Supply Chain Planning

By March 7, 2023 No Comments

Supply Chain Planning

Effective supply chain management requires proper planning and execution. Capacity planning is an important aspect of supply chain management that helps organizations optimize their resources and ensure that they can meet customer demands efficiently. To achieve this goal, companies are turning to simulation software to help them better understand capacity planning and improve their supply chain operations. In this article, we will discuss the importance of planning, its benefits, and how simulation can help organizations improve their supply chain planning.

Importance of Capacity Planning in Supply Chain Management

Capacity planning involves the process of determining the production capacity that an organization needs to meet customer demand. It is an important aspect of supply chain management because it helps companies avoid stock-outs, reduce lead times, and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Capacity planning involves forecasting demand, evaluating production capabilities, and creating a production plan that meets demand without exceeding available resources. By doing so, organizations can better manage their inventory levels, reduce waste, and improve overall efficiency.

Understanding Capacity Planning

Capacity planning involves evaluating production capabilities and determining the resources needed to meet customer demand. This includes evaluating the capacity of existing production facilities, forecasting demand, and determining the necessary resources such as labor, materials, and equipment. The production plan created through capacity planning helps organizations optimize their resources and ensure that they can meet customer demand efficiently.

Do you know your capacity should the demand increase? Are you ready to capitalize on those opportunities? Similarly for business interruption. How long does it take to recover from different failures? What is the best response to these events?

Benefits of Using Simulation in Supply Chain Planning

Supply Chain simulation software is a powerful tool that helps organizations better understand capacity planning by simulating various scenarios and evaluating their impact on production. By using simulation software, organizations can test different production strategies, evaluate the impact of different variables on production, and make better-informed decisions. The benefits of using simulation software in supply chain include:

  1. Better Decision Making: Organizations make better-informed decisions by modeling the supply, demand and asset performance and interactions at interfaces. This allows organizations to understand dependencies, evaluate different scenarios and choose the most efficient production plan.
  2. Improved Productivity: The software will identify bottlenecks in the supply chain and explore changes to maximize throughput. This can lead to improved volume, reduced inventory, less queuing and higher utilization.
  3. Reduced Costs: Modeling helps organizations identify areas where they can reduce costs by decreasing the assets allocated to tasks, identify additional opportunities for production or maintenance.
  4. More robust planning: By analysing numerous scenarios including modeling with variable distributions, your plans should withstand normal operational variability. This allows you to follow the plan for longer rather than reacting to any disruption.

How InterDynamics Can Improve Planningsupply chain planning

We use Planimate, our own simulation software, to build Decision Support Systems that enable you to understand your supply chain capacity in any scenario. Consider the following example:

An Iron Ore Supply Chain consisting of numerous mines, rail network, and multiple ports has numerous constraints. Each month they are required to produce a plan across all sites that maximises volume for shipping. The planners are responsible for setting the production target for the month for mines, rail and shipping.

Our model takes into consideration monthly production capabilities of the mines, rollingstock available, rail speed restrictions, planned maintenance, starting inventory levels and planned shipping. Every process is modelled including variation according to historical performance. The model runs several times using different random seeds to generate a range of outcomes.

From this, the users can then test various scenarios to measure the impact of changes. For example, a maintenance manager wants an extra day on a piece of equipment. Marketing needs to swap cargoes on a vessel. Mine quality needs to change during the month. Train loading speeds are to be reduced at a mine. Can opportune maintenance be performed? Any scenario can be factored into the plan and the impact is understood and can be shared with internal stakeholders.

This process greatly improved planning accuracy which created a more stable operation by giving clear guidelines to each department and it also lowered demurrage by avoiding lengthy shipping delays. High or level levels of inventory can be seen in advance and be either managed or smoothed out through changes to the plan. Additionally, having a greater level of insight, the planners were able to rapidly to respond to opportunities and interruptions that occurred during the month.


In conclusion, capacity planning is an essential aspect of supply chain management that helps organizations optimize their resources and meet customer demands efficiently. Simulation software can help organizations improve their capacity planning by providing more thorough analysis and insights into their end to end supply chain production processes. By using these tools, organizations can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

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