Strategic distribution optimisation methodologically and analytically determines the structure of the distribution network. This structure specifies the logistical network’s development trajectory.
The type, number and regional location of a company’s logistics centres decide the service level, transport and warehouse location costs. A whole series of factors need to be considered. A global or regional distribution network is therefore software-based and optimised overall in terms of transport and storage. The operations research process is used to optimise transportation in various models with regard to costs and service level. After this, the location costs of a logistics centre are specified. On the one hand, these depend on the requirements of the transport network (function/size/level of automation), and on the selected region on the other (salary costs, operating requirements). Other factors are taken into account to create an optimal distribution structure, e.g. pre-existing locations, staff availability, sensitivities.
Metroplan-Approach and methodology
We generally conduct a data-based analysis and benchmarking of the existing logistics. Our first concern is understanding the delivery area, order and production structures and then showing the potential for improvement.
In addition to transport costs, we therefore also look at the storage locations in terms of operational costs and infrastructure performance. Together with the client, we design alternative future scenarios. We select the latest software tools based on the scope of the project and task definition. If necessary, we will supplement the tried and tested standard with special in-house developments. We calculate the most efficient distribution structure using mathematical methods and powerful database systems to analyse real order data.
- Cost and service-optimised transport network is figured out using software simulations. This allows us to analyse and assess alternative distribution strategies in detail.
- The costs of a storage location can be determined depending on region, function, size, etc. This allows us to make differentiated decisions on the location and technical features of future sites.
- The strategic optimisation is set up for the long-term and forms the planning foundation for the development of existing and further logistics locations.
- Sensitivity analyses examine the influence of variable quantities such as changes in the range structure, development of different cost drivers and much more. This can verify how stable the future distribution network will be.