Simulation Software for Supply Chain & Logistics Optimization | SIMUL8


Simulation software for supply chain & logistics optimization

SIMUL8 enables organizations to plan and improve warehousing, supply chain and logistics processes. From the first function to the last, simulation empowers you to quickly find and eliminate inefficiencies to achieve a reliable, profitable and efficient supply chain.

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Why is simulation used to improve supply chain efficiency?

With many interdependent factors involved, planning, communicating and implementing supply chain improvement strategies can be a challenge.

Most supply chains span multiple organizations and locations, so they are also vulnerable to external factors like weather disruption, shipment delays and fluctuating transportation costs.

SIMUL8 simulation software allows you to accurately simulate the integration of your entire supply chain to assess inventory levels, identify inefficiencies and improve information flow in your organization.

By simulating any number of ‘what if’ scenarios in a virtual, risk-free environment you can see their impact on supply chain KPIs over weeks, months or years - all in just seconds of real-time.

Simulation can then be used to explore improvement options, helping you to make stronger decisions that balance the goals of your organization and customers whilst optimizing performance against costs.

Supply chain applications of SIMUL8 include:

  • Identifying supply chain bottlenecks
  • Understanding the ROI of new technology
  • Utilizing resources more efficiently
  • Meeting lead times
  • Optimizing inventory levels and costs
  • Reducing stock outs and overstocks
  • Avoiding the bullwhip effect
  • Planning for future growth and capacity

SIMUL8 supply chain and logistics simulation case studies

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How has SIMUL8 been used to improve supply chains?

Improve planning for seasonality and variability in demand

Simple models and other process improvement tools can be difficult to fit to supply chains; a process design that might work well one month may be unsuited for changes that occur just a few weeks later.

SIMUL8 offers the flexibility to simulate both scheduled regular events, like increases in customer demand, as well as reflecting random or irregular events like trucks breaking down, quality problems or staff sickness.

By running simulation trials, you’ll be able to understand the exact impact of these on results. For example, you could use simulation to understand ‘what if we get 20 rainy days in a row, what would be the impact on our supply chain?’

An example of planning for seasonality with SIMUL8

A large furniture manufacturer wanted to improve processes for a range of products where 80% of all customer demand occurred in November. In the existing state these products were produced all year long, alongside other product ranges.

The manufacturer wanted to know by investing in a new plant whether this increase capacity would allow production to be focused in the preceding quarter, in turn, achieving more Just-in-Time delivery and reducing long-term storage of stock.

After running trials on the new system with SIMUL8, an unexpected issue was also uncovered. The manufacturer discovered that the average increased output rate from the plant in peak months would require twice the number of trucks over what had been originally estimated as the capacity of the planned haulage facilities.

By catching this issue early, the design of the plant was adapted to accommodate a larger loading bay; allowing more trucks to load at the same time. Using SIMUL8’s financial reporting results, the simulation also confirmed that even with these extra haulage costs the manufacturer would still achieve return on investment.

Planning for seasonality and variability in demand

Sizing an opportunity and getting implementation right

Sizing an opportunity and getting implementation right

Establishing new elements of a supply chain can be a challenge. The most common cause of implantation failure is misjudging the sizing of an operation.

Go too small and the system will be overrun, customers tire of delays and cash flow can be choked. Over-sizing brings other issues such as wasted investment and under-utilization of staff and equipment.

Simulation helps avoid these risks by making it easy to assess the impact of adding or removing workstations, storage areas or staff before investment. By adjusting and fine-tuning the resource levels in the system you can stress test the supply chain and plan for any constraints or extraneous capacity.

An example of supply chain sizing with SIMUL8

During a large expansion to a European Shipping Port, SIMUL8 was used to answer local government and investors' questions, including the sizing of each part of the process and how the expansion would need to be supported by local services and infrastructure.

The simulation clearly established the minimum viable volume of ships and goods to help the management team with business planning and provided guidance on the amount of supply work that would be needed to support the venture.

It also highlighted a major constraint in the system: the offloading of large vessels transferring containers to smaller ships. The simulation supported improvements to this process by validating a new ship loading approach that involved sacrificing dockside container capacity to allow faster crane activity.

Leveling supply to demand - Heijunka, Kanban and Pull Vs Push

A key component of improving supply chains is ensuring the right parts get to the right place at the right time.

JIT (Just-In-Time) delivery and other Lean and Six Sigma Process Improvement principles are often discussed but how do we actually go about implementing these to a modern supply chain?

An example of leveling supply to demand with SIMUL8

A large distribution center used a simulation to understand the optimum number and size of lanes to support the product mix and customer demand patterns to avoid stock out occurrences.

Distribution centers play a crucial role in the supply chain, acting as a buffer between customer demand and manufacturing output. Sizing these correctly is crucial; reducing stored stock creates capacity for a greater bandwidth of goods and improves. profitability. However, if volumes become too low customer satisfaction could also be effected.

The simulation results showed that the parameters for lane size and number of lanes had the biggest influence on performance. From there, these levels could be experimented with to best match the customer demand profile.

The team were able to use the simulation to identify several potential approaches and support the new design of the distribution center. It was also used as a great asset for communicating the supply chain behavior to suppliers and customers.

This work on the simulation has also opened up discussion around the possibility of adding a direct channel from one of the manufacturing plants to the consumer, with the benefits of this option now being actively explored using the existing simulation.

Levelling supply to demand

Make fast, informed supply chain decisions with SIMUL8

Our simulation software combines ease of use with powerful features to help organizations to make rapid, profitable process improvement decisions.

Powerful and intuitive

Simulate any supply chain process, no matter the size or complexity. Quickly build simulations with a drag and drop interface and utilize Visual Logic coding language to customize any aspect to your exact needs.

Fast, accurate results

With the fastest simulation engine available, you and your stakeholders will get quick insight to make effective decisions. Extensive results can be customized and exported in a range of formats.

Import your data

Drive simulations that reflect the real-life variability that can affect your processes using built-in statistical distributions or connect to your own data from Microsoft Excel, VB, and C++.

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Whether you have any questions or want a personalized demo of SIMUL8, our team are happy to help!

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