Archive for the ‘Profit Network’ Category

The Future of Supply Chain Network Design

Most leading companies perform supply chain network design (SCND) analysis to define the structure of their supply chain as well as the key operations that will be performed at each location in the resulting network. The analysis includes suppliers, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. In fact, a number of Fortune 100 companies require such analysis before approving capital to add manufacturing or warehousing infrastructure. Those on the cutting edge are also using SCND analysis on a continual basis to understand the true delivered cost to supply each customer as well as the price required from the customer to achieve profitability goals. Advances in network design modelling and optimization have also opened the door to a broader analysis that focuses on the collective supply chains of all competitors in a marketplace and how best to supply the market at the lowest cost and maximum profit.

Twenty-five years ago, the optimization tools to analyze and strategically set one’s supply chain infrastructure were new and untested. Those companies on the cutting edge had the vision to employ this technology to gain competitive advantage. They analyzed the trade-offs among raw material, production, transportation, distribution and inventory costs to understand the most cost effective way to meet their customer demand at higher customer service levels. In today’s world, what was once the domain of a few has become a “best practice” in supply chain management. Most supply chain managers are on the band wagon and perform some sort of optimization based supply chain analysis when considering major capital investment, key strategic initiatives or when their network has grown too large and unwieldy through acquisition and growth. That does not mean that the world has caught up to the thought leaders….rather the thought leaders continue to push the envelope and are using SCND to do more for their organization than they did in the past.

In particular, there are two areas where the best supply chain managers are focusing their attention with regard to SCND: First, they are making SCND an evergreen business process that is fully integrated into all strategic and tactical decisions related to network infrastructure and product sourcing. Second, they are expanding the scope of their supply chain analysis to not only include their own supply chain network, but also to analyze the supply chain dynamics of their major competitors and how the entire market is being served.

Sustained Supply Chain Network Design
In too many cases, SCND analysis is a one-and-done process. The reality is that it’s often difficult to assemble the data required to perform the analysis, but this prevents companies from assessing ongoing risks and opportunities. Through a carefully designed data management process integrated to the right set of tools, leading businesses are putting into place sustainable business processes to continually revisit their supply chain network structure and operations.

Good data is the driver of good supply chain analysis. Many companies struggle with understanding the true activity costs associated with one or more of the following: raw material supply, production, packaging, warehousing, distribution and inventory. When running a significant supply chain analysis and design project it is often the case that the bulk of time and effort is spent on gathering, organizing and validating the input data that drives the analysis. Unfortunately, too often that effort is wasted, as that data is used once and then forgotten. However this need not be the case.

Those implementing best practices have extended data warehouses to include key activity based operations and cost data that is used in their strategic and tactical network optimization. The data is kept evergreen through continual data management processes and is always available for the next what-if scenario. These what-if scenarios might include:

• Short term: How best to tactically respond to unexpected events like strikes, weather disruptions, major capacity losses, etc…?
• Mid-term: How do I evaluate new sales opportunities for large additional volumes and how will these impact my ability to deliver across the supply chain?
• Long Term: How do I evaluate new merger and acquisition opportunities? How do I plan for capacity expansions?

Companies who maintain the proper data and do not have to start from scratch on each new what-if analysiscan use a tried and true process to respond more quickly and more accurately to the opportunities that constantly and continually present themselves.

Extending Supply Chain Network Design to Competitive Markets

If you have used optimization SCND to analyze a portion of your business in the past couple of years, then you are running with the herd. If you have implemented sustainable business process to refresh and maintain the critical data and are able to run supply chain network what-if analysis at a moment’s notice, then you are running at the front of the herd. Those running way out in front are also using SCND analysis to understand the true delivered cost of supplying product to each customer and managing their business profitability accordingly.

Advances in network design modelling, optimization, and game theory have recently opened the door to a broader analysis that focuses on the collective supply chains of all competitors in a marketplace. These tools can be used to which customer/product combinations should be targeted and at what price to maximize profit. There are three key steps to being able to accomplish this.

