IBM Decision Optimization
Many S&OP processes stop with the sales planning. When you extend your S&OP process to include optimization through a tool like LogicNet Plus XE, you can reap many benefits.
The picture to the left is shows some highlights from an S&OP case from a beer company. On a monthly basis, as part of the S&OP process, the operations of this beer company are modeled and optimized in LogicNet Plus XE. The details below the map provide information on how much beer, by product by month, is shipped to each of warehouses and how much product is produced in each month. The graph shows the inventory build up in the supply chain by warehouses.
Besides providing insight into the operational cost and capacity implications of a given sales plan, the results also show the impact on total revenue, operational gross profit, and total pre-build inventory.
These results can also provide insight into the sales plan. For example, it can determine the cost and feasibility of promotions, it can suggest additional demand shaping activities by looking at under-utilized capacity.
In this case, the firm analyzed different demand plans around the implications of a marketing program to grow demand in a region, the implications of a promotion for a specialty product, and the implications of a price increase.
Today, we announced the release of a new version of our multi-echelon inventory optimization product, Inventory and Product Flow Analyst (IPFA) v7.6
We have put a lot of investment in IPFA so that it fits within the workflow of an organization. That is, it is important to be able to answer strategic inventory optimization questions, but it is even more important to maintain the right inventory targets. You maintain these targets with strong work flow capabilities.
By maintaining the right inventory targets at all levels in the supply chain, you can avoid lost sales, minimize late shipments, minimize expediting, and keep inventory to a minimum. And, since IPFA directly accounts for demand forecast error and supply variability, you get value even when your forecasting is not very robust. For more details on the strategic importance of inventory optimization, click here.
In a press release reporting their third quarter results, MillerCoors reported that they remain "on track to deliver $750 million in total synergies and other cost savings by the end of 2012."
We had the privilege of speaking with MillerCoors at the annual CSCMP conference in San Diego earlier this year. In that talk, they discussed how a significant amount of the $750 million in synergies came from the combining of the Miller and Coors supply chain.
The press release reports on the progress of the supply chain transformation as well as the on-going efforts to improve the supply chain:
In the third quarter, MillerCoors successfully completed initial product transitions within its national brewery network. The company will continue to focus on further network optimization through peak/non-peak season sourcing changes, as well as opportunities for increased efficiencies.
We see many firms relying on advanced analytical solutions, like LogicNet Plus XE, to help drive savings in the supply chain. The savings can come from combining distribution networks, optimizing production decisions across the supply chain, and reacting to the changes in demand patterns throughout the year.
aeortiz 2700024WMF Tags:  spss ibm optimization ilog cplex business chicago advanced analytics 2,804 Views
IBM Advanced Analytics Summit
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Chicago, Illinois 60611
This live complimentary event will show you how IBM, through its ILOG® Optimization and SPSS portfolio and Business Analytics & Optimization service line, enables organizations to quickly and confidently answer fundamental business questions, from: Who will be our most profitable customers tomorrow? to What price will maximize profit from sales?
Learn and share best practices in implementing advanced analytics to your most critical business decisions.
Breakfast and lunch included.
SC_Manager 270002HW8N Tags:  logicnet production transportation network xe plus planning modeling costs 2,786 Views
I attended the CSCMP Chicago Roundtable event at RR Donnelley last week (February 11, 2009) and heard an interesting presentation by my colleague Jay Jayaraman. He discussed a project we are working on where a manufacturer of a commodity has the choice of exchanging product with a competitor. The idea is that a company can source an order from a competitor’s location that is closer to the intended customer than its current manufacturing base. The impetus being a saving on transportation costs. The key is that both companies can benefit from the swap since they both can reduce transportation costs, and each company keeps their relationships with their customers. Of course, this scenario can only work with commodity-type products.
To take full advantage of the situation, our network modeling and production planning tool, LogicNet Plus XE, can be used to determine the best possible swaps as well as understand all the constraints that impact the results. Doing this type of analysis with Excel can lead to omissions and sub-optimization.
