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.