1. Understand your own Total Delivered Cost to each customer.

Understanding your true total deliver cost to each of your customers enables you to analyze and determine the profit you are earning from each customer. It also partially informs your pricing decisions, especially in competitive situations or when the demand is greater than your ability to supply. Not only does this analysis determine the profitability by customer, it also determines the impact of adding or dropping a customer, thus answering the question, “Even though it’s low margin business, can we afford to lose the volume?”
2. Estimate competitor costs for supplying to a shared set of customers

While pricing information is largely influenced by your own internal costs for producing, delivering and selling to your customers, it is also heavily influenced by the market conditions and at what price your competitors are able and willing to sell their competitive products to the same customers. In order to understand the market dynamics, you need to be able to reasonably estimate your competitor’s costs. For example, if you are in an industry where transportation delivery costs are significant, then regionally located manufacturing will have an impact on price and profitability. Understanding which customers are more profitable for you and which are more costly for your competitors to serve enables you to develop a winning strategy.
3. Use cutting edge optimization technology to model the competitive market

While most businesses are good at determining pricing and identifying profitable customers intuitively and on and ad hoc basis, few have put into place the rigorous business processes and analytics to be able to do it accurately on a routine basis. This requires a deep understanding of your total delivered cost, your supply chain sourcing options, and the flexibility you have on both the cost and revenue side of the equation. It also requires a better understanding of your competitors supply chain, and what they may or may not be able to do, based on their own costs.

Conclusion

Supply chain network design optimization tools have become well integrated into modern business decision making processes at leading edge companies. They are used to rigorously analyze and make the best decision in response to both short-term events such as weather disruptions, spot sales opportunities, capacity outages) and long-term strategy, such as capacity expansion or mergers and acquisitions. These analytical approaches and technologies have recently been extended to enable businesses to analyze not just their own operations, but the sum of multiple supply chains in the competitive market place. It is exciting work and adding additional millions of dollars to bottom line profit each year.

20150721_IndustryTodayTheFutureOfSupplyChainNetworkDesignProfit Point’s recent article in Industry Today, “The Future of Supply Chain Network Design,” describes how to fully leverage the new advances in a traditional supply chain optimization process to include not only your internal supply chain, but the supply chains of your competitors, as well.

Supply chain network design optimization tools have become well integrated into modern business decision-making processes at leading edge companies. The tools are used to rigorously analyze and make the best decisions in response to both short-term events such as weather disruptions, spot sales opportunities, utility outages and to longer-term strategy issues, such as capacity expansion or mergers and acquisitions. These analytical approaches and technologies can be game changers. The newest versions of SCND tools have been expanded: businesses can now analyze not just their own operations, but also the sum of multiple supply chains in the competitive marketplace, creating a new way to integrate competitive risk into the design of your supply chain.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about new ways to leverage traditional ideas.

At Profit Point network design analysis, answering such questions as
• how many facilities a business needs,
• how large they should be and where they should be located, and
• how they should change over time, etc.
is one of our specialties. We have performed this type of analysis for a range of companies across multiple industry types and geographical regions, and we have developed our own network design-focused software package to help us do this type of study. (And we teach folks how to use the software as well, so they can answer their own network design questions, if they want to pursue that.)

Our modeling “toolbox”, our Profit Network software, is designed to be flexible and data-driven, so that the user can focus more attention on a key part of the supply chain where the questions must be answered, without having to define more detail than is really desired in other areas to the supply chain.
One of the key elements in many of the models we or our clients construct is the bill of materials. This data specifies the materials that are required to produce goods along the supply chain, be they intermediate materials or finished goods. For instance, if you are making a finished good such as a loaf of bread, the bill of materials would specify the quantities of flour, yeast, salt and other ingredients that would go into a batch.

To get trustworthy results from a model, it must require that the bill of materials (BOM) data be defined, and be used, in deriving the solution. (In some models we have encountered the BOM is just a suggestion, or products can be created from thin air if the BOM data in not defined.)

The BOM logic must also be able to capture the reality of a situation. The BOM may need to vary from one machine to another within the same facility. Or it might need to vary over time – as an example, when agricultural or dairy products are ingredients to a manufacturing process, the ingredients might have different characteristics over the seasons of the year, thus requiring different input quantities over time to produce a consistent, standardized output.

We work closely with our clients to ensure that our software is matched to their needs, and that it gives them the flexibility they need as their businesses change.

In developing a supply chain network design there are many criteria to consider – including such factors as the impact of the facility choices on
• Cost of running the system,
• current and future customer service,
• ability to respond to changes in the market, and
• risk of costly intangible events in the future
to name a few.

Frequently we use models to estimate revenues / costs for a given facility footprint, looking at costs of production, transportation, raw materials and other relevant components. We also sometimes constrain the models to ensure that other criteria are addressed – a constraint requiring that DCs be placed so that 80% of demand be within a day’s drive of a facility, for instance, might be a proxy for “good customer service”.

