From Complexity to Clarity: The AgiSight Approach to Network Optimization 

By Robert Fulghum 
More and more companies are implementing supply chain network optimization solutions to identify opportunities for improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness. These tools allow businesses to streamline their supply chain processes, minimize network costs, and enhance overall operational performance. They also allow users to plan for future growth, evaluate potential network adjustments, and minimize risk to the network. 

What are Network Optimization Tools and Why Use Them? 

At a high level, these types of tools can help answer questions such as how many warehouses are needed, how large they should be, and where they should be located. Specifically, they can also identify opportunities for cost savings, better resource utilization, increased efficiency, optimizing inventory levels, and minimizing environmental impact. The tool will consider customer demand, supply chain costs (including transportation, labor, manufacturing, inventory, and fixed costs), constraints, and business requirements to determine the optimal delivery strategy. Scenarios can then be created to determine the benefits and analyze the sensitivity of potential network improvements.  In the past, many companies designed these sorts of projects by cobbling together the necessary data from a variety of unconnected sources. This antiquated approach can provide an accurate glimpse of the network at a moment in time but can also be extremely challenging to update and maintain due to the assumptions built into the model logic. Clients now are looking for more agile and flexible tools which allow for continuous design and improvements. 

How We Are Elevating Network Optimization Capabilities and Impact 

By using AgiSight to store the necessary data, the inputs will be unified in one place for reliable and consistent results. Alteryx or other ETL tools can then be used to create workflows which load the inputs consistently into the optimization tool. The user then has the flexibility to update logic such as the product aggregation level, date range, and supply chain costs. 

This more dynamic approach allows the user to quickly refresh and rerun the model with the most recent data to refine and further optimize delivery plans and account for dynamic changes in the market. It also ensures that future runs will use a consistent approach when gathering the data needed so that consistent comparison of model outputs will be more reliable. These tools also allow the user to run multiple scenarios in parallel, making sensitivity analysis a much faster and simpler process. 

Once the optimization is complete, AgiSight will then export the outputs of these models into a visualization tool like Power BI. Quite frankly, graphs, charts, and maps can convey information to stakeholders much more effectively than raw data. These visuals help users to pinpoint patterns and trends within the data, which may help to identify cost saving opportunities more easily. Interactive dashboards in Power BI can demonstrate the differences between different scenarios, allowing users to clearly understand the tradeoffs involved in certain decisions. For example, if a client wants to increase their safety stock of certain items, how will this affect their inventory levels and customer service levels? Or if a company wants to increase the number of shipments a customer receives per week, how much will that change increase transportation and labor costs? 

In addition, Power BI reports and dashboards can help measure and define key performance indicators and performance scorecards, which allows companies track their progress toward operational goals over time. 

The AgiSight Advantage with Network Optimization 

In essence, departing from the antiquated approach of piecing together fragmented data and disjointed sources is paramount for companies seeking to shift from stagnant partial optimization to a dynamic, ongoing methodology. The traditional method proves inefficient, devouring precious time and resources while burdening organizations with unnecessary complexity, hindering their quest for a resilient, agile, and fully optimized network. 

Enter AgiSight fused with network optimization—a transformative partnership with a focus on uniformity, adaptability, and scalability. This partnership provides a roadmap for perpetual design enhancement. By seamlessly integrating data through AgiSight and leveraging the analytical prowess of network optimization tools, businesses can navigate the intricacies of their supply chain landscape with precision and confidence. This synergistic approach not only uncovers opportunities for cost reduction and service enhancement but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement. With AgiSight and network optimization at the helm, organizations embark on a journey towards operational excellence, where innovation and adaptability reign supreme. 

To learn more about AgiSight click here