How Advanced analytics is helping the evolution of Lean Manufacturing

In few of my previous posts, I have hypothesized scenarios where Machine Learning algorithms are managing key Supply Chain planning aspects. As the field of Artifical Intelligence evolves at a rapid pace, Machine learning’s “potential to deliver real-time optimization” is only starting to emerge, and evolution of the technology will accelerate over the next three…

Multi Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO): Challenges & Impact

Supply chain executives worldwide face an ongoing dilemma: improve customer service levels but don’t create excess or obsolete inventory at the same time. It’s a double-edged sword for supply chain performance. Because of variability in demand and supply, increasing customer service levels can lead to higher levels of safety stock. Improving cash flow by indiscriminately…

Avoiding the pitfalls of Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process

S&OP processes have really evolved with recent advances in technology and computing. Key aspects of any S&OP process were visibility, collaboration and shared insights. Data and analytics tools and technologies have acted as enablers to help S&OP managers successfully deliver these aspects of S&OP process. However, technology is always an enabler, not a solution in…

Data is NOT the new currency !

We are starting this week with the news of Sears filing for Bankruptcy. Once a retail icon, Sears has been in a downward spiral for some time now so this does not come as a surprise. It was more a question of “When” rather than “Whether”. Ever since the Data Science hype began (much of…

Can Manufacturing 4.0 help revive American Manufacturing sector?

The state of Manufacturing sector has been an emotional topic for many Americans.  Political campaigns have centered around the issue of the decline of American manufacturing. Radical ideas has been proposed and recently, radical steps have been taken to revitalize American manufacturing. To be candid, Manufacturing in America may never come back to the levels…

The Story of a failed analytics professional: A Short Sci-Fi story

The year is 2029. Alice rushes towards the elevator, trying to balance the coffee and her bag as she makes the run. Watching her rush, a colleague blocks the elevator door, allowing Alice to get into the elevator. She thanks the person with a smile. Ever since she has joined WonderLand Inc., she has been…

Designing your AI Solutions: Using the AI Canvas

Just like some people binge watch their favorite TV series, I binge read (whenever I get a chance). This weekend I got a chance to binge read  “Prediction Machines”. With all the hype around AI, this book bridges the gap between the technical aspects and the business aspects of Artificial Intelligence-so it is focused primarily…

Supply Chain Network Modeling: Art or Science?

One of the first assignments in my modeling career was to re-design the European distribution network for a leading Electronics manufacturer. I was a rookie modeler back then, and the primary goal for me in that project was to learn from the lead modeler. Apparently, another consulting company had worked on developing a model for the client a…

Logistician’s complex challenge: The Last Mile

Customer interaction with the Last Mile We recently ordered a mattress from a leading e-tailer for our guest room. Due to some issues at the logistics service provider’s end, the delivery was delayed. We timed our order to coincide with the arrival date of our guests so we ended up complaining to customer service of the e-tailer. In addition…

Bridging Supply Chain Strategy Gap through Network Design & Optimization

As Supply Chains become more complex, organizations have started investing heavily in processes and tools to build and run efficient and effective Supply Chains. The advent of Analytics and Data Science revolution has led companies on shopping sprees -buying tools  and technologies to transform their Supply Chains. There are now tons of Supply Chain “Analytics”…

The Rise of the Analytics hybrids

After graduating from high school and passing my engineering entrance exam in India, a major decision that I needed to make was which engineering specialization I should opt for. It was the era of Dotcom Boom, every other person I went to school with was opting for either software engineering or computer science. So when…

Defining a Logistics Strategy for your organization

For years, logistics was considered a mere support function and  in all strategic planning exercises, it was thought of as a function which did not provide any strategic value to the organization. For our generation of Logisticians, it is difficult to comprehend that this perception existed, since we have always been told that “Its not the…

Self driving trucks: Fleet of the future?

While doing my regular reading last weekend, I came across few articles from Forbes (link below for those interested) pertaining to truck driver shortage in US. Forbes on Truck driver shortage-I Forbes on Truck driver shortage-II Forbes on truck driver shortage-III Forbes on truck drivers shortage-IV Now carrier capacity crunch and driver shortages in a…

AI Enabled Optimization: Combining the best of Machine Learning and prescriptive optimization

We know that Optimization tools typically prescribe best-action recommendations, based on certain goals, conditions and potential trade offs. I am an Operations Research enthusiast so optimization methods are close to my heart. However, I believe that optimization methods, when combined with predictive tools, have the potential to deliver greater value to organizations by helping them achieve…

Will you let a Machine take over your inventory planning process? (Part 2/2)

In the first part, I primarily touched upon the limitations of current Off-the-shelf Inventory planning systems . That discussion laid the path to this second part-how we can leverage Machine learning to mitigate those limitations. In this part, we will dive into the crux of it. How exactly we can leverage Machine learning to actually…

Mapping your Supply Chain for a Network Design exercise

As Supply Chain optimization professionals, we are often so deeply involved in the granularities of algorithms or the datasets for our models that we often overlook the importance of one critical piece of documentation that every analytics department within the Supply Chain function should have-An end to end, high level map of your Supply Chain with key…

Designing a flexible Manufacturing Network

In a majority of Network design exercises, the focus is on finding the most cost optimal network , give various business constraints. However, as I have mentioned in my multiple posts earlier, there are so many aspects of network design that are not quantifiable. Incorporating some types of risk mitigation strategies in your network design or building…

Why your Supply Chain footprint matters

Supply Chain design is a key buzzword these days and every Supply Chain professional is somewhat familiar with what that means. One key aspect of any Supply Chain design strategic analysis is to evaluate whether your Supply Chain footprint i.e the location of your Plants, Warehouses etc. is optimal. So one of the questions you…

Leveraging Load Factor Modeling in Transportation Analytics

When you are looking for cost savings opportunities in your Transportation Network, a good area to explore is Transportation asset utilization. One of the tools that you can leverage to evaluate optimal utilization is Load Factor modeling, a pretty basic but powerful tool to explore your packaging, vehicle and fleet utilization. Though the name may sound fancy, the model is…

The changing landscape of Linear & Mixed Integer Programming Languages

When I used to avidly leverage algebraic programming languages for Supply Chain optimization modeling, my language of choice was AMPL. Last weekend I had the opportunity to read these two awesome posts from Peter Cacioppi and I think I agree with him. For individuals who leverage algebraic programming languages heavily, I will suggest them to read these posts….

Logistician’s complex challenge: The Last Mile.

We recently ordered a mattress from a leading e-tailer for our guest room. Due to some issues at the logistics service provider’s end, the delivery was delayed. We timed our order to coincide with the arrival date of our guests so we ended up complaining to customer service of the e-tailer. In addition to apologies, we ended up getting…