spring at the Gartner North American Supply Chain Executive Conference, Gartner releases their Supply Chain Top 25 report*.  This annual report, now it’s 13th year, acknowledges the top supply chains on a number of criteria. According to the report, two key aspects of the Supply Chain Top 25 ranking are the demonstration of demand-driven leadership and corporate social responsibility (CSR). For the last 5 years, the number of companies Read More >>

SummerCon 2017 Recap: Think Like a Designer, Collaborate with Compassion

By Hilary Grosskopf    June 20, 2017

Last week supply chain leaders and designers gathered in Detroit, the Motor City, for LLamasoft’s SummerCon 2017 to exchange ideas and insights about supply chain design. The conference keynotes featured renowned speakers from all walks of life - from music, to public policy, to magic, to social science, and of course, supply chain and logistics. The keynote speakers and session presenters talked about qualities of successful modern leaders in our Read More >>

Make the Most of Your Time at SummerCon 2017

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 2, 2017

Our seventh annual SummerCon conference opens in just over a week in downtown Detroit! We look forward to welcoming hundreds of our valued customers and partners for a week of learning, networking and fun. We’re proud of the community of supply chain professionals we’ve been able to cultivate at LLamasoft and look forward to coming together yet again. But before making your way to the Motor City, we want to Read More >>

A Letter from Don Hicks: LLamasoft Announces Partnership with TPG Capital

By Don Hicks    May 9, 2017

As many of you are aware, there are big things on the horizon for LLamasoft in 2017 and we can’t wait to share more info and celebrate with several hundred of our customers and stakeholders next month at our SummerCon conference in Detroit. Very soon we’ll be launching the next generation of our flagship supply chain design offering, Supply Chain Guru, a product years in the making that will help make Read More >>

Tips to Overcome Capacity Planning Challenges

By Mike Bucci    May 4, 2017

In my role at LLamasoft, I travel the country, and occasionally the globe, helping customers with their toughest supply chain challenges. And at some point, any company that produces goods is going to face the challenge of looking for a better way to manage their capacity. In the past that may have resulted in an annual project to get a look at their current capacity levels and make some adjustments Read More >>

Dedicated Fleets: To Use or Not to Use

By Brian Fish    April 19, 2017

Managing the balance between cost and service is a pervasive challenge for nearly every supply chain professional when managing their transportation strategy. Pair that with an increasingly competitive marketplace and determining the right approach is formidable. Nearly every organization requires or at least considers outsourcing some of their transportation needs at one point of another, but what are some of benefits or considerations when opting to use private, or dedicated, Read More >>


Access On-Demand Warehousing Solutions to Augment Short-Term Distribution Network Strategies

By Karl Siebrecht    April 4, 2017

*This is a guest post by Karl Siebrecht, co-founder and CEO of FLEXE. Business is changing at unprecedented speed. Technology is evolving, customer demands are increasing, and staying competitive comes down to how well you manage both. Your supply chain plays a big part in the success of your business. Visibility into operations and being able to leverage real-time data to make smarter decisions is paramount. But, inventory fluctuates. That’s a Read More >>

Is Your Supply Chain Thoughtfully Designed, or an Afterthought?

By Jeff Metersky    March 29, 2017

*This post was originally featured on the FLEXE blog.* Many of the world's best known companies’ supply chains grew from a series of historical accidents rather than intentional design. Because of this, a simple activity like mapping and visualizing supply chain flows can often spark critical questions such as, “Why are materials sourced from Region A, produced in Region B, then air-shipped as finished product back to Region A?” By Read More >>

Supply Chain Visibility with Supply Chain Matters

By Jamie Leinen    March 15, 2017

LLamasoft recently collaborated with Bob Ferrari of the Ferrari Group on his blog, Supply Chain Matters, to explore the topic of supply chain visibility. This term, supply chain visibility, is used in a whole host of contexts meaning many different things depending on whom is speaking. In this four-part series with Supply Chain Matters, Ferrari outlined the LLamasoft take on supply chain visibility and how global businesses are leveraging the Read More >>

Trip Report: Second Annual LLamasoft Tokyo Supply Chain Design Conference

By John Ames    February 22, 2017

The LLamasoft team in Japan was thrilled to host our second annual Supply Chain Design Conference at our headquarters in Tokyo on February 15. (You can read more about last year’s event here.) Nearly 160 attendees took part in the one-day event with picturesque views of the iconic Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji. The event kicked off with a press conference with LLamasoft President and CEO Don Hicks as he Read More >>

