Predict, Not Just Respond

Adexa’s Digital Supply Chain Blueprint© for S&OP and S&OE

Adexa’s Digital Supply Chain Blueprint© for S&OP and S&OE

There are many interpretations of digitization of supply chain. In our view, digitization implies systems having the capability to collect data, understand the implications of data and each event, and finally find the best possible solution in a timely manner. The results can then be shared with the end users in many forms including cell phones, natural languages or simply personalized reports and alerts.

For a supply chain planning system to be able to do this, it must have certain capabilities described below. In the absence of such attributes, the end users will have to finish the job manually which may cause a lot of inefficiencies of trying to execute a plan that is really not a good plan: either not accurate, too late to be produced or too high level!  Almost all S&OP solutions fall in this category. That is why in today’s S&OP systems, so much what-if modeling is needed and a lot of user interjection is required to make the plan executable!  And even then, it is not an optimized plan!  It is merely a doable plan that is short of the best service level and lowest cost of operations.

At Adexa, we have designed a Digital Blueprint© for the entire foot print of Supply Chain Planning both horizontally and vertically. A digital Blueprint allows incremental addition of technology in a unified data model as more data becomes available and more accurate models are made until the highest level of supply chain maturity (according to Gartner) is achieved. To this end, our clients are enjoying results such as 30% less shortages and up to 20% increase in delivery performance almost immediately after the system has gone live. These are the kind of benefits that one would obtain due to much higher accuracy of plans, leading to almost 100% service level and much lower inventory and cost of operations in some of the most complex supply chains.

digital supply chain blueprint

Digital Blueprint to Digitalization of Your Supply Chain

Here are some of the reasons why:

Accuracy of Plans

This is the ability to truly represent the supply chain environment with all of its soft and hard constraints. This is what we call deep modeling capability. In the absence of this feature, you are only planning with a tool that is not that different from a spreadsheet!

Scalable and Fast Response

We have used in memory computation from day one almost 23 years ago! But that is not enough, fast response requires clever data representations and Divide-and-Conquer AI algorithms that are combined with mathematical programming techniques such as mixed integer programming. Otherwise you have to wait for days, in many instances, to get your plans, which are dead on arrival!

Large Data Processing

Because of the efficient data structures that we have developed, Adexa is capable of handling large data for computation as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics to show you the underlying trends in your supply chain.

Incremental Planning and Precision ATP/CTP

Demands change all the time and supply issues arise unexpectedly. The system has to be capable of immediately revising the plan and getting back on schedule without changing the original plan too much minimizing the disruptions in the operations. This must be done in real-time. This feature of Adexa also enables real-time ATP/CTP with precision.

Sourcing and Manufacturing Alternatives

While planning, there are many choices of sourcing supplies (subcontractors or suppliers) as well as finding the best way to make the mix of products required. We have built-in algorithms to find the most cost-effective way of sourcing and making the mix of products based on revenue and cost as well as demand and customer service.

Financials Built into Every Plan

Unless a plan can deliver to your financial objectives it is not a very good plan. To this end, whether you are performing S&OP or performing order level planning or even factory planning (i.e. S&OE), Adexa takes into account all the financial constraints of budget, cost and revenue to ensure you are meeting your corporate objectives while producing realistic plans.

Plan and Execute in ONE environment

One of the unique features of Adexa is having the same data model at every level of planning. While performing S&OP, the system sets guide posts for more detailed level planning. This will honor the financial and operational constraints and user objectives; and at the same time reduces the search space for detailed planning and scheduling to deliver results in seconds.

Intelligent Planning & Risk Management

In order to keep the model of the supply chain up-to-date on an on-going basis, we have built into our solution machine learning and pattern recognition algorithms that can help to identify the changing trends in the supply chain, in demand and in operations. Identifying these trends helps to represent the environment more accurately all the time and dynamically and take preventive measures to minimize risks in delivery, shortages, losing market share or increasing cost unnecessarily.

Supplier and customer visibility

A supply chain is a connected system. Any change in one part may have a ripple effect in the rest of the chain. The key is to recognize every “vibration” of the chain and sense how far it goes and make corrections, when and if, it is needed providing the right level of visibility to the stake holders only when it is needed.

As you can see digitization is a lot more than getting your reports on a cell phone or a tablet. What we have outlined above describes some of the basic ingredients of accomplishing what Gartner refers to as Level 5 maturity in the supply chain or algorithmic supply chain. It enables not only accuracy & optimization of plans and automation but also goes beyond to self-improvement of your supply chain on an on-going basis, an intelligent system, digitized.