Some intangibles, such as political risk associated with establishing / maintaining a facility in a particular location, are difficult to measure and include in a trade off with model cost estimates. Another intangible of great interest for many companies, and that has been difficult to make tangible, is water risk. Will water be available in the required quantities in the future, and if so, will the cost allow the company to remain competitive? For many industry groups water is the most basic of raw materials involved in production, and it is important to trade off water risk against other concerns.

As I wrote in a previous blog published in this forum,

There are several risks that all companies face, to varying degrees, as global water consumption increases, including
• Physical supply risk: will fresh water always be available in the required quantities for your operations?
• Corporate image risk: your corporate image will likely take a hit if you are called out as a “polluter” or “water waster”
• Governmental interference risk: governmental bodies are becoming increasingly interested in water consumption, and can impose regulations that can be difficult to deal with
• Profit risk: all of the above risks can translate to a deterioration of your bottom line.

The challenge has been: how to quantify such risks so that they can be used to compare network design options.

Recently a post entitled “How Much is Water Worth” on LinkedIn highlighted a website developed by Ecolab that offers users an approach to monetization of water risks. This website allows the user to enter information about their current or potential supply chain footprint – such as locations of facilities and current or planned water consumption – and the website combines this information with internal information about projected GDP growth for the country of interest, the political climate and other factors to calculate a projected risk-adjusted cost of water over the time horizon of interest.

This capability, in conjunction with traditional supply chain modeling methods, gives the planner a tool that can be used to develop a more robust set of information that can be used in decision-making.
For more details visit the website waterriskmonetizer.com

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to an operations management class for MBA students in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.  The class is intended to give the students an introduction to a variety of problems that they might encounter during their careers, and to management science techniques that might be applied to them, using Excel as a solution platform.  The professor had asked me to address the course topic from the point of view of one who had used these methods in the real world, and I was glad to do so, recounting my work in supply chain network design, hydro power generation scheduling, routing of empty shipping containers, natural gas supply contract management and various other problems.

During Q&A one of the students asked how a company should determine the appropriate source of resources to use for solving these types of problems – should it be in-house expertise or an outside consultant?

As I told him, to me, this depends on a number of factors, and I gave an example, based on our experience: In our practice we perform supply chain network design studies, and we also license the network design software that we use to our clients, if they desire. A number of clients have engaged us to first do an analysis for them, and then they have licensed the software so that they can then perform future projects themselves, using our initial project as a base.  Many of these clients have used the software very effectively.

Those that have been most successful at using the software in-house, and at performing management science projects in-house in general, have several common characteristics-

  • They are committed to tactical and strategic planning as tools for meeting their business goals,
  • They have enough work in this area, and related areas, to keep an analyst or group of analysts busy full time, due to such factors as
    • The scale and scope of their operations
    • The speed of innovation in their industry
    • The level of complexity of their supply chain and variety of products made, and
    • Their desire for a “continuous improvement” approach as opposed to a “one-time reorganization” approach
  • They have a commitment to maintaining personnel who
    • have the proper skills and training to address these problems, and
    • are allowed the time to work on these problems, rather than being constantly pulled off for “firefighting” short term or operational problems.

Most companies can make good use of management science solution methods, but, as you think about how to do this, try to make a realistic determination of your internal priorities, so you can decide between insourcing and outsourcing, or a mixture of the two.

In the recent weeks, I have been thinking about testing our applications, like our popular Profit Network, or Profit Vehicle Planner.  When we test, we run data sets that are designed to stress the system in different ways, to ensure that all the important paths through the code are working properly.  When we test, our applications get better and better. There are many good reasons to test, most importantly, is to know that an improvement in one part of the code does not break a feature in a different part of the code.

ApplicationHarness

I have been thinking about how we could test our code a bit more, and the means by which we could do that. I have been reading about automated testing, and its benefits. They are many, but the upshot is that if the testing is automated, you will likely test more often, and that is a good thing.  To automate application testing requires the ability to churn out runs with nobody watching. And to do that, the application needs to be able to be kicked off and run in a way that there are no buttons or dialog boxes that must be manually clicked to continue. There can be no settings that must be manually set, or information reviewed to decide what to do next. In addition, the application must then save the results somewhere, either in the instance of the application, or to a log file, or to a database of some sort. Then finally, to really be testing, the results must be compared to the expected results to determine the pass/fail state of the test. This requires having a set of expected results for every test data set.

