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LLamaCon Day 3: The Power of Global Supply Chains

By LLamasoft Editorial Team  June 21, 2019

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 are an estimated billion humans who are undernourished – yet 30% of our food goes to waste.” Today’s supply chain leaders have the power to significantly improve the lives of millions globally by leveraging the science of technology. 

Partner Insight into Digital Innovation 

Thursday’s featured speaker Sam Israelit, Partner at Bain & Company, discussed how an unprecedented wave of digital innovation has created an opportunity to change how supply chain decisions get made. Israelit said key technical enablers include pervasive connectivity, big data and the exponential acceleration in computing power. 

“The process is as important as the model,” Israelit said. He emphasized the effectiveness of agile processes and the use of two-week sprints to get to a minimum viable product in the modeling process. 

Israelit commented on simulation modeling, “Try to be a general athlete rather than a specialist. Each modeling system has its advantages and disadvantages.” 

He encouraged the audience: Pick a worthwhile problem you want to solve, enroll a cross-functional team to work with you, design and launch a pilot, learn about a solution that is unfamiliar. 

Partners like Bain & Company are essential to the development of smarter design and decision-making competencies across businesses, organizations and municipalities world-wide. LLamaCon provides an environment where users can learn about the creative ways partners apply their knowledge, expertise and ingenuity to solve unique problems. 

Military Precise Airlift Forecast 

During breakout case study sessions, the teams reflected on the changing face of global supply chains. Analyst of the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force Donald Anderson spoke about the Command’s goal to develop an airlift forecast with enough accuracy to book commercial aircraft 12 months in advance. “With the explosion of e-commerce, it has become difficult to book commercial aircraft on short notice,” he said. 

Using LLamasoft’s Demand Guru to account for external factors that can affect the cargo demand forecast, they have built their own database to capture dozens of external data points for insertion into the model. “Demand Guru provides insights into demand patterns that would be impossible to discern using traditional forecasting techniques. We’ve learned that things we didn’t even expect can change our demand forecast,” Anderson said.  

“It’s so easy to run Demand Guru that we’re probably going to update the forecast every week. This is allowing the four-star general to go in front of Congress and make budget requests with confidence,” Anderson added. 

Network Design for Diagnosis and Treatment of Tuberculosis 

Chief Access Officer of FIND Zach Katz discussed using network design to cost-effectively increase access to diagnostics and improve global public health. After 10 million people were ill with tuberculosis in 2010, 3.6 million were considered “missing cases” – undiagnosed or undetected and not reported, often due to lack of access to diagnostics. Despite breakthroughs in technology, limited resources hindered the availability of individuals to access care, treatment and a cure. FIND worked with LLamasoft to establish tools and processes to better plan and implement diagnostics networks for tuberculosis. 

LLamasoft’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success Carlos Valderrama said of Katz’s speech, “The work we do on helping countries and governments to do a better job in their supply chains and knowing they’re going to make things better is priceless. To hear some of those experiences and know they’re doing even more to make a more positive impact is fantastic. That was very rewarding!” 

Katz said he looks to continue integrating LLamasoft tools to provide diagnostics networks. “I enjoyed listening to Toby Brzoznowski and how LLamasoft is looking at the future and doing things in real time because for us that’s what we see in the future, too. We’d love the capacity to shift resources and understand anomalies in real time. With diagnostics, we have modems that send information to the cloud so it’s possible to get real-time data and that’s something we’d like to explore using in the future.” 

LLamaCon 2019 wrapped up with workshops and an announced date and location for LLamaCon 2020 – June 17-19 in South Florida. 

LLamasoft extends our thanks to all those who made LLamaCon 2019 a huge success. See this video wrap-up of the event to revisit the fun memories. There will be more insights, innovation and opportunities to share at LLamaCon 2020. We hope to see you there!