Blog

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Event Takeaways from LLamaCon Japan

LLamaCon Japan 2019, a supply chain conference took place in October 2019 At LLamaCon Japan 2019, Carlos Valderrama, senior vice president of customer success at LLamasoft Inc. gave a keynote speech. Hitachi Transport System and PepsiCo shared their success stories and best practices.  [Sponsor Company] Platinum sponsor: Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.    [Main Conference] LLamasoft keynote (Carlos Valderrama, LLamasoft Inc.) During the keynote session, Carlos addressed the importance of data-based...  Read More
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AI Powered Enterprise Decisioning on Display at LLamaCon EMEA 2019

“Decisioning in today’s world is about allocating scarce resources under uncertainty,” said Caspar Berry, a professional poker player and risk expert during his keynote at the just concluded LLamaCon EMEA 2019 held in the historic city of Prague. With that statement, he had the full attention of a roomful of 225 supply chain professionals representing 80 countries and 25 companies! In a world where change is the new constant, uncertainty...  Read More
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5 Scary External Factors for Supply Chains

Meeting demand for fun-sized candies and trending costumes is only one grisly scenario supply chain professionals face. One thing Halloween can teach us is having the right inventory available at the start of the season is much better than empty shelves – yet no one wants too much leftover inventory on November 1st.  Supply chains serve just about every person in the world. It’s a careful balancing act to ensure...  Read More
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Artificial Intelligence and the Supply Chain Disruptor

Can you see the minute changes that influence your supply chain daily?  Even the most successful companies that spend time caring for their supply chain may miss the subtle clues of change that can snowball into something big if not reviewing and optimizing your network on a regular basis. Think of the many data inputs that feed your supply chain – customer demand information, available inventory, network configuration, distribution center...  Read More
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AI Insights Predict Customer Demand for Computer Tech Company

The rise of the connected customer is compelling companies to keep a pulse on the pace of changing demand. It’s imperative to profitably plan and deliver on customer expectations. The high-tech industry faces strong headwinds to stay ahead of customer expectations due to competitive disruption from new market entrants and the pressure to deliver agile, cutting-edge products. Challenge A U.S. multinational computer technology company had a functional day-to-day demand forecasting...  Read More
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Digital Transformation is an Opportunity for Innovation: Recap of LLamaCon Mexico and Brazil

Recently, LLamasoft had the opportunity to have insightful conversations with more than 200 attendees to LLamaCons in Brazil (Sept 5) and Mexico (Sept 12). LLamasoft’s VP of Customer Success in Latin America, Rafael Vasquez, led a survey asking, “What does digital transformation mean?” The common results were Digital Transformation is an Opportunity for Innovation in Latin American Markets. Digital Transformation in Mexico: Evolution + Innovation + Connectivity + Information +...  Read More
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Reflections from ASCM’s 2019 Annual Conference

Just when you thought that you had it figured out, it all changes. That statement echoes the themes, sessions, content and discussions from this year’s annual ASCM conference that I had the privilege of attending as part of the association’s Corporate Advisory Group. The ASCM organization did a fantastic job of focusing the conference content around the many areas of change that supply chain leaders are facing. Here are five...  Read More
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The Bumpy, New World of Supply Chains

The Economist magazine recently issued a very comprehensive special report on how global supply chains are undergoing a fundamental shift. I will summarize the key takeaways from the report. 1. Shorter, smarter, faster… and more vulnerable supply chains With the ongoing trade war and the rise in economic nationalism, global trade is undergoing major shift and supply chains are shrinking. Global trade growth has fallen from 5.5% in 2017 to...  Read More
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How the US Air Force Predicts What’s Next as the World Changes

The Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force (USAF) has the not-so-easy task of determining how many aircraft, when and where, are needed to transport equipment and goods around the world every day to supply their missions. The Command manages a 1,100 aircraft fleet augmented with commercial airplanes as needed. Due to the explosion of e-commerce, accurately anticipating demand up to 12 months in advance is paramount as...  Read More
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Winning the War on Cancer and Counterfeit Drugs and other Inspiring Stories from LogiPharma US 2019

Winning the War on Cancer and Counterfeit Drugs and other Inspiring Stories from LogiPharma US 2019 By Dr. Madhav Durbha  September 18, 2019 I just returned from the LogiPharma US 2019 held September 16-17 in Philadelphia. There were so many fascinating stories and inspiring themes that capturing all of them in a single blog post may be a challenge. Here are a few select stories: Integrated network strategy to support long term growth:...  Read More
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Q&A with LLamasoft’s Brilliant 2019 Interns!