 

In looking at this process above, I see numerous similarities to the process used to run a sensitivity analysis, in that many runs are typically run, (so automation is a natural help) and the results need to be recorded. Sensitivity Analysis is a typical process for user of our Profit Network tool, and out Profit Planner and Profit Scheduler tool.   An additional step in sensitivity analysis however, is that you ApplicationHarness1may desire to change the input data in a systematic way (say Demand + 5%, and Demand -5%), and to the extent that it is indeed systematic, this too could be folded into the automation. The results analysis is different too, in that here you would like to look across the final sets of results at the differences, while in testing you just compare one set of test results to its expected results.  I can foresee difficulty in automating the data changes, since each type of data may need to be changed in a very specific way.  Never-the-less, even if the data changes are manual, they could be prepared ahead of the run, and the runs themselves could be grouped in a batch run to generate the results needed for a sensitivity analysis.

Constructing a harness that lashes up to an application where you can define the number of runs to be made, the setting for that run, the different data sets to be used, and the output location for results to be analyzed, would be useful not only for testing, but for the type of sensitivity analysis we do a lot of here at Profit Point.

I am going to encourage our developers to investigate this type of a system harness to be able to talk to and control our applications to be able to run them automatically, and have their results automatically stored in a data store for either test or sensitivity analysis.

Jim Piermarini  |  CEO Profit Point Inc.

 

Profit Point, a leading supply chain optimization firm, adds total delivered cost and margin at the customer location-product level of detail to its supply chain network design software.

Supply Chain Network Design Software

Profit Network™ – Supply Chain Design Software

Profit Point, the leading supply chain optimization consultancy, today announced the release of an update to Profit Network™, a supply chain network design software that is used by supply chain managers all over the world to gain visibility in to the trade-offs they will face when designing or optimizing a global supply chain. In addition to several other new enhancements, Profit Network now allows users to analyze and report on the total delivered cost and the resulting gross profit margin for all products delivered to each customer location.

“With the ever-increasing availability of granular data across the supply chain, many of our clients have expressed a strong interest in analyzing and reporting on the total delivered cost of a single product or set of customer products,” said Alan Kosanksy, Profit Point’s President. “Previously, it was quite a challenge to understand how costs accumulate over time from raw material procurement through manufacturing, inventory, transportation and customer delivery.  Now our customers are able to see the true total cost for each unit of product delivered to each customer.  This will be a powerful tool in helping them evaluate their product and customer portfolios.”

In addition to total delivered cost, now Profit Network also enables more control over source-destination matching, as well as inventory levels by establishing minimum and maximum number of days of inventory demand.

“Profit Network software has been helping Fortune 500 companies around the world build more robust and profitable supply chains for more than 10 years,” said Jim Piermarini, Profit Point’s CEO and CTO. “Over that time, the dramatic increase in data availability across the supply chain has provided us tremendous opportunities to solve unique and critical problems in a variety of supply chain networks.”

In addition to Profit Network, Profit Point’s line of supply chain software also includes Distribution and Vehicle Planning, Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP), Production Planning, Scheduling and Order Fulfillment software.

To learn more about how Profit Network can help you analyze and improve your Supply Chain Network Design, call us at (866) 347-1130 or contact us here.

About Profit Point

Profit Point Inc. was founded in 1995 and is now the leading supply chain software and consulting company. The company’s team of supply chain consultants includes industry leaders in the fields infrastructure planning, green operations, supply chain planning, distribution, scheduling, transportation, warehouse improvement and business optimization. Profit Point has combined software and service solutions that have been successfully applied across a breadth of industries and by a diverse set of companies, including Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, Lifetech, Logitech and Toyota.

A Network Design is Never Done

September 18th, 2012 5:17 pm Category: Network Design, Profit Network, by: Editor

DC Velocity featured an article entitled A Network Design is Never Done. The article, which included an interview with Profit Point’s Alan Kosansky, touches upon on the trend of large manufacturers to move from designing their supply chain networks once to continuously improving the design to meet customer demand and supplier mix, among other things.

You can read the complete article here.

There is nothing like a bit of vacation to help with perspective.

Recently, I read about the San Diego Big Boom fireworks fiasco — when an elaborate Fourth of July fireworks display was spectacularly ruined after all 7,000 fireworks went off at the same time. If you haven’t seen the video, here is a link.

