Mitigate Supply Chain Design Risk – Test Before Capital Spend and Implementation
OPSdesign engineers, analysts and computer scientists are trained in the use of sophisticated computer simulation modeling software. In the case of complex, automated, and/or highly integrated supply chain operations, computer models can be constructed to emulate existing operations or predict the performance of proposed warehousing, distribution or fulfillment operations designs and distribution networks before making a substantial capital investment, thereby mitigating risk.
The first step in the modeling effort is typically aimed at building a computer simulation which emulates the existing supply chain characteristics (or that of a specific warehouse, distribution, or e-commerce fulfillment operation). Once validated against current/historical data, the as-is model is used as the baseline against which all alternatives will be measured against. A thorough cost/benefit analysis of each of the alternatives (supply chain footprint, facility characteristics, processes, systems, infrastructure, and labor strategy, etc.) against the base model will lead to those options which best align with your service level and economic targets.
These powerful tools are often used to test the sensitivity of volatile model variables, individually and in aggregate, to identify those design elements which present the greatest design risk (operational bottlenecks, capacity constraints, flexibility/scalability inhibitors, etc.) and develop and test alternatives to cost-effectively mitigate the threat while achieving design throughput and capacity requirements.
Run the “what if” scenarios in a test environment, not in your operation on go-live day or at peak season volumes.