IBM Decision Optimization
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS 3,154 Views
If you missed the May 10th IndustryWeek Webinar with IBM and GE Healthcare, you can click here for a replay of the event.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  logicnet_plus_xe academic_initiative network_design 5,357 Views
We've recently written an educational book on network design. This book is aimed at both those who do network design projects for a living and for use in the classroom.
For those who do these studies, you will develop better intuition on how these models are solved and new ideas for modeling your supply chain. It can also be a good guide for people who are new to the discipline within your organization.
For those of you who teach, this book will introduce your students to the topic and provide them with a wide ranges of realistically sized models to work on. You can use with the IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus XE software from the academic initiative to allow your students to learn the topic with the use of commercial software.
The publisher, FT Press, recently posted the book to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We are still in the final stages of editing and getting ready for production. The book will be ready to ship in August. Click here for a link to the book on Amazon. Click here for a link to the book on Barnes & Noble
If you would like more information on the book, please contact us and we will be happy to help answer any questions you may have.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  network_optimization logicnet_plus supply_chain logicnetplus ilog 3,697 Views
If you want an educational demo of our network design solution using our LogicNet Plus XE product, check our video on YouTube. Click here for the link.
LogicNet Plus XE now Available in German, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese
Today, the latest version of IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus XE was released. This new version of LogicNet Plus XE has been translated into 7 languages. It is available in
This is a major step for LogicNet Plus XE. It gives our clients around the world greater access to network optimization capabilities. LogicNet Plus XE already has many innovative and powerful features like multi-objective optimization. Click here for more details on the features of LogicNet Plus XE.
This release has been posted. If need help accessing it, please contact us.
We are jointly presenting with GE Healthcare on May 10th at 2PM ET in a webinar hosted by IndustryWeek. Click here for details and registration.
Here is a description of the session from the registration site:
Managing a global supply chain is a constant balancing act. Making sure you’re getting the best results means calculating thousands of trade-offs. You need to consider every cost and constraint associated with transportation, production, storage, and global trade, while keeping service levels as high as possible. And when you consider how unpredictable high-growth markets can be, the levels of complexity increase exponentially.
Attend this IndustryWeek webinar featuring experts from IBM and GE Healthcare to learn best practices for simplifying the complex. Find out how your company can calculate the best possible supply chain network design to meet rapidly expanding business needs.
You will learn:
We will be speaking with ITW at SCOPE Spring in Chicago on Monday April 23rd 11-12. The title of the talk is "New Trends in Supply Chain Analytics."
Here is the abstract from the SCOPE website:
Toni Stark, Director, Distribution Operations, Illinois Tool Works Inc. co-presented with Michael Watson, Ph.D., IBM and Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University
ITW is well known for their use of the 80/20 rule to focus on the important. (Click here for their write-up on this idea). It will be interesting to hear how these concepts apply to supply chain analytics. We look forward to seeing you at SCOPE.
MichaelWatson 270002K5FS Tags:  inventory_optimization oms stertling_order_managemen... ilog retail 4,050 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.
We published a guest commentary in Logistics Viewpoints titled Safety Stock Helps Buffer Against Variability in the Supply Chain.
The commentary discusses how inventory optimization is critical business process that allows a firm to reduce out of stocks, late shipments (and penalties), reduce expediting, and reduce inventory (and free up cash).
At the 2011 annual CSCMP conference, Walmart's Greg Forbis spoke to a full session about Walmart's inbound supply chain. SupplyChainDigest reported on the talk. Here a a paragraph from their article that represents the challenge and opportunity:
During the talk, Mr. Forbis mentioned the use of optimization to help with this problem.
This is a great example of how optimization can help firms. When you have an almost unlimited number choices, optimization technology helps you sort through the possibilities. This is especially true with transportation optimization. We have previously discussed how deceptively difficult routing problems are (click here and here for more information).
With Inbound logistics, the optimization is even more difficult. For example, you may need to find routes that pick up from multiple vendors and make drop-offs at multiple distribution centers. Most routing optimization focuses on outbound routes from a depot to stores. A nice advantage of IBM's Transportation Analyst is that engine is based on the Constraint Programming engine that gives you the ability to model inbound logistics and find great solutions that you otherwise would not find.
We often find that when we compare the results of an optimization run to the current plans, the optimization can find solutions that meet all the business rules and time constraints (which are not always met in the existing routes) and reduces the cost.