Strategic Logistics Optimization
SLIM (Strategic Logistics plannIng systeM) is a powerful & flexible supply chain optimization toolset for complex distribution, transport and supply chain operations:
- assign products to factories & depots - optimize suppliers
- strategic & tactical purchasing/sourcing - contract optimization
- depot territory planning - territory mapping
- warehouse/depot/factory location - trunking/linehaul
- integrated manufacturing/logistics - inventory planning
- supply chain analysis tools - supply chain capacity planning
- supply chain operations - strategic business optimization
SLIM includes a wide range of advanced strategic planning software tools and is designed to model large networks with complex configurations and constraints. Although powered by leading edge planning and optimization algorithms, SLIM is easy to use, requiring minimal training and designed to fit naturally into the business operation.
Strategic Supply Chain Optimization
Using forecast or actual demands by customer site or delivery point, SLIM allocates delivery points to production or distribution centres based on supply price and transport cost. Examples include:
- Consumer goods & retail - allocate customers to depots and supply points to minimize overall logistics costs while ensuring high service level resilience
- Manufacturing & supply chain - optimize factory and logistics capacity based on forecast volumes to minmize risk/cost profile
- Petroleum supply chain - based on the supply price at each terminal, locations of and capacities of terminals, SLIM assigns the supply for each petrol station to the best terminal
- Postal & parcel networks - determine optimum linehaul/trunking schedules or analyse impact of new depots/hubs on territory allocation and costs
Integrated Cost Optimization
SLIM can calculate an optimized solution which is constrained by factors such as storage capacities, product rules, min/max delivery volumes at RDCs, etc. Alternatively, the system can be run unconstrained by supply, allowing the strategic planning model to calculate the ideal volumes to be taken from each RDC or production site, as well as advising on minimum/maximum stocking levels at branches and intermediate distribution points.
SLIM includes price negotiation tools which optimize the allocation of orders to suppliers offering the same product at different prices from different locations. Using transport costs, available volumes and current/projected demands, SLIM calculates purchase orders, taking account of constraints such as minimum order quantities, discounts, availability schedules, etc. The optimization may be run daily to make best use of existing agreements or at a strategic level to assist with contract negotiations.
Depot Territory Management
Our strategic planning toolsets automate and streamline territory planning and depot territory management. SLIM's distribution logistics modules enable optimized allocation of territories to distribution depots, production sites or retail site locations, while our network planning systems automatically optimize the allocation of supplier contracts.
SLIM includes powerful territory mapping and site location analysis tools to enable the user to view and manipulate complex territory design datasets. Our depot territory planning software is designed for very large distribution, retail or service networks which have to manage complex product portfolios and high customer service expectations.
Logistics Network Optimization
MJC²'s advanced planning and modelling tools can be used to address complex strategic network optimization problems. Our systems include powerful optimization algorithms which can be configured to model specific operational rules and constraints to ensure accurate results. Typical applications of SLIM in this area include:
- Where is the best place to build a new production facility?
- What is the ideal location for a new depot, national distribution centre, regional warehouse or consolidation centre?
- How should resources and assets be distributed throughout the network?
- How many more vehicles would be required to service a 10% uplift in demand?
- What is the impact of new employee/driver regulations on the network?
SLIM can model a wide range of businesses and operations, including logistics networks, transport operations, freight/express networks, retail distribution, field service operations, etc. Integrated GIS analysis tools and demographic profiling modules allow incorporation of marketing strategies. SLIM is designed for very large, highly complex networks which cannot be modelled by conventional strategic logistics management software, and for which it is necessary to model all rules and constraints accurately to obtain real strategic benefits.
Supply Chain Planning
SLIM provides powerful supply chain planning functionality which enables integrated manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management. Our lean supply chain optimization toolsets can model global operations with multiple and complex vendor-purchaser relations. Characteristics such as large SKU range, extended lead times, tight customer service level constraints, complex manufacturing constraints (by site/region), multi-modal logistics and alternative/contingency supply nodes are taken into account by the SLIM program.
SLIM optimizes the assignment of work to factories and logistics centres based on factors such as cost and service level, and enables the user to consider alternative scenarios such as increased supply chain logistics costs, variations in demand, unexpected closures of production centres, new product lines, alternative raw materials sources, changes to labour costs, etc.
User-friendly and flexible supply chain analysis tools allow the user to manipulate large, complex data sets easily, and configurable reports and charts display the results of the optimization in an intuitive manner. SLIM's supply chain logistics management modules integrate with execution systems to enable real-time refinement of the strategic plan in response to changing conditions.
Logistics Capacity Planning
SLIM allows long-term planning of logistics resources (e.g. vehicle fleet sizes and profiles, driver contracts, 3PL agreements) and warehouse/depot capacity (floor space, docks, product profiles) based on historical trends and forecast demands. Our strategic capacity planning tools enable optimization of the logistics network to find the ideal balance of own vs contractor resources, taking into account factors such as seasonality, weekly/daily demand variances, service levels, warehousing constraints, etc.
Capacity planning addresses questions such as number of vehicles required, ideal warehouse configuration, warehouse assembly or hub sortation capacity required, number of loading/unloading bays needed and ideal staff resourcing levels. SLIM uses an integrated logistics optimization model to ensure that network capacity planning constraints and business rules are modelled accurately and that resulting plans can be executed at the operational level.
Strategic Planning Model
The SLIM toolset contains intelligent optimization systems and vehicle simulation tools which can be used to schedule even highly complex networks with many thousand distribution points and hundreds of supply points and depot locations. As with all our systems, SLIM is fully configurable, allowing all business rules and operational constraints to be precisely defined and implemented.
SLIM is driven by a top level graphical display of the relevant country or region, from which all data can be accessed and edited. SLIM can easily access data from other databases, and reports can be produced to suit the needs of the user, allowing company-specific management measures to be introduced and reported. Parallel 'what if' planning can be used to model the effect of different pricing strategies, new supply contracts or changing depot capacities.