And I was reading an article in the local newspaper on the recent news on the Higgs: Getting from Cape Cod to Higgs boson read it here:

And I was thinking about how hard it is to know something, really know it. The data collected at CERN when they smash those particle streams together must look a lot like the first video. A ton of activity, all in a short time, and a bunch of noise in that Big Data. Imagine having to look at the fireworks video and then determine the list of all the individual type of fireworks that went up… I guess that is similar to what the folks at CERN have to do to find the single firecracker that is the Higgs boson.

Sometimes we are faced with seemingly overwhelming tasks of finding that needle in the haystack.

In our business, we help companies look among potentially many millions of choices to find the best way of operating their supply chains. Yeah, I know it is not the Higgs boson. But it could be a way to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami that disrupted operations literally overnight. It could be the way to restore profitability to an ailing business in a contracting economy. It could be a way to reduce the greenhouse footprint by eliminating unneeded transportation, or decrease water consumption in dry areas. It could be a way to expand in the best way to use assets and capital in the long term. It could be to reduce waste by stocking what the customers want.

These ways of running the business, of running the supply chain, that make a real difference, are made possible by the vast amounts of data being collected by ERP systems all over the world, every day. Big Data like the ‘point-of’sale’ info on each unit that is sold from a retailer. Big Data like actual transportation costs to move a unit from LA to Boston, or from Shanghai to LA. Big Data like the price elasticity of a product, or the number of products that can be in a certain warehouse. These data and many many other data points are being collected every day and can be utilized to improve the operation of the business in nearly real time. In our experience, much of the potential of this vast collection of data is going to waste. The vastness of the Big Data can itself appear to be overwhelming. Too many fireworks at once.

Having the data is only part of the solution. Businesses are adopting systems to organize that data and make it available to their business users in data warehouses and other data cubes. Business users are learning to devour that data with great visualization tools like Tableau and pivot tables. They are looking for the trends or anomalies that will allow them to learn something about their operations. And some businesses adopting more specialized tools to leverage that data into an automated way of looking deeper into the data. Optimization tools like our Profit Network, Profit Planner, or Profit Scheduler can process vast quantities of data to find the best way of configuring or operating the supply chain.
So, while it is not the Higgs boson that we help people find, businesses do rely on us to make sense of a big bang of data and hopefully see some fireworks along the way.

When working with our clients we try to understand the reasons why they decided to use an outside consultant. I surveyed several of our clients to understand their thinking on this topic and the content of this blog entry should largely be credited to them.

While there are a number of reasons for engaging an outside consultant, those reasons fall into three broad categories which are

1) Resource capability

2) Resource availability

3) Training / Partnership

Resource Capability

In planning a project a key question to ask is “What skillsets are required to accomplish the work?” It may not be cost effective to maintain certain skillsets in-house if those skillsets

1) are not part of the core mission of your company and / or

2) are readily available at a reasonable cost on the outside.

Resource capability, though, can be thought of in broader terms than just expertise. An outside consultant can provide

1) a fresh perspective

2) objectivity

3) knowledge of best-in-class practices

4) political cover

In these kinds of situations, engaging outside resources makes eminent sense.

Resource Availability

Once you have settled on the skillsets required to accomplish the work, if those skillsets are not available in-house then obviously you’ll need to engage outside resources. But if they are available in-house you’ll need to determine if those in-house resources have enough capacity to accomplish the work within the required time frame.

If the resources needed are not available over the time frame required then an option is to make a permanent hire but there may not be enough time to do a proper search and after you hire someone presumably for the long term.

By engaging an outside consultant you can almost always get that resource working on your project sooner and will have that resource engaged for a limited time for a known cost up front (assuming fixed pricing).

Training / Partnership

Some of our customers want to have capable and available resources to do the work in house but do not currently. In those cases, an outside resource can help you build the capability in house via a partnership of training and / or mentoring. Here the clear end goal is to develop the long term in house resources to continue the work.

So whether it is to complement the capabilities of your organization supplement existing capacity or train and mentor new in house skills, consider how outside resources might help you meet your objectives.

We recently attended a discovery meeting that was focused on how to conduct a strategic optimization planning study of an existing distribution network. The company wanted to know what changes needed to be made to lower the distribution costs. Several members of the management team were present and there were many questions regarding the ideal business process, study approach and modeling tools to be used to insure a successful project.

What was interesting to me was the overwhelming focus on the modeling tool. Questions about who would be on the project, the timeline, the types of scenarios, data gathering and validation were secondary. It may be important to have the right tool to model your infrastructure, but the real focus should be on the experience and modeling capabilities of the users of the tool.

