Most of us agree that “supply chain” as a term is somewhat outdated, because the ways we source our materials anymore are anything but linear. Aykagan Ak writes an article about how variability is now the norm, and supply chains need to morph into new shapes and configurations to manage the change.
Complex Problems, Complex Solutions
Ak points to a few of the challenges that need addressed. At the top of the list of course is always transportation problems, where any shipment requires you to solve a version of the vehicle routing problem. The number of variables involved on a daily basis makes it that there is no real “norm,” and so adaptability becomes the only steadfast rule. Using mathematical models and optimization algorithms can help develop that versatility, as long as you remember that the results they produce will only be as good as the numbers you input in the first place. The right employment of math can help you develop the most efficient relationships between your myriad resources.
For more details, you can read Ak’s full article here: http://logisticsviewpoints.com/2014/06/17/variability-wildcard-todays-supply-chain-equations/