It’s fascinating how collaboration, even amongst “enemies”, can lead to benefits for all…
P. Louis Bourassa
Technical Account Manager
In a recent webcast, IBM discussed the latest enhancements to IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio 12.2, from streamlined packaging and licensing, to major performance improvements.
CPLEX Optimization Studio now completely supports the rapid development and deployment of both mathematical programming and constraint programming models from a powerful IDE, based on the Optimization Programming Language (OPL), programmatic APIs, or other 3rd party modeling interfaces via supported connectors (Matlab, Microsoft Excel, etc.).
At the conclusion of the webcast, attendees were asked to identify the feature that excites them most from the latest release. Here are their Top 3:
1. Removal of license key enforcement (45%)
2. CPLEX MIP Optimizer performance improvements (30%)
3. MIP Kappa (10%)
IBM has once again re-asserted its leadership in mathematical optimization, with a remarkable 2.7x performance improvement on the most challenging optimization problems, mixed integer programs taking at least 1000 seconds. The latest release strengthens IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimizer as the most trusted and widely-deployed solver. Streamlined packaging, and removal of license key enforcement makes it even easier to choose CPLEX. What are your top 3 new features? To view the recorded webcast, please follow this link:
At a the recent Manufacturing Leadership Summit, Toshiba gave the "Manufacturing Leadership 100 Award Winner Case Study Presentation." The talk was titled: "Using SCM to Create Competitive Advantage."
In the talk, they mentioned that they used IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus XE to model different options. Among the improvements that they saw, the cost per shipment decreased by more than 12%. In addition, obsolescence reduced by more than 40% and missed service calls reduced by more than 16%. This all helped lead to double digit growth in customer use of Toshiba Supply Chain Services.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  inventory_optimization oms stertling_order_managemen... ilog retail 2,751 Views
As we've discussed before in this space, retailers are facing growing pressure from the rise of a smarter consumer. To keep up, a retailer has to do business in a smarter way. At IBM, we are calling this Smarter Commerce.
One area where retailers have invested is in the ability to deal with customers seamlessly across multiple channels. That is, a customer must have the same experience whether shopping in your store or on your website and should be able to move between the two with ease. IBM's Sterling Order Management is one way that retailers make this happen. Sterling Order Management allows you to orchestrate cross channel selling and order fulfillment. That is, it allows you to order on-line and pick up in the store.
With this increase in flexibility, it creates the need for additional inventory optimization capability at the store. For example, besides the foot traffic, a store also needs to have the inventory for customers who order on-line and pick up in the stores. Since this can potentially lead to additional sales when the customer is in the store, this may create the need for more inventory (and hopefully more sales).
In addition, some retailers are looking to ship on-line orders from the store. The idea is that you can allocate orders to the appropriate store and then ship it to customers the next day using standard ground service. And, the second benefit is that is could be beneficial to have this extra inventory in the stores. That is, if the store has an uptick in demand, the store will be in a better position to capture the extra sale. Of course, these benefits must be traded-off against the cost of fulfilling in the stores, and the stores must have the space for this.
To make this work is to pick the stores where you will ship on-line orders (you might not want to pick every store) and then put in place a good inventory optimization strategy. These stores will need extra inventory buffers to handle the increase in volume. The distribution centers that support these stores will need a new inventory strategy. And, the retailer will need to review the inventory strategy on a more regular basis. Click here for an article on the importance of a good inventory optimization strategy.
As an added benefit, as your inventory strategy is fed into Order Management, you can build smarter rules for how to replenish when you are out of stock at one location. You don't want to take inventory from a secondary location today, only to run of inventory at that location tomorrow.
As previously noted, inventory optimization is a core capability for a firm that wants to perform at the highest possible level. Inventory is a lifeline of a firm. Having inventory in the right place allows you to meet demand and allows your business to operate smoothly. Done right, an inventory optimization processes can reduce inventory by 10-30% while improving service levels. For a large firm, this can translate in over $100M in inventory reduction. This is a one-time increase in cash flow as well as the on-going opportunity cost of this capital.