These are the Critical Success Factors

  1. Full participation in data gathering and results review by the project team and management.
  2. Clear definition of the key questions to be addressed and the related scenarios required by the Project Sponsor early in the project timeline.
  3. Availability of leadership resources within the company throughout the project to review assumptions and to ensure integrity and quality of the input.
  4. On time delivery of a complete set of all required data by Project Team members.
  5. Acceptance and agreement on the variable, fixed and capital cost assumptions of existing and potential new facilities.
  6. Availability, communication, and collaboration of the Project Team members, support staff, and consultant for all working sessions, conference calls, and follow-up between meetings.

It’s important that the optimization modeling tool can incorporate the variables and constraints associated with your supply chain, but the real focus should not be on the tool, but rather on the experience of the users of the tool and their ability to deliver the results of a project. If I were to set out on a network optimization planning project to model my entire supply chain, then my primary focus would be on developing an experienced team of individuals that had the skills to minimize the above risks.

Including Capital Costs in Network Design Analysis

September 22nd, 2010 11:42 am Category: Network Design, Profit Network, by: Gene Ramsay

When making infrastructure planning decisions regarding adding new facilities, or adding capacity to existing facilities, you will want to take into account a variety of facility costs to ensure you make the right decisions.  These costs include…

  • variable cost, dependent on the volume through the facility
  • operating fixed cost, to cover costs such as taxes, security, leases, etc.
  • depreciation,  based on the life of the equipment, and
  • cost of the capital used to construct / purchase the facility

In an optimization model you can capture all of these costs separately, or perhaps you will want to consider the fixed costs as a “lump sum”.

Here are two ways that you could build the cost of capital into the decision-making process:

  • Add a Capital Recovery Cost to the objective function, to reflect the cost of the capital required to build or expand a facility.  One way to do this is the approach used in the Microsoft Excel PMT function, which asks for four inputs to the calculation of recovery cost for a time period:
    • capital cost of the asset to be added, e.g. a plant, production line, distribution facility, waste water treatment facility, etc.
    • useful life of the asset  – the entry here for the number of time periods should be consistent with the frequency of time in your model
    • salvage value at the end of the asset’s used useful life, if any
    • capital cost charge (interest) rate to be charged in each time period – again, the entry here should be consistent with the frequency of time in your model.  (This number could be annual, monthly, or based on another frequency, depending on how you have defined your model.)

The Capital Recovery Charge can be thought of as a loan repayment for the amount of capital required in purchase and install the facility.  Excel has help files describing the details of the PMT function, so we will go into more detail here.

  • Use Economic Profit as the objective of the model, or as a measure that you use to compare alternative solutions.  Economic Profit is your standard accounting profit, less the opportunity cost of capital invested in the business.  The opportunity cost is the return that the company would have been able earn if it had invested in the next best alternative project.  For instance, if you consider a future alternative where
    • the accounting profit for the time period (say, year) is 100, with the additional asset, but
    • the asset has a capital cost of 1000, and
    • the opportunity cost for capital is 15% per year (the company could have received a 15% return by investing the capital elsewhere) , then
    • the Economic Profit for the year is 100 – .15*1000 = -50.

If you are minimizing cost rather than maximizing profit in your model, then you can calculate Impact on Economic Profit for a given alternative, adjusting the operating costs from the model for the effective tax rate, and subtracting the capital charge.

Including the cost of capital appropriately will allow you to present a more complete analysis.


Profit Network 4.5 enhances visibility for decision makers and extends modeling capabilities to handle the world’s largest supply chains.

North Brookfield, MA (PRWEB) February 4, 2010 — Profit Point, a leading Supply Chain Optimization company, today announced the introduction of Profit Network 4.5, a major upgrade to their award-winning supply chain network design and modeling software. The software update includes a combination of new features and technical enhancements which combine to support richer scenario testing for larger supply chains over a longer time periods.

“With almost 10 years in the field, Profit Network has been put to the test against some of the world’s largest supply chains,” noted Jim Piermarini, Profit Point’s Chief Technology Officer. “But best practices have expanded over time, so decision makers are looking for more integrated and comprehensive modeling solutions.”

Profit Network 4.5, which is used by many Global 2000 companies to model supply chain plans, has been enhanced to integrate better capital planning, greater control over facilities decisions and improve tracking and modeling of sustainability initiatives. The modeling software now includes improved options for integrated capital spending, facilities decisions, natural resource planning and emissions mitigation.

