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Optimization Software Vital to Performance of Manufacturing's Supply Chains

Optimization technology allows manufacturing companies to become more flexible and to more efficiently manage their supply chains by accounting for real life constraints and business rules. They can review "what-if" analyses of various scenarios, tied to key performance indicators that measure success on an ongoing basis. They can generate near optimal plans from the virtually infinite number of possible options. And with a clear set of future-oriented KPIs they can measure tomorrow’s performance before it happens.

In order to optimize, a supply chain planning and optimization solution is required that is configured to account for the specific environment — machine capabilities and alternatives per product, production sequence including sequence-dependent changeovers, specific site constraints, inventory limitations, replenishment options, and so on. And it must be able to respond to changes in real time. The wrong answers can mean longer lead times, excess inventory, loss of business and lower profit.

Keeping in mind that the aim of a business is to drive profit, executives have to ask where they can drive profit outside of their business’ primary function, and how they can improve their supply chain processes through optimization of the planning process.

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