The Limitations of Traditional Supply Chain Planning Systems

By Toby Brzoznowski    February 2, 2017

Every large global company has implemented enterprise planning systems to help keep their supply chains running, and research shows that billions of dollars are spent each year on upgrades and new implementations of these planning systems. So why does nearly every company still do much of their actual “planning” using offline spreadsheets or rely on small groups of data scientists to provide critical insight and business analysis?  Shouldn’t this be Read More >>

Supply Chain Design 101

By Jeff Metersky    January 19, 2017

We at LLamasoft eat, sleep and breathe supply chain design every day and the largest and most successful companies leverage this technology to lead the pack. While more and more organizations adopt design every day, there are still a wealth of companies just learning about the huge gains they can net with design. How is design differentiated from planning and execution, how can I leverage the technology, and how can Read More >>

The Year Ahead: 2017 Supply Chain Predictions

By Toby Brzoznowski    January 4, 2017

Although many people were surprised by the outcome of last year’s US presidential election, one thing that everyone could predict with certainty was that a new administration will take office this January, and with any new administration comes change and some amount of uncertainty. And for supply chain professionals, there are few words that are less welcome than “change” and “uncertainty”. Therefore, these two words/challenges make up the foundation of Read More >>

2016: A LLamasoft Year in Review

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    December 21, 2016

While the LLamasoft team is already tirelessly at work on plans and activities for the New Year, we always like to take a quick look back at the year that preceded. 2016 did not disappoint for LLamasoft. Here are few highlights. Winter On January 1 LLamasoft officially acquired the supply chain solutions product suite from Barloworld Logistics. We were happy to welcome 100 new employees to the LLamasoft team. With Read More >>

Design Trumps Uncertainty: Leveraging Supply Chain Design to Thrive in Uncertain Times

By Jim Bilotto, Jim Piana    December 7, 2016

LLamasoft has long touted the importance of supply chain resiliency in the face of any unforeseen risk and with volatility and constant change becoming a “new normal” for global business, this need is more prominent than ever. The tumultuous global political landscape has brought renewed focus on supply chain preparedness as businesses consider the implications of potential regulatory changes. Just as we encouraged our customers to re-evaluate their supply chains Read More >>

Digital Divas Trip Report: Educating for a Better Future

By Swati Tyagi    November 23, 2016

On a recent Friday morning  the halls of the Eastern Michigan University Student Center were filled with excited chatter. A group of young girls wearing matching robotics club T-shirts added their names in colorful sharpies to a banner already adorned with the names of almost one hundred other young women in front of the student auditorium. Over three hundred middle school girls and their chaperones excited for what the day Read More >>

Hanjin Troubles and the Importance of Supply Chain Responsiveness and Preparedness

By Bob Kyle    November 9, 2016

The logistics industry has seen its fair share of disruptions over recent years between port strikes, driver shortages and natural disasters. Another such story emerged in recent weeks as a Hanjin shipping vessel spent months sitting off-shore near the Price Rupert port in British Columbia after the financial collapse of the logistics giant. With 800 crates on-board, goods were left sitting off-shore unable to reach consumers and therefore not netting Read More >>

Don’t Let Your Data Hold You Back: Five Ways to Simplify Your Supply Chain Design with Analytics

By Diogo Quintas    October 19, 2016

Access to data is increasing in nearly every field, including supply chain design. In fact,  collecting and leveraging that data is often cited by supply chain professionals as one of the biggest challenges facing their organization. Whereas in the past modelers dealt with spreadsheet sized datasets, they now have access to tera-sized data lakes. This growth has brought much success to supply chain designers allowing them to develop deeper and Read More >>

Trip Report: Innovation and International Supply Chain Best Practices – Medellín 2016

By Angelica Iglesias    October 11, 2016

On September 15 at the Museum of Modern Arts of Medellín in Medellín, Colombia, LLamasoft hosted the Innovation and International Supply Chain Best Practices event. The meeting gathered logistics and supply chain experts from more than 60 companies spanning industries. The goal of the event was to gather international experts to share strategies and best practices that the largest global companies use while facing supply chain crises and challenges, all Read More >>

Are greenhouse gas emissions going to become more important in supply chain design?

