IBM Decision Optimization
From archive: November 2010 X
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  cognos ilog s&op analytics optimization logicnet_plus_xe 3,891 Views
As data becomes more available, firms are revisiting their S&OP process to add more analytics to the process. In fact, the lack of analytics and optimization is often a reason that firms do not get the full value from their S&OP process. That is, without optimization-based technology, the S&OP process can become just a demand planning exercise with minimal analysis of the operations and supply.
By combining the Cognos S&OP solution with integration to LogicNet Plus XE, firms can now create optimized plans. That is, Cognos provides the descriptive analytics, an S&OP dashboard, the detailed reporting, the platform for demand consensus, the ability to standardize data from multiple sources to create a single S&OP view, and the ability to tie it back to financial systems. Cognos becomes the enterprise level platform for S&OP. LogicNet Plus XE then receives data from Cognos, allows the planner to run multiple scenarios, and feed the operations plan back into Cognos.
The operational plan considers capacity of the facilities, starting inventory positions, the demand plan from the S&OP process, and alternatives for meeting demand. Using this capability, it creates integrity in the process by coming up with operational plans that match the demand plans.
We have a short video available for additional information.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS 3,328 Views
In the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Analytics, four IBMers from R&D, software, services, and strategy outline IBM's view of business analytics.
IBM identifies three broad categories of analytics activity: descriptive (what happened?), predictive (what will happen?), and prescriptive (what should we do?). As you move from descriptive activities to prescriptive, you are bringing more value to your organization.
The ILOG optimization and supply chain applications fit into the area of prescriptive and play a key role in IBM's overall strategy. The article sites an example:
Of course, prescriptive analytics does not stand alone. You need to provide input data, build this into an overall work flow, and be able to act on the results. IBM is uniquely positioned to help firms effectively compete with analytics. The last sentence of the article sums up IBM's business analytics strategy: "IBM is aiming to be the a market leader in business analytics."
Having the ability to continually analyze and optimize your supply chain allows to you keep costs low, respond to customer requirements, and better support the overall business strategy. Firms using LogicNet Plus XE on an ongoing basis have been able to realize these benefits.
A good example of this is from Armstrong World Industries, "a global leader in the design and manufacture of floors, ceilings and cabinets with a focus on innovation, design and environmental sustainability." Here is a link to their case study.
The case study sites the ability to make better decisions as a key benefit of this type of on-going analytics:
Some business units within Armstrong do not make a change or investment without consulting with the central modeling team. Sometimes the modeling results confirm the preconceived notions and sometimes the results cause people to change their mind. In all cases, the process makes the managers in the business think more rigorously about the problem and allows for better solutions.
We also have a white paper on this topic as well if you would like additional information.