How Geospatial Modeling Can Solve 5 Critical Service Supply Chain Issues

Whoever coined the term “a picture is worth a thousand words” could have been talking about geospatial modeling. Everyone encounters the unexpected in their supply chains, and your high-tech company is likely no different. Geospatial modeling can help you understand where and why. It uses location-based data sets to construct visual models that help you spot trends, identify potential delays, and analyze data.

Here’s how you can use geospatial modeling to strengthen your service supply chain.

Geospatial Mapping

Take a Deep Dive into the Data

Geospatial modeling for the service supply chain is more complex than simply asking Google traffic maps to show the quickest way from a forward stocking location to an end customer. It involves taking a deep dive into many different types of data, such as:

  • Location elements such as install base addresses and the contracted services associated with them.
  • Part numbers and quantities located at each install base.
  • Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, which could affect the after-sales supply chain.
  • Infrastructure challenges, including construction delays, delivery vehicle/driver shortages, and lack of transportation options in under-developed regions.

A comprehensive geospatial model takes the guesswork out of decision-making. It enables company executives to step out of their departmental silos and consider changes in a holistic fashion. That helps avoid the danger of “sub-optimization,” where a change in one area adversely affects another department.

Consider how geospatial modeling can help you improve your handling of these five common supply chain challenges.

1. Controlling/Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

In the past, a company’s logistics and service departments rarely got much attention — that’s no longer the case. Complex global service supply chains have turned these departments into ground zero for cost control and reduction. That’s where geospatial modeling really shines.

There’s a cost to your company each time an employee touches a component, whether for repair, installation, or transportation. Use geospatial modeling to design a superior service supply chain network that minimizes inventory, labor, and transportation costs without sacrificing customer satisfaction.

2. Improving On-Time Performance

It’s one thing if your new boots arrive a few days late, but what if a late shipment of an electronic device shuts down an entire factory? On-time performance can have a huge impact on all companies, but it’s especially critical when building solid B2B relationships in industries that rely on high-tech spare parts.

A late shipment might cost Zappos a $100 order, but it could cost a high-tech OEM a $100 million customer and tarnish its brand. Geospatial modeling provides you with the business-critical information needed to proactively identify and correct system bottlenecks.

3. Meeting Service Level Agreements

An SLA is a powerful sales tool and a great way for your company to differentiate itself from competitors, but be wary of promising more than you can deliver. Before agreeing to an SLA, use geospatial modeling to determine the total costs, including transportation, labor, and infrastructure investments.

Service Level Agreement

4. Managing Risk

In terms of business risk, 2019 really went out with a bang. Both the United Kingdom and France experienced transportation strikes. In Hong Kong, weekend protests against the government continued, closing streets and even the airport. A wildfire near Los Angeles forced the evacuation of more than 40,000 residents, and the rest of the state experienced provider-mandated intermittent power outages to control the risk of wildfires starting.

Any event like those can affect service supply chains by potentially disrupting transportation patterns, damaging infrastructure, and lowering worker productivity. Imagine juggling several events at the same time.

Geospatial modeling is location-driven, enabling you to quickly identify alternate delivery routes, divert shipments, estimate the impact of a facility shutdown, and more. You can run simulations and develop response plans proactively and reactively.

5. Strategic Planning and Forecasting

Geospatial modeling can serve as an important reality check during the decision-making process. What would it look like if your company expanded into China? How many forward stocking locations would you need and where would they need to be located? Geospatial modeling can answer these questions, so you use data-driven techniques that don’t rely on guesswork or personal assumptions.

Are You Ready? Let Flash Global Help

If the thought of building, managing, and interpreting all of this data is making your head spin, don’t worry. You just need a service supply chain partner who can handle the details while you focus on the big picture.

Flash Global’s service supply chain experts can help you solve current problems and develop future strategies. Do you wonder why one FSL has higher costs than the others or why on-time performance in a particular region is sub-par?  We can help you answer those questions and find optimal solutions.

Adding geospatial modeling to your service supply chain toolbox is worth a lot more than a thousand words. It could be the spark that boosts your business to the next level. Contact us to learn more.


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