How can you strategically manage supply chain disruption – and make the right decisions to create a more robust plan for the future?
The Covid-19 pandemic has had long-lasting supply chain implications, leading to ongoing issues with supplier capability, fulfillment capacity, transportation capacity and labour availability. A December 2022 survey found that 71.8% of companies continue to face global supply chain disruptions, with 57.7% trying to work through ongoing transportation capacity shortages.
These issues can’t all be solved immediately – they’re fundamental challenges that require focused and considered change over a period of time. However, predictive simulation provides vital tools that can be exploited now to drive that change.
Let’s look at 4 ways predictive simulation and related analytics are helping business leaders make evidence-based supply chain decisions that reduce risk, optimise resource allocation and deliver greater operational control.
A crucial Covid-19 supply chain lesson is that agility is as important as resilience.
OneWeb Satellites is a perfect example of how predictive simulation helps you build that agility into your planning. OneWeb's mission is to mass-produce a satellite constellation to provide high-speed internet access worldwide. However, running the world’s first satellite serial production line involves complex processes and supply chains. Supplier rate optimisation is crucial to meeting targets and managing costs.
OneWeb Satellites uses Twinn Witness predictive simulation software to accurately predict current- and future-state supply chain and production requirements. Through dynamic simulation of their supply chain, OneWeb can tell suppliers how soon to get ready and what rates are needed at specific times. They can evaluate different rates by month, week and day, even factoring in a learning curve (because production efficiency increases over time).
This visibility has allowed OneWeb Satellites to collaborate successfully with its supply chain, meaning there’s a genuine partnership approach. As a result, they’ve effectively forward scheduled, planned subassemblies and ensured the right level of buffer stock ahead of time. It’s foresight and collaboration-powered agility in action.
NeroGiardini is a leading Italian shoe brand with ambitious international growth plans. The company invested in a new, centralised logistics hub and set a bold restocking target of 24 hours for Italy and 96 hours for the rest of Europe.
This guarantee has created a valuable supply chain network for NeroGiardini’s customers. To deliver on it, the company needed to implement highly automated processes with practically zero margin for error. They used Twinn Witness predictive simulation software to create a predictive digital twin of the proposed facility – including detailed layouts and routings and process control rules for the logistics hub – so they could test and validate the intended plan before investing.
Climate change is a key factor to consider when enabling long-term supply chain resilience. After all, part of building a robust supply chain involves understanding which assets and routes are vulnerable to certain hazards, now and over time.
The Twinn climate risk assessment tool helps you identify and track 19 different hazards, including floods (coastal, fluvial, pluvial), tropical storms, drought, wildfires, earthquakes, volcano activity and hail. Importantly, it gives you risk scores not just for the locations where you have assets and operations, but for your customers and suppliers as well. That way, you can better understand the short-, medium- and long-term impact of climate risks on your supply chain – and can mitigate their impact before they cause issues. You can request a free Climate Risk Quick Scan here.
A key benefit of predictive simulation is that it gives clarity on trade-offs between seemingly conflicting processes, such as purchasing, production, inventory, distribution and sales. For instance, should you pursue a strategy focused on local production with lower transport costs? Or one with lower-cost overseas production and higher transport costs?
Mars Chocolate North America used predictive simulation to drive a Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) tool to answer questions like these. The company has 6 US sites, each with different production mixes, chocolate consumption requirements and bulk storage constraints. Using a digital twin deployed using Twinn WITNESS software, they predicted supply chain performance achievable from various configurations across the sites. For the first time, they achieved detailed insight into these dynamic supply chain processes.
This helped Mars understand the impact of key trade-offs. For example, would it be better to make all chocolate types where they’re required or build fewer, larger facilities and ship regionally? And what’s the best way to factor in the Mars corporate principle that it’s important to manufacture as close to customers as possible? As demand changes, where are future bottleneck going to appear and how can they be resolved?
The S&OP simulation asset helped quantify the optimal way to work within these parameters. It provided deep insights into existing and planned operations, identified supply chain risks, and highlighted opportunities for cost savings and performance improvements. As a result, Mars developed evidence-based business cases for new capacity programmes, ensuring they make the right investments at the right time.
‘Do we have the right facilities, processes and assets, in the right places, with the right control mechanisms, to ensure our supply chain can satisfy our business strategy?’
Predictive simulation and related analytics can help you answer that question. Contact us for more information.
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