Rethinking data logistics: multi-perspective optimisation of the supply chain

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Beim 16. Styrian Logistics + Automotive Day hielten Vertreter des Know-Centers und der Firma Magna Steyr einen gemeinsamen Vortrag unter dem Themenschwerpunkt „Data Logistics Rethinking“.

On November 7, 2019, Oliver Pimas, data expert at the Know-Center and Gerhard Grill-Kiefer, head of Total Cost of Ownership activities at Magna Steyr, presented a joint project from the field of supply chain management, the aim of which was to rethink logistics processes in order to determine a global, holistic optimum for individual supply chains.

Reasons for a logistical rethink

The tasks of supply chain management in industrial companies are very broadly defined. At the same time, they are characterized by a high degree of complexity and partly contradictory objectives.

  • Purchase prices are strongly dependent on quantity.
  • Material requirements planning, in turn, is responsible for maintaining low stock levels while ensuring security of supply. It is therefore interested in high-frequency, low delivery quantities.
  • Transportation costs, on the other hand, increase for smaller delivery quantities.

Efficient and thus cost-saving processes can only be achieved if the different perspectives and interests are linked.

Gerhard Grill-Kiefer presented an overview of the logistical challenges and competing objectives in supply chain management. Based on this, he derived the goals and expectations associated with the implementation of the project with regard to data-based process optimization and visualization of input and result variables.

In the next step, Gerhard Grill-Kiefer outlined the basic model of batch size determination, which formed the content-related basis for the development of the optimization model at the Know-Center.

Oliver Pimas from the Know-Center explained how these basic considerations and the comprehensive database of Magna Steyr can be combined in one model and how the visualization in a dashboard can be tailored to the requirements.
Oliver Pimas discussed the algorithmic and computational approach to achieve the optimization goals that the Know-Center has developed. This approach relates the various influencing parameters and cost components in supply chain management to each other and helps decision makers to carry out a holistic optimization of the supply chain. At the same time, Oliver Pimas presented the dashboard’s visualization of input and result variables.

In the last part of the presentation Gerhard Grill-Kiefer explained the results of the cooperation between Magna Steyr and the Know-Center achieved with the calculations performed so far. He also gave a short outlook on the next planned steps in the joint project.

In the following discussion round both speakers were able to answer many questions of the interested audience. The most important conclusion: Cost-optimal supply processes can be calculated based on figures, data and facts. This can significantly support companies in making well-founded decisions and taking a holistic view in the optimization process.

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