Contract Logistics

Industry

Contract logistics projects need careful planning and investment analysis. A large variety of resources are deployed and all these resource performances need to be considered in order to correctly identify the true nature of the transshipment system. Before bidding, a logistics provider needs to have clear information on the throughput, cost and possible weaknesses of their proposed logistics solution. They also need to find the optimum investment (machinery, vessels, ports, etc.) and then design a highly competitive solution in order to win the fierce competition.

Industrial logistics providers have to deal simultaneously with very different contract logistics projects. For example, a project may involve transshipment of oil pipes with large ocean going vessels and several smaller feeder ships while an iron ore transshipment project may require a design of large floating transshipment facilities and a tug/barge cycle to feed the system. Some projects have well defined parameters and several scenario cases, while others need extensive statistical analysis and thousands of simulations.

Issues

Traditional simulation software or plain old spreadsheets are used to analyze and design contract logistics projects. Although these methods help to calculate automatically various key performance indicators based on the input parameters, they leave the time consuming and sophisticated job of decision making entirely to planners. They help to find results for a large set of possible scenarios, but they lack the sophistication needed in order to find the “best” one out of these different scenarios. 

Solution

ICRON Technologies provides consultancy, simulation services and optimization tools built on the top of its flag-ship application, ICRON Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS). ICRON APS uses advanced mathematical algorithms or logic to perform optimization or simulation on finite capacity scheduling, sourcing, capital planning, resource planning, forecasting, demand management, and others. It simultaneously considers a range of constraints and business rules to provide real-time planning and scheduling, decision support, as well as available-to-promise and capable-to-promise capabilities.

This means that now you can make the difference between a profitable engagement and a missed business opportunity. Also you will be able to find the most economic and business alike route to its destination for your fleet. You can perform well and meet all your business service levels and be competitively priced.

Also you can serve customers to keep their inventory levels as they are pleased. Give your planners an overview of all available and utilized resources including the rules and constraints relating to each resource. Also you can and will be fully capable to cope with the rising demand for last-minute shipments.

It helps to manage the 5 V’s: Value, Velocity, Variability, Visibility and Vulnerability. In other words ICRON enables a Unified Planning covering the total Supply Chain. Also ICRON uses the Start Small Scale Fast principle where you can have distributed planning scaling up and scaling down enabling a 100% fit.

Finally Scenario Planning is 100% enabled being departmental or covering your whole enterprise and even the whole Supply Chain enabling Real-time optimization.

ICRON APS provides both deterministic and stochastic analysis tools to support decision making. The best base and worst case scenarios are easily created and loaded. Different probability distributions are attached easily to input parameters in order to perform Monte Carlo simulations.

Value

ICRON gives decision makers increased control and visibility across the entire supply chain for an overview of the entire supply network so that areas of potential improvement can be identified and realized. Next to financial benefits such as:

70-90% reduction in planning cycle time;
15-30% improvement in forecast accuracy;

30-50% improvement in Planning and Execution Scenarios.

ICRON Platform gives companies in the Contracts Logistics industry many other benefits such as:

  • Generate and evaluate multiple scenarios
  • Ensure that customer requirements are achievable with proposed system
  • Ensure maximum throughput while keeping costs minimum
  • Avoid unnecessary equipment investment
  • Avoid underinvestment and future penalty payments
  • Identify and solve the bottlenecks
  • Execute what-if analysis to compare different transportation methods
  • Create deterministic and/or Monte Carlo simulations for forecasted demand, weather conditions, equipment failures, etc.
  • Perform investment analysis on planned changes
  • Significantly shorten analysis and design phase of the projects


100% fit: Using the Distributed Planning Concept it allows a 100% fit since all stakeholders will be able to contribute and participate in the Company Planning. It certainly also allows Scenario Planning up to the greatest granularity.

Unified Planning: In the Logistics Industry it is extremely important to have an overview of all departments and external forces when planning. Only with a 100% Unified Planning one can optimize strategy to Execution.

Distributed Planning: Making departmental planning optimization and yet being able to link and coordinate all of these planning environments in to one integrated Planning using all constraints. This is a unique and nowhere to be found capability of the ICRON Distributed Planning Solution.

Continuous Optimization: ICRON helps you in creating the right planning and decision making but also in managing the disruptions during the execution of the planned such as: change in routing, availability of fleet, availability of personnel etc.

Visibility and Control: Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility improves Industry wide Collaboration. This leading to cost reductions and improved customer responsiveness.