I’ve watched many times as customers experience the power of modeling and prescriptive analytics for the first time. It’s like they are opening a great gift. True mathematical optimization is so incredibly attractive to supply chain professionals, that despite a crowded field of supply chain planning technologies getting to a point where you can hit the ‘optimize’ button, watch as the technology runs through thousands, sometimes millions of permutations, and marvel at the fully formed prescriptive scenarios that are produced…can be addictive. I still let out an involuntary cheer and my enthusiasm isn’t diminishing over time.
We at AIMMS have been so obsessed with the amazing benefits of optimization that we only recently began to fully recognize the power of the proprietary development, deployment and visualization technology that we’ve created over the last three decades. We’re smitten with optimization and so didn’t appreciate the power of the journey itself.
Developing Your Digital Representation
Think of this as a supply chain professional…you can spend a few short weeks expressing and discussing your existing and potential supply chain with the help of a white board and in parallel (yes in real time!) a skilled AIMMS developer can capture and produce a digital representation of that supply chain including assets, processes, machines, products, customers, transportation, costs, constraints, geocodes. If you don’t have skilled AIMMS developers in-house, you can use a partner or do it yourself with the many pre-built applications that allow you to create this digital representation.
Why is a Digital Representation Important?
Think of a living and breathing digital representation as a robust chassis from which you can install diverse sub-assemblies:
- Optimization and prescriptive analytics to help you understand the business implications of human and computer-generated scenarios
- Predictive Technologies such as Python and R to help you predict demand and maintenance events
- Emerging A.I. & Machine Learning capabilities to automate or support operational excellence and demand understanding.
Supply chain professionals almost always express their supply chain in the form of primitive PowerPoint, Excel and whiteboard sketches while simultaneously pursuing advanced capabilities – no wonder most things take longer and cost more than planned to implement.
Imagine this instead: in this aspiring age of digital supply chains, your teams express their supply chain as a fully living and breathing digital representation that can be easily understood and utilized for any number of functional and technological advances-regardless of the vendor that supports a particular technology. It could truly be a step change in the effectiveness of decision making and innovation that would positively impact revenues and margins.
In our 30 year obsession with optimization we invented software to make optimization more accessible to supply chain teams. But optimization is only part of the what customers achieve with AIMMS. A digital supply chain representation is an incredible ‘byproduct’ of our technology. It has many more uses and can form a next generation language for supply chains and a proven chassis for digital innovation. We propose this as a capability worthy of the digital age.
What do you think? Is a digital representation of your supply chain an important opportunity for your business?