“Ultimately, the number one priority for our customers remains capital planning and return on investments” said Piermarini. “A company’s infrastructure plan will dictate 80% or more of future costs. So, we added several features that help analysts understand the capital impact of decisions to control costs and maximize the long-term logistics benefits.”

The software update also includes several technical enhancements to improve planning for the largest supply chains, over longer periods of time. “We’ve added a new core optimization process into Profit Network 4.5,” stated Piermarini. “Customers will now have 50% more addressable memory capacity, which will yield deeper visibility in to larger networks and the long term tradeoffs that are being modeled.

To learn more about Profit Network and Profit Point’s supply chain software, visit www.profitpt.com.

About Profit Point:
Profit Point Inc. was founded in 1995 and is now a global leader in supply chain optimization. The company’s team of supply chain consultants includes industry leaders in the fields infrastructure planning, green operations, supply chain planning, distribution, scheduling, transportation, warehouse improvement and business optimization. Profit Point’s has combined software and service solutions that have been successfully applied across a breadth of industries and by a diverse set of companies, including Dow, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Logitech, Sealed Air, Bridgestone and Toyota.

Swire Beverages, the largest Coca-Cola bottling and distribution franchise in Mainland China will employ more Profit Point infrastructure planning software licenses.

North Brookfield, MA (PRWEB) May 7, 2008 — Profit Point today announced that its Profit NetworkTM infrastructure planning software, already in use for 3 years to optimize Swire Beverage’s distribution network throughout China, will be expanded to cover the needs of the operations. Swire Beverages is an anchor bottling franchise of The Coca-Cola Company with bottling operations in 7 provinces in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and 10 states in the U.S. The Mainland China market is experiencing significant growth in demand for its products, which has in turn increased pressure on its bottling operations. Sales volume increased 20% in 2007 to exceed 500 million unit cases for Swire Beverages’ Mainland China operations. The population in Swire’s Mainland China territory is over 400 million. Swire will rely upon Profit Point’s proven network optimization software to model infrastructure plans, test projected demand scenarios and maximize its return on infrastructure investments.

“Executing our Customer Service Policy is essential in Mainland China,” said Douglas Holland, Swire’s General Manager of Sales Operations in Mainland China. “Our infrastructure decisions must support the fast changing conditions in the marketplace. Our significant volume shifts by geography and by channel, create a daunting task for our operations to keep pace. And our distribution network design must be based upon clear visibility into our projected growth scenarios and the related impact on our distribution network. With our use of the tool Profit Network, we are able to develop least cost or most profit scenarios from our raw materials suppliers all the way through to our end retail outlets, including support for deciding when we should distribute our products via indirect channels, such as wholesalers and 3rd party distribution partners.”

Profit Network is a robust application that helps decision maker optimize their supply chain for maximum profitability. The proven optimization tool is a stand-alone planning software package that is used to analyze the placement and location of production facilities, distribution centers, and warehouses over a multi-period planning horizon. The system is often used to help firms restructure their supply chains after mergers, periods of rapid growth and in anticipation of geographic or product preference shifts in the market.

“Infrastructure planning for a rapidly-growing operation like Swire is an extremely important process and involves significant mid and long-term investments,” said Jim Piermarini, Profit Point’s CEO. “The infrastructure solutions that we develop using Profit Network will allow Swire to make effective management decisions, reconfigure bottling operations as demand shifts, implement new business processes and realign resources.”

Although the resource investments in value chain network design are significant, the return from an implementation of an optimized infrastructure study can be substantial. “We knew that the choices that we were making today will have a long-term impact on our business success, which is measured, both from a customer service level and cost perspective,” said Holland. “Profit Point brings a compelling combination of optimization software and training experts which allow us to effectively manage the process and gain the greatest benefit from our network design. We initially selected and implemented Profit Network in 2005 focusing mostly on Distribution. Today and in the future we are adding more resources into the Profit Network enabled process to incorporate our entire value chain including manufacturing capacity planning, production line and plant locations.”

About Profit Point:

Profit Point Inc. was founded in 1995 and is now a global leader in supply chain optimization. The company’s team of supply chain consultants includes industry leaders in the fields infrastructure planning, green operations, supply chain planning, distribution, scheduling, transportation, warehouse improvement and business optimization. Profit Point’s has combined software and service solutions that have been successfully applied across a breadth of industries and by a diverse set of companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Rohm and Haas and Toyota.