The technology to do this, provided by a tool like IBM ILOG Inventory and Product Flow Analyst, allows you determine the correct inventory strategies and levels. It does this based on data you are likely already collecting-- demand, demand forecast error, supplier lead times, supplier variability, order frequency, minimum order sizes, flows through the supply chain, and other factors. You have to get this piece right to get the buy-in of the people in the organization. When people see that the technology suggests strategies and inventory levels that allow customer demand to be met while maintaining service, they are more comfortable accepting the outputs.
But, to make the technology (and savings) stick within the organization, you need a strong process as well. We have found that it is important that the technology fit within the organization. This means that the inventory planners see information that is appropriate to them while the business analysts and managers may see a different view. When we implement an inventory optimization solution across the enterprise, we make sure the workflows are correct for each user, we make sure the solution fits within an overall larger closed loop planning cycle (which may span the year), we make sure the process is dynamic to allow you to adjust as the market changes, and we have even developed inventory optimization "playbooks" that help customers through the entire planning cycle.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  supply_chain logicnetplus ilog inventory_analyst india 2,738 Views
A recent article in India Infoline Limited discussed AFL's purchase of IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus and IBM ILOG Inventory Analyst for network and inventory optimization.
AFL is a third party logistics provider in India.
Here is what they said about their selection:
Mr. Ravinder Bajaj, Head – Solutions and SCM Strategy at AFL’s Logistics Division said: “AFL chose IBM’s iLOG software for several reasons, chief among them – robustness, post-purchase support and a clever user interface that makes data modelling both simple and secure. This unique combination of AFL’s domain expertise in logistics and iLOG’s superior design and modelling capabilities, have helped us unlock significant value in our clients’ supply chain metrics.”
aeortiz 2700024WMF Tags:  smarter ibm business commerce ilog optimization analytics 2,709 Views
Customer expectations have grown for not only what they are buying and how they are buying it, but how it is fulfilled and when they will receive it. They want to buy online and pick up in the store, or have it shipped direct to their home or office -- and they don't want to wait.
This shift has supply chain professionals moving beyond transactional enterprise systems and operational rules of thumb to a more advanced value chain. The value chain takes advantage of all this new granular customer data to enable organizations to respond to demand variability at the point of consumption -- connecting the supply chain directly to customer demand, orchestrating seamlessly between trading partners and suppliers. This is an inherently multi-enterprise, cross-functional collaborative process that requires bringing together a vast amount of data from disparate sources to make the right strategic, tactical and operational choices.
In this webinar, we will discuss the strategic requirement to creating a successful value chain:
Adrienne Selko manages the editorial content of IndustryWeek's award-winning Web site. Before joining the staff in 2004, Selko was managing editor of corporate publications at a large regional financial institution. She was also an editor for the U.S. based publication of a medical manufacturing company. Prior to that she ran a public relations and marketing company that published a best-selling healthcare book. Selko received a bachelor's of business administration from the University of Michigan.
Richard Douglass is the Worldwide Industry Director, Manufacturing, Smarter Commerce within the software group of IBM, where he is responsible for industry marketing and key industry account support. He has over twenty-five years of experience in supply chain management consulting and solutions development in a variety of manufacturing sectors ranging from chemicals to high tech. Prior to joining, Douglass had similar responsibilities at Sterling Commerce and webMethods, integration and application software providers, and prior to that he was an associate partner at Accenture, a global consulting firm.
He received a bachelor's in computer science from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt. He is a senior fellow at the University of Maryland.
A new case study is available showing how Südzucker, Europe's leading supplier of sugar products with an annual revenue of approximately €7 billion, uses IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus to help meet their goals of a cost-effective and flexible supply chain:
Here is a quick summary of the case:
Headlines: "BP Didn't Plan for Major Oili Spill." Do You Have a Contingency Plan for Your Supply Chain?
