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New Horizons: Closed Loop Operational Management

New Horizons: Closed Loop Operational Management

The hottest topic in supply chain circles (at least the circles I hang out in) continues to be omni-channel fulfillment. From big box retailers to department stores to fashion boutiques; supply chain professionals are weighing the potential of a wide variety of fulfillment alternatives.

On the supply side, fast moving consumer goods manufacturers are assessing options for direct supply capabilities to enhance dynamic replenishment.

An innovative decision support platform to support omni-channel fulfillment and associated product replenishment is Closed-Loop Operational Management (CLOM).

With CLOM on the cloud, routine decisions are automated and run real-time using a “Smart Box” process that reduces total workload and allows planners to work on business critical matters.

In our experience with operational implementations, a balance between full automation and hands-on review provides the most manageable business environment.

Solvoyo’s Closed Loop Operational Management solution enables automated fact-based business decisions to realize profitable order fulfillment. Planners and operators improve performance and act with confidence for every order using the appropriate level of checks and balances to ensure quality control and avoid identified risks.

A flexible (configurable) and scalable platform allows decision makers to select the level and types of decisions to run automatically or to review. Routine decisions can be run in real-time while exceptions are managed prior to execution (based on rules and tolerances). Total realized efficiency is a product of balanced rule-based exception management with approved plans forwarded for operational execution.

From an optimization perspective, controlled batch processing of open orders ensures service performance and minimum cost to fill. Batch size can be defined by a combination of control factors such as order dwell time (not to exceed time once the order is received), minimum or maximum number of orders per batch or operational capacity limits based upon staffing and time of day.

An additional consideration is planning integrated with execution platforms such as WMS and TMS (please refer to the Cloud Alliance as an innovative solution for this capability). Full visibility of all sources of available product significantly improves the quality of the operational solution. Planning optimization provides the highest level of value when performed with accurate, real time data.

As I continue my comprehensive research on omni-channel potential I have most recently started looking at the options for closed loop transportation services. Forward and reverse logistics in a predominately small package service environment is complex and challenging…two factors I look for when attacking the next big problem to solve.

I hope to have much more on this topic in the next couple weeks so please stay tuned.

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