Daily Archives: July 10, 2024

Supply Chain Resilience is Becoming Key, but You Can Only Reach it By Design!

But while it used to be a relatively straightforward Supply Chain Network Design problem (especially if you had a good SCND tool with optimization and simulation capability), it’s become a lot more complicated.

A recent article over on Logistics Viewpoint on Resilience by Design: The Power of Simulation in Supply Chain Strategy did a great job of explaining the power and importance of optimization in supply chain network design (and demand fulfillment modelling), especially around optimizing cost between two potential fulfillment options (determined to be equally viable).

These days, you have to consider:

  • the reliability of the supplier (financial viability, raw material availability to it, geopolitical instability, etc.
  • the reliability and availability of the carriers (financial viability, available containers, route viability, etc.)
  • the carbon contribution of the fulfillment model (is it going to make targets today AND tomorrow)
  • … and how your supply chain will adapt if a supplier or carrier fails or a primary product becomes unavailable and you have to switch to a secondary product

That’s true resilience … not just managing costs under demand shifts, but managing availability under supply shifts — in the supplier, carrier, or product.

It’s a tall order, and not all platforms in our space can handle it (well beyond standard SSDO), but a few can. From a network management viewpoint, you can check out Logility Network Optimization (formerly Logility Starboard) and Coupa with their SSDO and SCNO solutions.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter how great of a deal you inked if you can’t actually acquire the products at the agreed upon prices, and, more importantly, if you can’t even get the products at all! So if you want a resilient supply chain, you need to design for it. And sometimes that goes beyond just doing the standard 80/20 or 50/30/20 splits (because if all the suppliers are in the same fault zone on the ring of fire … it will only take one disaster for them all to burn).