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How to Benefit from Service Supply Chain Modeling

Last modified: December 12, 2017

Hurricanes close ports. Volcanoes shut down air travel. Political upheaval and labor disputes add costs and uncertainty. That’s why service supply chain resilience is critical to your business success.

Every link in the chain represents an opportunity for failure. With service supply chain modeling, you can identify weak links, achieve better visibility, plan for the future, and control costs.

Flash Global employees are experts in service supply chain logistics. We help protect your supply chain against expensive interruptions. If you don’t have a service supply chain to support your products after the sale, we can help with that too.

Service Supply Chain Models Enable End-to-End Visibility

Globalization has stretched supply chains to the breaking point — and sometimes beyond. Half a century ago, supply chain management mostly meant logistics. How do I get product from Point A to Point B quickly and cheaply?

Today, however, logistics questions are much more varied and complex.  How do I get components shipped across the country, loaded on a container ship bound for India, landed in the right Special Manufacturing Zone, moved through customs using the proper HTS codes, and comply with both domestic protection laws in India and U.S. import/export regulations?

Shipping and delivery times depend on getting every step exactly right. A robust service supply chain modeling system adds visibility, predictability, and consistency. Types of service supply chain models employed at Flash Global include:

  • Network Mapping: Using your service level agreements (SLAs) and customer locations, we map your network of suppliers, end users, locations, required service levels, and more. Then we highlight areas of risk that need extra attention and alternate solutions.
  • Network Optimization: Using simulations, we create “what-if” scenarios and compare your current supply chain to these models. You can evaluate alternative locations, plan for expansion, and more importantly, make data-based decisions.
  • Geospatial Analysis: Flash Global’s geocoding and geospatial modeling leverages Esri, the world’s most powerful mapping, and geospatial technology provider. Go from making decisions based on “how far are my customers from our network?” to “how does my supply chain interact with the world?”

Flash Global During Rio 2016 Olympics

These types of service supply chain modeling give you a complete view of your supply chain, enabling you to make informed decisions and react quickly.

Benefits of Supply Chain Modeling

Ultimately, supply chain modeling helps a company “expect the unexpected” and prepare for it. Using simulation models, Flash Global network modeling transforms tabular data into meaningful, easy-to-understand reports that use charts and graphs to clearly illustrate options.

Spreadsheets and databases are invaluable data manipulation tools, but the cascade of raw numbers quickly becomes overwhelming. Modeling makes it easier for stakeholders to understand the supply chain and evaluate alternatives to current systems.

Benefits of service supply chain modeling include:

  • Gaining better control over inventory carrying costs: Uncertainty creates risk; more risk increases costs. A reliable, robust service supply chain obviates the need to stock a lot of inventory “just in case” there’s a problem.
  • Increasing efficiency and reducing cost: Models that show end-to-end supply chain costs let managers compare current costs to key metrics and goals and adjust tactics accordingly.
  • Better estimating expansion costs: Some customers want to expand but are uncertain about the best location. Flash Global’s supply chain modeling tools help create the most cost-effective, sustainable service supply chain networks.
  • Identifying alternative expansion opportunities: Service area matrix models are important tools in this process. Combining location data about your customers with Flash Global’s forward stocking locations (FSLs) gives you greater insights into potential opportunities for expansion. For instance, if a customer’s end users require 4-hour service from an FSL, it’s easy to identify locations that meet that criterion.
  • Taking the guesswork out of supply chain logistics: The hard data you get from our supply chain modeling goes way beyond basic logistics and reduces uncertainty in your decision-making process. Our models give you immediate information about service coverage, times, and facilities. There’s no guesswork for companies considering moves or expansion.

Finally, network modeling gives you specific facility information along with reliable pricing and transportation cost estimates.

Flash Continues to Invest in Geospatial Modeling and Forecasting

At its most basic level, geospatial modeling is a graphic representation of the relationship between things on a map.

Most 3PL companies have maps, but Flash Global is a leader in geospatial modeling that helps forecast strategic planning opportunities.

Our model analytics uses data sets from multiple sources to drill down into the factors affecting supply chain management, including:

  • Distance between FSLs and customer locations
  • Transportation time
  • Historical data – is there a history of traffic problems, disruptions from severe weather, etc?

Our geospatial modeling capabilities enable us to create reports customized to your particular situations and what-if scenarios.

Here’s a real-world example.  Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics, we created a custom supply chain model for a Flash customer with operations in Brazil. It identified potential disruption zones caused by traffic and security around Olympic venues. That information helped the client estimate the impact of stocking and service times and plan accordingly.

Nice to Meet You

In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s important to remember that last quarter’s great performance is no guarantee of future success.

Successful companies are nimble, able to predict and prepare for future challenges. The variables change with each regulatory update, natural disaster, fashion fad, or a labor strike.

Flash Global’s supply chain modeling gives you the ability to build resiliency and flexibility within your service supply chain.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from Flash Global’s supply chain modeling service, use the form below to get in touch. We’d love to help.

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