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A new tool for managing supply chains

SW-Development offers a range of efficiency services and simulation-based efficiency software products, all designed to improve investment and production efficiency. The company's customers include businesses in the pulp and paper, food, steel, electronics, and logistics industries, as well as universities and research institutions.

With the rapid development of global markets, companies need to be able to manage a broad range of challenges in areas such as demand patterns, transportation and production costs, and product life-cycles, while maintaining high levels of service. Global demand and supply chains are difficult, if not impossible, to manage effectively without the right business vision – and the right tools.

Given the number of varying factors impacting competitiveness today, management tools have to be dynamic if they are to keep up. SW-Development's Demand & Supply Planning Efficiency System, or DSPES, has been developed with this very much in mind, in cooperation with the company's customers and drawing on SW-Development's close to 15 years of experience in enhancing industrial efficiency

Giving managers the full picture

DSPES is a dynamic simulation-based tool designed to model a customer's entire supply chain – from suppliers through production and logistics to customers – as well as their planning needs and compare alternative solutions. It is ideal for manufacturing companies with complex supply chains, production in a number of locations, and/or multiple suppliers and customers.

DSPES users can vary production and material costs, product types and volumes, locations, logistics alternatives, tariffs, and other data very flexibly to model a variety of scenarios and identify the optimum solutions.

DSPES covers all areas of supply chain management in a unique way not offered by any other system on the market; and it is as at home dealing with strategic planning issues as operational situations, integrated with other databases and applications, such as ERP systems.

Being based on dynamic simulation, all bottlenecks are displayed and buffer sizes are always time-related. Thanks to a user-friendly interface, DSPES is very easy to use and no programming or simulation skills are required.

DSPES has the potential to help companies cut logistic costs by tens of percent. A simultaneous review of production and logistic costs provides a comprehensive overview of how changes made in one area of the supply chain affect the whole system. This is important, as although production might cost less in one location, other factors, such as transportation and tariffs, can raise total costs and in some cases push them above acceptable limits.

By visualising the entire chain and making it completely transparent, managers are better-placed to take the best decisions at the right time to yield savings, increase efficiency, and enhance competitiveness.

By giving companies a comprehensive view of their supply chain, DSPES enables them to react to changing developments more effectively and keep their efficiency and cost performance in line with their targets.

> Milla Turunen
(Published in High Technology Finland )