The coverage of the oil spill in the gulf is starting to focus on BP's lack of a plan in the event of major oil spill.
This reminds us in Supply Chain about the importance of contingency plans. Do you have a back up plan in case something happens in your supply chain? For example, a warehouse, plant, or supplier is no longer available, a port closes, or a border shuts down.
Although problems with the supply chain are hopefully not as globally bad as a major oil spill, it is still important to you and your organization. A supply chain disruption can cause significant loss of revenue, loss of market share, decreased shareholder value, and lost customers. A supply chain disruption is not pleasant for the managers within the firm.
And, it is no longer acceptable to say that you couldn't have foreseen the problem. With modeling tools like LogicNet Plus, leading companies are building and maintaining models of their supply chain. Well in advance, these firms are using the models to develop contingency plans for a wide variety of problems. When something happens, a plan is in place and can quickly be adjusted to meet the needs of the situation. The ease-of-use, robustness, and ability to integrate LogicNet Plus make all this possible.
In one case we are familiar with, a fire at a neighboring plant shut down production. The company was able to quickly determine the best course of action.
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted how Starbucks was applying lean techniques to improve operations.
The article shows how the techniques are being applied in a non-discrete manufacturing environment.
We are seeing a similar trend.
However, many firms struggle with translating the lean system developed by Toyota for their environments. This can be especially difficult in long supply chains or in a environment where there is inherent batch or tank processes.
The excellent book by Hopp and Spearmen, Factory Physics, helps translate Toyota's system to other environments by defining lean as:
They define three types of buffers a firm can have: inventory, time, or capacity. In short, if you can make your product with a minimum of inventory, short cycle times, and excess capacity, you are getting closer to lean.
We are finding that optimization can be a great way to minimize these buffers and evaluate the trade-offs between them.
With inventory optimization, firms realize that the may not be able to eliminate inventory completely or that they have removed it from the wrong location. In these cases, optimizing inventory is important to achieving a lean operation.
In process manufacturing plants, these firms are relying on high-end optimization to better schedule the plants. They realize that they cannot get around batch and tank production, set-ups, cleaning operations, and other realities in the process industry. Optimization-based scheduling allows them to reduce manufacturing costs, improve inventory, and achieve lean operations.
Andrew Reese 270002Q78Q Tags:  – inventory smarter regional optimziation chains and conference atlanta planning supply 2,650 Views
At Smarter Supply Chains – Atlanta Regional Conference, Ronan O'Donovan, product manager with IBM ILOG Supply Chain Applications, spoke about "smarter" inventory and product flow optimization.
Key findings: The challenges around inventory management and product flow are not getting any less. Retail and distribution clients, for example, are requiring a product that optimizes both safety stocks and the flow of products to minimize total supply chain costs.
To juggle all the factors impacting inventory and product flow, companies must make inventory and product flow optimization a formal business process within organizations, front and center and part of the regular monthly planning process, e.g., Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) or Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SI&OP). "Making up the numbers" is no longer acceptable as a planning method.
In addition, processes are moving from "strategic" to "tactical," meaning that planning is becoming an increasingly frequent exercise as companies look to be more responsive to the evolving environment. Companies need to understand, at any given moment, what's the best plan for me right now, given the current set of constraints we're facing.
Ronan discussed typical user workflows and roles for Inventory Optimization, breaking down the separate approaches used by typical Super Users (collecting/managing data), Business Analysts (running what-if scenarios, setting new inventory targets) and Manager Reviewers (reviewing exceptions/alerts, approving/overriding recommendations, tracking planned vs. actual and other KPIs, and reporting). The key to a successful process is not necessarily how each of these classes of users performs their job, but how these users interact through a consistent, closely aligned process.
Where organizations put optimization at the heart of the process, the technology tends to follow to enable that process. Note that this process will evolve and mature over time within a company, as the company learns which factors to incorporate and how best to incorporate them. Ultimately, optimization will never be an "easy button" that will make everything work automagically, but it's a necessary and critical process.