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Rethinking supply chain, what is it all about?

Thu | 15 Apr 2021 | News

Rethinking supply chain, what is it all about?

A transition path to continuous (re)planning

How can you synchronise the planning and execution of a transport operation? And how can the execution of your transport be geared to unexpected situations? Is it possible to predict what will happen on the road and to anticipate this? Can you still make adjustments during the journey and adapt the planning? These are important questions that will be discussed during our first webinar of the Rethinking series. Simacan's experts will address these questions during the webinar on 29 April: How to get 100% control on transport execution.

Simacan's supply chain platform offers consistent insight into what is happening on the road in a uniquely open and digital manner. Simacan thus takes complexity out of the execution of transport by means of real-time data exchange. This leads to a more accurate and reliable estimated time of arrival (ETA) and the possibility to intervene where necessary. It enables carriers and shippers to have continuous, shared insight into deviations and calamities for planned deliveries, taking into account traffic, last-mile information and safety warnings. 

Predictable uncertainty?

The insight provided by the Simacan Control Tower gives a better understanding of the reality, which can be acted upon. The question then quickly arises: can we reduce the number of exceptions that need to be anticipated, without introducing too much slack into the planning?

Incorporating slack into a planning is a way of dealing with uncertainty, but creates inefficiency.  By dividing events into those that are reasonably predictable, both in terms of when they will occur and their consequences, and those that are inherently unpredictable, you create more opportunities to anticipate uncertainties without becoming inefficient. 

Predictable uncertainties can be used as input for the planning process. The impact of peak-hour traffic on travel times, for example, can be predicted reasonably well on the basis of time and route. With this, a realistic planning can be made, which reduces the amount of deviations from the planning that need to be adjusted.

However, events that are by nature difficult to predict (in terms of occurrence and consequence, such as accidents) are less easy to capture in a planning. There is no other way than to minimise the impact of these events with good measures. 

Continuous replanning is one such measure. It sounds complex but it makes it possible to solve the consequences of unpredictable disruptions during the journey. 

What is continuous (re-)planning?

Continuous planning is used, supported by technology, to consider a planning no longer as a given during the execution of a trip, but as an initial plan that is continuously adjusted based on the actual situation. In this way, it is possible for a transport company to operate in a more agile manner. 

Continuous replanning is all about interim adjustments during the execution of a transport, for example using on-trip data when deviations occur. With continuous replanning it is possible to:

  • Calculate the impact of disruptions on the remaining transport execution;
  • Adjust the ETA (and notify the customer) and change the order of stops or a final delivery location, possibly also of subsequent deliveries;
  • Perform an intertrip mutation with other vehicles in the same region.
Webinar 1 'How to get 100% control on transport execution'

We at Simacan, with many others in the sector, expect that transport planning will become more continuous. Home delivery is likely to be a front runner in this transition. The speed of implementation is highly dependent on the amount of digitization of the transport chain. To make this happen you need visibility and be able to handle exceptions.

Do you want to know more about continuous (re)planning and the role Simacan can play in this to realise the best possible planning? Then participate in our series of webinars that are all about 'Rethinking supply chain operations'. The first webinar will take place on Thursday 29 April and will focus on how to gain 100% control over your transport execution. Sign up today! 

Of course you can also contact us directly for more information or a free demo.