Summer often ends too soon – especially when you’re working with the next wave of talented young professionals! We are so proud of all the interns accomplished and hope you enjoy this Q&A with a few of LLama Interns. Chung Hoon received his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his master’s degree in data science from University of Michigan. Why did you apply for the summer...  Read More
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5 Unique Aspects of the Avocado Supply Chain

With trade and border tensions rising, your avocado toast could be in danger! What else goes into finding the perfect avocado? Learn about 5 unique aspects of an avocado’s supply chain here! 1. Demand for avocados has skyrocketed It may not surprise you to find out that demand for avocados has risen. You have probably enjoyed some avocado toast, added it to a smoothie, or had some guacamole during the...  Read More
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3 Reasons to Start an Exciting Career at LLamasoft

3 Reasons to Start an Exciting Career at LLamasoft LLamasoft has been named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Metro Detroit Area for six consecutive years, and we are not stopping anytime soon! If you are looking for an exciting career with meaningful impact at a highly respected company, LLamasoft is the place for you. Keep reading to find out why this global company...  Read More
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How the Trade War is Reshaping Global Supply Chains

As another round of tariffs looms, businesses are preparing to make difficult decisions when it comes to sourcing, moving and pricing the products they sell. Whether the trade war between the United States and China continues or comes to a sudden and unexpected conclusion, one thing is certain: now more than ever enterprises need to understand their options for designing the supply chain of the future.   Indeed, the nature of globalization has changed. And with an additional...  Read More
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How math is becoming cool in supply chain – again!

When I started my career in the late ’90s, supply chain was a cool place for math geeks! As a discipline supply chain was not really that big in the universities. The traditional pathway into supply chain was through a major in operations research, industrial engineering, or business, often with each offering courses in their silos. Then there were those that managed to sneak in because of their experience in...  Read More
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Cost to Serve: A Framework for Profitability and Customer Excellence

4 stakeholders who benefit from cost to serve What is the real cost to meet specific customers’ needs? How much will it cost to increase service levels or introduce new products and services? How are challenges with suppliers or trade policies affecting the bottom line? Global businesses often struggle to answer these types of questions. Thanks in part to changing preferences, SKU proliferation, fluctuating trade policies and the inherent complexity...  Read More
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The Digital Supply Chain Twin – An Emerging Trend to Reveal Interconnected Insights

There is no single formula for supply chain digitization, and you may be like many companies who are either exploring or actively implementing any combination of the trends we outlined in our previous blog. In its recently published report, The 2019 Top Supply Chain Trends You Can’t Ignore, Gartner maps out eight supply chain trends. One thing is very apparent – change is coming at a rapid pace. Per the...  Read More
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LLamasoft Awards Our Partner Ecosystem

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb The pace of modern life frequently means that we sometimes move too quickly to see the small but very important steps we are taking together. We recently took a moment to celebrate and award partner success during our global LLamaCon event in Chicago and at a handful of regional events. Each...  Read More
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AI, Advanced Analytics and Digital Twin Among Leading Supply Chain Tech Trends

Matt Tichon is LLamasoft’s Vice President of Industry Strategy. Gartner Report: The 2019 Top Supply Chain Technology Trends You Can’t Ignore A sea of innovative technology has surfaced over the last few years, bringing the potential to make a strategic impact on supply chains and operations. Separating the signal from the noise is no small task and many of these new technologies require a hefty investment of time, money and...  Read More
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A Summary of the Best from LLamaCon

In June 2019, we hosted our biggest LLamaCon yet at the Downtown Chicago Marriott on the Magnificent Mile with 700+ attendees, 200+ industries and endless takeaways for the supply chain industry. Find out what you missed or relive the event with this collection of our favorite articles, photos and videos gathered during the event. Perspectives from Industry Leaders LLamasoft’s Dr. Madhav Durbha is a prolific supply chain and technology expert....  Read More
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LLamaCon Day 3: The Power of Global Supply Chains

While the weather in Chicago may not have been sunny, the last day of LLamaCon 2019 warmed up with more partners and customers sharing their stories about how they are moving their organizations forward with supply chain management, demand modeling tools and technology. LLamasoft is striving to solve global challenges through modeling and optimization. LLamasoft’s CEO Razat Gaurav mentioned in his keynote speech on the first day of LLamaCon, “There...  Read More
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Day 2 of LLamaCon: Industry Challenges and the Future of Technology

“The changing expectations of consumers have accelerated the pace of supply chain change.” – LLamasoft CEO Razat Guarav The second day of LLamaCon 2019 came to a close with more than 200 companies in attendance from around the world who represent $4.5 trillion in revenue. The day’s events included panel conversations with industry leaders, breakout sessions with customer use cases and a roundtable discussion where executives addressed industry trends and...  Read More
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LLamaCon’s Partner Day Highlight: Alignment in Strategies and Product Use

