Key Supply Chain Modeling Features
A Solid Base for Strategic Supply Chain and Transportation
Scenarios allow users to input a range of values for a particular field, such as service level, transportation cost, or production capacity. Supply Chain Guru will then automatically run an optimization or simulation using the range of values specified by the user in the scenarios. This allows users to test multiple inputs quickly, without the need of copying, pasting, and running several models individually. Supply Chain Guru can run a single model, with multiple input ranges in one optimization or simulation run. The outputs can then be viewed graphically or numerically in the standard reports.
Groups are used to aggregate customers, products, sites, modes and periods in a Supply Chain Guru model, simplifying and speeding the model building process. Instead of creating transportation policies for every source/destination/product, users use groups to apply the same policy across a number of products, sources, or destinations. Groups are also used to automatically aggregate or disaggregate demand where appropriate. For example, network models typically aggregate SKU level demand into product groups. The grouping functionality in Supply Chain Guru will then automatically take the SKU-level demand file and aggregate into the user defined groups. In this way, a single SKU-level demand file can be used for network optimization, inventory optimization and simulation.
The Design Engine contains multiple integrated solvers: operations research algorithms that perform network, product flow, cost-to-serve, and inventory optimization and transportation optimization as well as greenfield and demand analysis. Enterprise simulation allows designs to be simulated and validated under real world constraints.
Supply Chain Guru can incorporate sophisticated constraints to model flow, inventory, production, and site rules that will restrict the optimization. For example, minimum production quantities can be applied for a production line for a group of products. Similarly, minimum or maximum site constraints by period could limit the number of DCs or production sites used. Custom constraints can also be incorporated using the Mosel language – which is typically a one to two day process for LLamasoft consultants.
Transportation Network Modeling
LLamasoft’s vehicle route optimization (VRO) enables designers to model entire supply chain networks, incorporating alternate transportation options and key variables such as cost, time, capacity and delivery parameters. This enables companies to identify optimal mode mix, identify efficient multi-stop vehicle routes while optimizing fleet size, create multi-stop routes that include pickups and deliveries interleaved throughout route to minimize costs and identify efficient schedules while balancing shipments across time periods.
Numerous capacity constraints can be incorporated into Supply Chain Guru. Site level capacity is used to model a high level constraint on production or throughput at a plant or DC. These capacities can be a fixed number or users can apply a step function to model capacity and costs that shift based upon the level of capacity. Processes model multi-step production at sites, where users can apply times, resource requirements, changeovers, and lot size rules. Work centers allow users to apply detail capacity for a specific work center for a particular process.
Multi-Step Production Modeling
Supply Chain Guru users can model processes and process steps that can represent complex production processes used by manufacturing facilities. Each site can have multiple, unique process steps, each with their own work centers, capacities, and resource requirements. In addition, upstream processes from other sites can create interdependencies across production facilities, which are then part of the overall optimization.
Input Pipes is an innovative technology that simplifies and speeds the collection, updating, and maintenance of key data elements used for optimization and simulation analysis. Input Pipes allows users to take complex data such as transportation costs for source/destination/products or product/plant production costs and create automated links into Supply Chain Guru, without the need for re-creating the tables. These data tables can be continually maintained outside of Supply Chain Guru, which will pull from the tables to receive any cost updates automatically whenever an optimization or simulation run is initiated.
Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping
GIS mapping in Supply Chain Guru allows users to view, edit and analyze key inputs and outputs visually. Users can apply multiple layering to filter views on key inputs such as transportation policies, key products, or apply their own user defined filters. Users can apply object properties to click on sites or lanes to view or edit cost, capacity, and other key information. Outputs such as DC-to-customer flows can be sized based upon quantity, weight, service distance and other metrics. Multi-map views allow for side by side analysis of baseline versus proposed new supply chain networks. Maps can also be copied and pasted onto Power Point or other documents, and can also be exported to Google Earth for further analysis. Supply Chain Guru supports mapping using Google, Esri, Bing, PC*MILER, Baidu, HERE and nearly any other provider using a simple API connector.
Within Supply Chain Guru are transportation rate tables for LTL, FedEx, UPS Ground and UPS Air services. Users can incorporate input pipes to link these rate tables to their transportation policies without the need to re-create the cost matrix. LLamasoft Data Services provides a variety of supply chain design reference and benchmark data for modeling.
Supply Chain Guru installs natively on both 32 and 64-bit operating systems, enabling users to model the largest possible supply chain designs at the appropriate level of detail without system memory constraints. Through SupplyChainGuru.com, LLamasoft’s SaaS-based supply chain design platform, users can expand modeling to a Web environment to take advantage of on-demand solving power and allow for mobile access, collaborative modeling, role-based modeling tools for planners and viewing ability for executives and other stakeholders.
In addition to the use of input pipes for quick loading of external data, import/export wizards can be used to quickly load data used for a Guru model. Users can simply right click on any data table, click export to Excel, and the table and its headings are placed in Excel to be populated, saved, and then imported back into the model. Outputs from a Guru model can also be exported to Excel for detailed analysis and reporting.
Data Transformation and Analytics
Supply Chain Guru integrates with LLamasoft Data Guru to simplify the creation of datasets for modeling use. Analysts can blend, analyze and transform data from multiple sources with a few mouse clicks using Data Guru’s intuitive drag and drop interface, creating a repeatable data workflow without IT intervention or delays.
Scripting allows the modeler to incorporate real world business rules and custom costs and statistics into a simulation. It is an object-oriented programming language that has been developed specifically to interact with SimServer, LLamasoft’s proprietary enterprise simulation engine. It is powerful not only because it makes the simulation output more meaningful by making the input logic more realistic, but also because it can be done by the individual modeler.
Supply Chain Guru incorporates model verification and infeasibility analysis that allows the user to identify errors in model input and design prior to running the optimization, saving time. Model verification runs through over 40 different checks for referential integrity, consistency, and missing fields. Both errors and warnings are viewed, with specific messaging to point users to the cause of the issue. Infeasibility analysis checks for network structure, demand/ supply imbalances, and detailed constraint violations prior so that users can identify and correct inputs that may cause a model to be infeasible, before the optimization is run. In addition to path-based, users can choose to solve using the constraint-based infeasibility diagnostic tool, which always returns a reason for model infeasibility, cutting modeling time dramatically by reducing constraint checking.
GHG Emissions Database
Supply Chain Guru contains GHG emissions modeling rates for all major transportation modes including diesel train, coal train, electric train, inland ship, marine ship, long air, medium air, short, air and road freight. These rates are then applied to the weight per unit of product and per unit of distance shipped. In addition, users can input GHG emissions applicable to production and warehousing, giving a complete picture to the supply chain’s carbon footprint.
Asset and Container Modeling
Transportation assets such as a private fleet and containers such as pallets or storage units can be modeled in Supply Chain Guru to understand their impact on cost and capacity in a supply chain. Users can model these assets in an unconstrained fashion and have the software determine how many trucks or pallets were needed. Conversely, these assets can be used as a constraint to understand potential bottleneck issues in the supply chain.