By Phil Gibbs    September 28, 2016

In the mid-2000s climate change moved up the list of business priorities and supply chain professionals began to take note. Then came the global financial crisis and most people’s attention moved towards the bottom line and corporate survival.  A number of recent developments indicate that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is moving back up the business agenda, and the impact on supply chains could be significant. On September 3 China and Read More >>

CSCMP Preview: How HP and Other Leading Organizations Overcome Risks

By Toby Brzoznowski    September 14, 2016

I often use words like “volatility” and “change” to describe a key challenge facing today’s supply chain professionals. This constant flux has become the new normal. When bringing up the topic of supply chain risk, many people immediately go to examples of natural disasters like floods or hurricanes, but organizations face the threat of risks from a wide range of sources, from port strikes and driver shortages, to government regulations Read More >>

The Supply Chain Benefits and Challenges for Subscription-Based Meal Kits

By Benjamin Jenkins    August 31, 2016

Millions of consumers are flocking to subscription-based meal kits as a means of simplifying the at-home dining experience. And as a member of one-such service myself, the convenience is not lost on me. But as a professional working in the supply chain technology industry, I can’t help but wonder as I open up my box of organic pea shoots, Chilean sea bass and mango remoulade, how on Earth are they Read More >>

Supply Chain Cage Match – Inventory v. Transportation

By Richard Forrest    August 17, 2016

When a business makes a decision regarding the transportation of their products it can positively or negatively affect the inventory performance of their supply chain.  These transportation decisions are too often made in a vacuum. What is not well known is the extent these transportation decisions have on inventory levels and inventory related costs. The proper question is: “How much more inventory related cost and investment will be incurred by Read More >>

Go Catch ‘Em All Ann Arbor: Using Transportation Optimization for Pokémon Go

By LLamasoft Applied Research    August 3, 2016

If you’ve walked down the street recently chances are good you’ve seen throngs of people playing the new augmented-reality game Pokémon Go. A location-based game, this opportunity seemed ripe for optimization. So we at the LLamasoft Applied Research Team decided to leverage the transportation optimization functionality within Supply Chain Guru, to find the best route to cover all the Poké Stops here in our backyard in the Ann Arbor area. Read More >>

The Evolving Nature of Supply Chain Design

By Dan Kogan    July 20, 2016

A brief 10,000 years ago, humans were nomadic hunters and gatherers roaming to collect the materials they needed to survive.  Today, one can push a button on his or her smart device and practically anything can be delivered to one’s doorstep, perhaps within the same day.  Humans escaped the paradigm of being a product of their environment to one where they designed their environment. Suffice it to say, we’ve evolved Read More >>

Brexit: After the Vote – What’s Next for Supply Chains and Their Optimisation

By Phil Gibbs    July 6, 2016

To the surprise of many people in business around the world, on June 23 the citizens of the UK voted to leave the European Union.  In my blog in May I predicted that if this happened we would see an increase in volatility, and we are seeing just that.  Politicians in the UK have gone into meltdown and there are battles being fought for control in the main political parties.  Read More >>

SummerCon 2016 Trip Report – Part 2

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 30, 2016

As you saw in my SummerCon Trip Report – Part 1, SummerCon 2016 got off with a bang! And Thursday the activities kept rolling with case study sessions in the morning and keynotes in the afternoon followed by a party of epic SummerCon proportions. Case Studies GM Vijay Bharadwaj and Andrea Budzynski of General Motors kicked the morning off with a session titled, “Building a Global Center of Excellence for Read More >>

LLamasoft SummerCon 2016 – Takeaways from a Supply Chain Professional

By Hilary Grosskopf    June 29, 2016

Today we're bringing you a guest blog from Hilary Grosskopf, CSCMP Young Professional and Transportation Operations and Analytics Leader at Restoration Hardware and SummerCon 2016 attendee.   As a supply chain professional, I like to consider myself as a pretty skilled planner. I often say to my team, “let’s plan the work and then work the plan”. However, I left SummerCon inspired to “unleash” my creativity and try a different approach Read More >>

SummerCon 2016 Trip Report – Part 1

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller    June 22, 2016

Last week the LLamasoft team was thrilled to welcome 400 customers to New Orleans for a week of training, new product demos, networking, interesting case study sessions, inspiring keynotes and, of course, a little bit of fun. SummerCon celebrated its sixth birthday this year and it was not to be missed! Pre-Conference Training Monday and Tuesday brought nearly half of the attendees down to the Big Easy for two days Read More >>