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 to correctly identify the true nature of the transshipment system. A logistics provider needs to have clear information on the throughput, cost and possible weaknesses of their proposed logistics solution before bidding and they need to find the optimum investment (machinery, vessels, ports, etc) and design a highly competitive solution to win the fierce competition.
Industrial logistics providers have to deal with very different contract logistics projects simultaneously. For example, a project may involve transshipment of oil pipes with large ocean going vessels and several smaller feeder ships while and 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 simulation.
Traditional simulation software or plain old spreadsheets are used to analyze and design contract logistics projects. Although these methods helps to automatically calculate 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 sophistication to find out the “best” out of these different scenarios.
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 Advanced Planning and Scheduling (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 consider a range of constraints and business rules to provide real-time planning and scheduling, decision support, available-to-promise, and capable-to-promise capabilities.
ICRON APS provides both deterministic and stochastic analysis tools to support decision making. Best, base and worst case scenarios are easily created and loaded. Different probability distributions are easily attached to input parameters to perform Monte Carlo simulations.
ICRON APS can help industrial logistics companies in their effort to analyze and design contract logistics projects to:
- 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