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Best Supply Chain Design Software 2024

Published December 2023

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What is supply chain design?

Supply chain design is the process of optimization of the location and function of supply, manufacturing and distribution networks in support of overarching company strategy and customer requirements.

It involves making strategic decisions about the configuration of the supply chain network, including the locations of facilities such as production plants, distribution centers, and warehouses. The goal of supply chain design is to create an efficient and effective network that can meet customer demand while minimizing costs

Supply chain network design tools enable the creation of network models with the application of analytics to determine the optimal supply chain design in a structured, scalable and repeatable way.

With rise in E-commerce, supply chains of today are increasingly becoming omnichannel making them more complex than ever. Legacy supply chain design software were build to design brick and mortar supply chains and fail to design a true omnichannel network that has both parcel and non parcel flows. 

Our research includes following companies and their design solutions: 

Company Name Product Name
Optiflow
Supply Chain Modeler
Cosmic Frog
SC Navigator
Anylogistix

Optiflow

Optiflow is Lambda SCS’s supply chain design software platform that addresses challenges of designing a truly omnichannel supply chain.

Key Features

  • 100% Cloud-based supply chain modeling tool
  • Enables modeling of parcel flows easily and accurately
  • Has a SaaS offering (free trial through website)
  • Simple and intuitive user interface

Let us look at some of the key features of Optiflow:

 

Parcel /E-commerce compatibility

Most e-commerce networks use parcel shipping to deliver small packages to consumers’ homes. Companies utilize national carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL) or regional providers (OnTrac, LaserShip, etc.) for last-mile delivery—from fulfillment locations to consumers’ homes. Parcel rates depend on the package’s weight, zone (origin-destination), and service level, and are generally negotiated by the shipper. Optiflow has mapped the networks (zones and transit times) of leading parcel providers (FedEx, UPS, USPS) and allows users to easily upload their parcel rate contracts for calculating the logistics cost of the network.

 

Ability to optimize zone skipping

Zone skipping in a parcel network is a logistics strategy where parcels are consolidated and transported over longer distances, bypassing certain intermediate distribution points or zones. This process helps optimize the delivery network and reduce overall shipping costs.

Here’s a breakdown of how zone skipping works:

  1. Parcel Consolidation: Parcels from various origins are grouped together before reaching a central hub. This consolidation typically occurs at a distribution center or fulfillment center.

  2. Long-Distance Transport: Instead of following the traditional route that involves multiple intermediate stops or zones, the consolidated parcels are transported over longer distances directly to a destination zone.

  3. Last-Mile Delivery: Upon reaching the destination zone, the parcels are then distributed for the final leg of delivery—the last-mile delivery to the end consumer.

By skipping intermediate zones and consolidating parcels before long-distance transport, businesses can achieve several advantages:

  • Cost Savings: Long-distance transportation is often more cost-effective than moving parcels through multiple zones. Zone skipping reduces transportation costs, especially when shipping a large volume of parcels.

  • Faster Delivery: Skipping zones can lead to quicker delivery times since parcels spend less time in transit and go through fewer distribution points.

  • Reduced Handling: With fewer intermediate stops, there’s a lower risk of parcel damage or loss during transit.

  • Optimized Network: Zone skipping helps streamline the overall logistics network, making it more efficient and responsive to demand

Optiflow allows users to model and optimize intermediate parcel hub based on customer demand and product profiles. 

 

Ability to optimize inventory between stores and fulfillment centers

Many companies that have historically utilized store networks to sell to customers are moving to online channels, either through e-commerce platforms like Amazon or Wayfair or by establishing their own direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels. Deciding on the optimal product flow and inventory strategy across sales channels is paramount to business growth and profitability. Optiflow can be used to create supply chain scenarios to test different product flow and inventory strategies to support customer demand.

 

Supply Chain Modeler by Coupa

Coupa acquired LLamasoft in 2020 and began marketing the supply chain modeler which was their design solution. The Coupa offering is a combined desktop and cloud-based solution focused on network optimization, inventory optimization, and simulation. 

Coupa was acquired by Thomas Bravo (private equity group) in Feb 2023

Key Features

  • Cloud-based demand modeling tool and app builder for custom solutions
  • Data Guru to enable easy conversion of transactional to model data
  • Partial cloud-based modeling solution which requires hybrid desktop/cloud approach for more complex modeling 

Cosmic Frog by Optilogic

Optilogic was started in 2018 by Ex-llamasoft (acquired by Coupa in 2015) team members to make supply chain design process powerful and easier for design professionals. Their design platform, Cosmic Frog, combines optimization, risk and simulation into a single platform allowing companies to achieve a more wholistic view of their supply chain

Key Features

  • 100% Cloud-based supply chain modeling tool
  • Combines risk, simulation and optimization
  • Has a SaaS offering (free trial through website)

SC Navigator by AIMMS

AIMMS, headquartered in The Netherlands, offers the Supply Chain Design Solution. SC Navigator uses a mathematical optimization back end with a scenario analysis-based front end to create supply chain design models. The company also offers products for inventory planning, demand forecasting, and S&OP.

Key Features

  • Cloud-based supply chain modeling tool
  • Simple and intuitive user interface
  • Does not have a SaaS offering (free trial through website)

Anylogistix

Anylogistix is a supply chain design solution owned by The Anylogic company. Their solution combines dynamic simulation and analytical optimization to provide advanced supply chain decision support in an easy-to-use application.

Key Features

  • Desktop solution only
  • Offers simulation and optimization
  • Does not have a SaaS offering (free trial through website)

There are other companies like Logility, Gains, Log-Hub, Sophus x, which also offer supply chain design solutions.

 

Selecting the right design technology

Supply chain design forms the foundation of thriving and enduring organizations. It is imperative for your supply chain to meticulously factor in elements such as cost, risk, service, and ESG metrics. Failure to do so exposes your enterprise to vulnerabilities that could potentially disrupt your entire operation. Selecting the appropriate supply chain design software provides you with the capability to forge well-balanced, risk-resilient supply chains capable of weathering unforeseen challenges. Embark on a new approach to designing your supply chain by signing up for a free trial Optiflow account today. Explore a superior way to strategize and optimize your supply chain.

Ready to Get started?

Optimize your supply chain with Optiflow’s powerful tools and features. Our user-friendly platform offers advanced optimization capabilities and what-if analysis for data-driven decision-making. Start unlocking your supply chain’s full potential today with Optiflow