Before COVID-19 hit the United States, the largest distributor of hydroponic equipment in the U.S. commissioned Schneider to conduct a strategic supply chain analysis to recommend the best warehouse footprint to support their growth. These types of strategic engineering studies are multi-phase. As an early part of their normal progression, a network optimization model was created and baseline scenarios were run. The map below shows the distributor’s baseline customer assignments as bursts for each of their six existing warehouse regions
When COVID-19 reached the U.S. and started spreading, an employee at the hydroponic equipment distributor’s mountain-region facility contracted the virus. Per guidelines issued by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the facility needed to be shut down immediately for at least two weeks. This shutdown had the potential to create huge service issues for the distributor. Because quality service is an important element of the distributor’s business model, priority was placed on ensuring product could still ship. A solution was needed quickly, and the existing network optimization model and baseline scenarios made a more detailed analysis possible, which would prove valuable in the near future.
Pictures are worth a thousand words–let’s look at these side by side.
Logical, but left lots of gaps and was expensive.
Reduced 55% through network modeling (covering nearly half the distributor’s investment in the initial engineering work)
Shifted workflows swiftly as a result of the up-to-date network model
Delivered in less than three hours from initial request
Enabled better resource planning for each warehouse
Leveraged to cover expanded territories
Provided guidance during crisis management
I'd like to know about future posts to the Knowledge Hub.