LLamasoft’s LLamaCon 2019 kicked off with its Second Annual Partner Day on Tuesday, June 18 at Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The event, which saw a record in attendance, is designed to empower LLamasoft’s partners around the world to help customers get the most out of their supply chain solutions. “LLamasoft has been putting on LLamaCon events now for several years and it’s a great annual event to meet and...  Read More
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Profitable Sustainability Solutions for Supply Chains

According to the United Nations, carbon emissions have increased by 50% since 1990. Many companies rightfully tout their sustainability initiatives, but supply chains continue to produce a significant amount of the globe’s carbon emissions. Sustainable supply chain techniques within production, packaging, inventory, and transportation can have improvements that will positively impact sustainability initiatives and bottom lines. Read this blog to find out how LLamasoft intends to work with some of...  Read More
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Here is Why LLamasoft is Going Green.

You may have noticed LLamasoft recently revealed a new, green identity. This blog explains how our business objectives align with our new color pallet and branding! It’s not just about a new HEX color, it’s a symbol for the ways in which our clients and recruits conceptualize the monumental impact LLamasoft can have on the world. Keep reading to find out how LLamasoft’s initiatives surround growth, value, and sustainability.  Growth  In nature, green is a...  Read More
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How to Be Green at LLamaCon

LLamasoft is taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of our annual user conference, LLamaCon. Here are ways you can contribute to a “greener” supply chain event! Lessen the Carbon Footprint of Your Travel We did a little research about sustainable travel and compiled some of the best ideas to be more eco-friendly in your LLamaCon travels. Travel by land: Train, car, and bus rides emit a significantly less amount...  Read More
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Reflections from the 2019 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference

“Is Excel digital?” – the question came direct at the audience during a breakout session! It was one of the several reflective moments I felt at the recently concluded 2019 Gartner supply chain executive conference. To me, the answer lies in the bigger question of is “digital” the means or is it the end in itself? Before I share my view on this, let us walk through some cool examples...  Read More
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Catalyzing the Improvement of Immunization Supply Chains through System Design

Lessons from Immunization Supply Chain System Design Summit, Abidjan, February 27 – March 1, 2019 I had the privilege of representing LLamasoft as a participant and presenter at the Immunization Supply Chain System Design Summit held in Abidjan from February 27 – March 1, 2019. The summit was organized by UNICEF’s Supply Chain Strengthening Centre and was a fruitful and productive event. One of the highlights was that this was...  Read More
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Supply Chain Innovations Elevates Global Immunization Coverage

Ground-breaking supply chain techniques are contributing to more children being immunized worldwide than ever before. An immunization supply chain involves the actual physical movement of immunizations from manufacturers to health facilities for routine and ‘campaign’ delivery. When we think about supply chains in low and middle-income countries, the conversations center around the lack of resources. However, there have been many advances in these differently-resourced settings from which other supply chains...  Read More
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What Kind of LLamaCon Attendee Are You?

Are you the Newcomer, LLamaCon Loyalist, Knowledge Seeker, Green Machine, or Networker? Find out what LLamaCon has to offer you! This can’t-miss-supply chain event will take place in Chicago from June 18 – 20. First-time LLamaCon attendees – this information is for you! Be sure to attend the LLamaCon 101 Session on Tuesday afternoon of the conference. This will help all attendees make the most of their conference experience with information about...  Read More
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Patient centric networks and some fascinating supply chain stories from LogiPharma Europe 2019

I just returned from the LogiPharma Europe 2019 conference held in Montreaux, Switzerland. Patient centricity dominated the conversations at this year’s event. This is driven by a number of factors. The payor’s shift from volume-based payments to outcome-based certainly is a major driving force. The rise of digital technologies and the rapidly evolving field of personalized medicine are certainly contributing factors as well. Here are some insights from the event...  Read More
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LLamaCon’s Main Stage Speaker Lineup

LLamasoft’s annual user conference, LLamaCon, is packed with learnings from some of the top supply chain professionals. There is more to come with our main stage lineup but get a sneak peek in this blog! Razat Gaurav, LLamasoft’s CEO, brings more than two decades of experience in the supply chain planning and execution space to LLamaCon. Throughout his career, Razat has played a critical role in the digital transformations of some...  Read More
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How Long Will it Take Companies to Break Even After Purchasing an Electric Vehicle?

