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5 technological capabilities to look for in supply chain planning software

OCTOBER 3, 2022

Businesses and industries worldwide are compelled by rising complexity and volatility to adjust their supply chain technology investments in order to meet the demands for resilient, agile, and intelligent operations. As supply chain planning (SCP) projects can be long-drawn-out and investment-intensive, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the technological capabilities of a specific supply chain planning and optimization software solution before deciding to adopt new technology for the organization.

With the help of its advanced supply chain planning and optimization capabilities, ICRON provides an unrivaled range of technological tools, analytics, and data-driven solutions to help you navigate disruption and build a resilient supply chain that is engineered to solve problems end-to-end faster and better.

5 main technological capabilities in a supply chain planning software

1. Modeling Capability

Most supply chain planning software available in the market offers standard algorithms that require further parameter customization to generate specific planning capabilities when an organization requires it. When such requirements arise, the organization typically needs to engage an external consultant to develop the algorithms outside the system.

Such stand-alone optimization software has limited functionality, especially when supply chain concepts are not directly related to optimization.

ICRON Customer-Centric Supply Chain Planning  provides a comprehensive model that handles common supply chain concepts through an out-of-the-box suite of algorithms.

ICRON’s standard model can be extended across various dimensions, such as:

With ICRON’s visual algorithm modeling environment, GSAMS, it provides an organic integration of customized and standard algorithms into the decision process to ensure continuous optimization without business disruption.

2. Supply Chain Planning (SCP) Process Coverage

Most supply chain planning vendors in the market provide point solutions focusing on a single or a small number of decision processes. In most cases, the optimization software focus is greatly placed on processes that can be modeled as optimization problems thus creating limited support for other essential elements such as pegging. 

Pegging investigates the correlations between all decisions put into action and intelligently helps to create new decisions in accordance with your organization’s goals. Without pegging capabilities, these supply chain planning vendors offer little to no value to customers looking to achieve end-to-end supply chain planning.

ICRON Customer-Centric Supply Chain Planning is an end-to-end supply chain planning platform that supports a wide range of integrated business decisions, from long-term demand planning to detailed short-term scheduling, on a unified data model to provide a consistent user experience.

The powerful pegging engine, tightly integrated with other planning and optimization engines, runs single-level and global pegging calculations across the supply chain, covering the whole ecosystem in real-time with speed. ICRON’s scenario engine makes it possible to define ad-hoc “what-if” scenarios and make smart decisions.

ICRON’s global pegging not only covers your entire ecosystem in real-time but also does this with great speed. This is the speed you need to cope with modern disruptions and the ever-changing needs of your customers. 

3. Algorithmic Capability

As an industry standard, the vendors focus on optimization modeling, which offers limited support for other algorithmic approaches. Most of them have also limitations in-memory capabilities. Even if there is an in-memory database utilized in the operational environment, the impact of this architecture on planning and scheduling operations is limited. Mostly reporting speeds are improved. Often unable to handle large-scale supply chains.

ICRON has multiple calculation engines based on algorithmic paradigms such as heuristics, optimization, and AI/machine learning. ICRON GSAMS unifies multiple algorithmic paradigms to provide consistently good solutions to a wide range of SCP challenges arising in different industries.

ICRON runs all planning algorithms and responds to user interactions in memory. ICRON GSAMS automatically runs algorithms in parallel on multiple CPUs to ensure highly scalable solutions.

4. Maintainability

Industry-standard is to bundle software originally developed by different vendors into modules, therefore sustainable maintenance of the deployed solutions is usually not in place.

While at ICRON, we have dedicated R&D and product development teams working on developing and releasing new features and versions to improve the performance of our software. Additionally, we also have a support team who is always on hand to facilitate issue resolution.

5. Usability

The usability of a software solution is an important element to ensure users are able to navigate effortlessly and achieve the best outcome from the supply chain planning software. Most planning and optimization software in the market does not place enough emphasis on user experience making it difficult to use, even for more advanced users.

Without the right level of usability, it limits the usage and understanding of the optimization capability. With this limitation, users cannot generate the correct requirements and eventually reverts to creating manual scenario analysis and reporting.

ICRON Customer-Centric Supply Chain Planning has a user-friendly and intuitive UX design. Users can engage with the tool to navigate and analyze different aspects of complex planning problems with ease. They can also generate what-if scenarios by manipulating the optimization parameters without the need for extensive knowledge of the algorithmic and mathematical complexity running in the background. Advanced dashboards and reports can be used to visualize and analyze different scenarios.

If you would like to see ICRON in action, please contact us. If you have enjoyed this blog, you can find more content that you might enjoy here.

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