About Swire Beverages:

Swire Beverages has the franchise to manufacture market and distribute the products of The Coca-Cola Company in Hong Kong and Taiwan, 10 states in the USA and seven provinces in Mainland China. This represents a total franchise population of over 440 million. Swire Beverages is recognized as one of a select group of strategic business partners of The Coca-Cola Company known as the “Anchor Bottlers”. Swire works closely with The Coca-Cola Company on brand development and marketing.

To learn more about how Profit Point’s supply chain consultants can help optimize your supply chain, contact us here:

(866) 347-1130 or
(435) 487-9141

Send us an Email

Look for our new web-based release of Profit Network in spring 2008. Profit Network is a stand-alone optimization planning software package that is used to design better supply chain networks. Profit Network can be used to analyze the placement and location of production facilities, distribution centers and warehouses over a multi-period planning horizon. Profit Network helps firms restructure their supply chains after mergers, periods of rapid growth or in anticipation of geographic or product preference shifts in the market. Savings of 10% of supply chain costs and 25% of supply chain cycle time are typical.

Profit Vehicle Router
(PVR) helps distributors save money by cutting the time needed to develop sales/distribution territories and schedules, as well as reducing delivery miles and the number of sales/delivery vehicles and drivers needed. PVR helps you plan optimal delivery or sales territories, cycle-day territories (what days each site will receive deliveries), and daily routes from a distribution center or office, improving customer service, employee productivity and ultimately increasing profits.

Infrastructure Planning at a Coca-Cola Bottler

December 11th, 2007 6:23 pm Category: Network Design, Profit Network, by: Editor

Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC) holds the franchise to bottle Coca-Cola products in most of Eastern Europe, as well as in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Nigeria and other parts of the world. They needed a tool to help them to make better infrastructure planning decisions, and, after evaluating a number of alternative software packages and vendors, they purchased Profit Point’s Profit Network software. CCHBC uses Profit Network whenever they want to make new investment decisions within their large territory – this story describes one of those studies.

In addition to carbonated soft drinks, CCHBC produces energy, fruit and juice drinks in aseptic and related packaging. Aseptic packaging, which the consumer often sees in the form of boxes or pouches in addition to bottles, is used for products that might deteriorate when packaged in standard container types. With an aseptic process the package is sterile when receiving the food, and the food product is also sterile when it goes into the package. This means that the drink will be safe for consumption when stored at ambient temperature for months or years without the addition of preservatives.

Aseptically-packaged drinks is one of the fastest growing segments of CCHBC’s market, and as a result they needed to plan for how to meet this growing demand – through:

  • expanded capacity at one or more of their existing plants,
  • construction or purchase of an additional facility,
  • purchase of product from some other manufacturer, or
  • another means.

Profit Network enabled them to perform this analysis in a quick and efficient manner.

CCHBC gathered the required data for the study, such as the demand forecast, current production capacity, potential locations for new production lines and transportation costs for products from one point to another. CCHBC and Profit Point worked together to build a baseline model (modeling the existing infrastructure), and then enlarge that to look at several alternative capacity expansion locations.

As a result of this process CCHBC identified the best locations at which to expand their production capacity. They went to the next phase of their capital expansion process, where they developed detailed expansion plans for those plants, confident that they were the right places.

To learn more about how Profit Point can help you get the most out of your Supply Chain Infrastructure Planning, call us at (866) 347-1130 or send us an email.

Profit Network Software

Our Profit Network optimization tool is a stand-alone software package that is used to solve supply chain network design problems. Profit Network can be used to analyze alternative placements of production facilities, distribution centers and warehouses over a multi-period planning horizon. Profit Network helps firms restructure their supply chains after mergers, periods of rapid growth and in anticipation of geographic or product preference shifts in the market. Savings of 10% of supply chain costs and 25% of supply chain cycle time are typical when implementing results from models such as Profit Network.

Profit Network allows the user to model their existing or proposed supply chain for a geographic area, with its locations, flow limits and costs. Input data include raw material sources and costs, plant locations, plant production rates and costs, warehouse and distribution center locations and costs and customer locations and anticipated demand. You will be able to solve detailed supply chain network design problems in a few moments with optimal results.

Profit Point has both delivered this product to clients and used it on infrastructure planning diagramSupply Chain consulting engagements. This proprietary tool is now available for delivery and use at your company.

To learn more about Profit Network, go to: http://www.profitpt.com/software/network-design/network-design-software/

To learn more about how Profit Point can help you get the most out of your Supply Chain Infrastructure Planning, call us at (866) 347-1130 or send us an email.

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