Bhanu Potluri is an Applied Research Scientist at LLamasoft and wants to share his thoughts on a data-driven decisioning and electric vehicles. Here he tests a simulated model in California, the U.S. state with the most charging stations, and the Midwest, where there are far less charging stations. With endless variables at play, Bhanu Potluri predicts it will take companies approximately 2 – 5 years to break even on the...  Read More
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An industry caught between its digital ambitions and the ground realities: Insights from LogiChem EU 2019

I just returned from the LogiChem EU 2019 event that took place from March 19th to 21st in Amsterdam. The event was packed with who’s who of the supply chain community of chemicals industry in attendance. With so much ground to cover, let me get straight to my takeaways: 1) The digital agenda is ambitious – but then the ground realities intervene: Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI/ML, Big data, and...  Read More
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Meet Two Female Leaders on LLamasoft’s Engineering Team

Meet the two women at LLamasoft who are making a difference in and outside of work to encourage more women to pursue STEM educations and careers! LLamasoft is proud to share their inspiring perspectives on the state of women in tech, and encourage anyone who is considering a career in STEM to follow their dreams. Diverse teams create diverse and innovative ideas. The more unique perspectives that are brought to...  Read More
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The State of Women in Tech [Infographic]

As a part of Women’s History Month, LLamasoft wants to spread awareness about the benefit of diverse teams within technology and business. See the infographic below to learn how more diverse groups lead to a stronger business, as well as the challenges facing women in the technology field. Apply today!...  Read More
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Debugging Tools for Network Optimization

Introduction Supply Chain Guru is a tool that is easy to use. Tables and Fields are all pre-populated, and users just need to convert and translate the company data into the information a model need. When the model gets more complex and contains more data elements, the chances to have an infeasible model increase. The reasons a model is infeasible can be categorized into two: Model Structure issue. For example,...  Read More
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Supply Chain Design Takes Center Stage at the 2019 Logistic Summit in Mexico

I just returned from the Logistics Summit & Expo 2019, the largest supply chain event in Mexico with over 2000 attendees and hundreds of more exhibitors. It was an action-packed event with a number of industry verticals and companies across US, Mexico, Central & South America, representatives from academia, industry consortia, and media in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised to find more conversations around Supply Chain Design in a variety...  Read More
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How LLamasoft’s Learning Experience Team is Helping Build Better Supply Chains…with Knowledge!

We at LLamasoft are pumped. Better yet. We are psyched. We are on the verge of being able to help our customers more than ever. We are doing it new ways, but the backbone is doing exciting things with data as we have always done. My name is Andrew McGuire. Over a year and a half ago I joined the Instructional Technologist position on the Learning Experience (LX) team. Our...  Read More
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14 Brain-Building Books About Supply Chain and Decisioning

You have the power to develop yourself professionally by simply opening a book. Expand your thinking and learn new ideas about supply chain and decisioning from some of the members of LLamasoft’s team! Supply Chain Logistics Management by Donald Bowersox Recommended by Arad Adler, Product Tech Manager Interesting fact about this is Mr. Bowesox – he was a professor at Michigan State University and is considered as one of the...  Read More
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Modeling Service in Network Optimization

With so much effort focused on cost minimization, modeling service can often be relegated to the backburner. However, the rise of eCommerce and our seemingly endless desire for ‘just in time’ consumption has ratcheted the importance of service across retail with ripple effects in other industries, as well. Whether or not service is considered as part of network design can have implications on facility locations, mode mix, and inventory from...  Read More
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Is it the end of globalization?

With protectionist policies increasingly threatening free trade agreements and associated increases in taxes and tariffs, the globalization of the last 20 years looks to be in reverse gear. Thanks to Trump’s trade wars, new NAFTA and not forgetting the Brexit – yes, of course, I mean Brexit, we live in torrid political times. As global organizations face potential supply chain disruption on a range of fronts, we recently ran a...  Read More
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How to Leverage Supply Chain Design Amidst Trade Wars

Uncertainties between the world’s biggest economies continue to grow as nationalism and other geopolitical factors accelerate trade wars. Companies must face the realities of these risks and have a swift way of analyzing the impact on how they source and distribute products. The new tariffs of 10% imposed by the U.S. on some of its trading partners are currently postponed until March 2019 and will have a significant impact on...  Read More
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Sensitivity Analysis in Network Optimization

Reasons for sensitivity analysis Optimization, by definition, provides the single best answer given a prescribed set of inputs and a specific objective. The power of algorithms makes it easy to return an optimal answer to a relatively complex problem. For instance, network optimization is a fantastic tool for providing the single best answer for a problem such as minimizing cost under known conditions, including demand, supply, and transportation and labor...  Read More
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Inspirational Mentorships at LLamasoft

Mentorships are important because they provide a safe environment for discussion and guidance that can often go both ways between mentor and mentee to strengthen leadership, networking, and interpersonal skills.  They also help break down barriers and encourage cross-team discussions. I have had several mentor/mentee relationships over the years, and every discussion opens my eyes to new perspectives and challenges my thinking.  I helped start the mentorship program at LLamasoft with...  Read More