network design in supply chain

The ongoing need to speed deliveries, reduce risk and improve sustainability while managing expenses drives the need to increase efficiency throughout supply chain networks.

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Network optimization is about creating the most efficient and cost-effective supply chain network possible by monitoring performance, analyzing logistics, and implementing tools and techniques to make improvements. It is a set of best practices used to improve the overall performance of a network, cut costs and ensure things are running as efficiently as possible.

What Is Network Design?

Network design refers to the planning and design of manufacturing, warehouse or distribution locations and transportation routes that are focused on speed, efficiency and cost. Sometimes network designs must be updated as a response to supply chain growth or an increase in customer base or to incorporate more sustainable business practices. As an example, a business may choose to reduce waste, save money and shrink its carbon footprint by designing a more streamlined distribution network.

In an increasingly uncertain world, network design is quickly becoming the new imperative. It is not only the pace of change driving network design's value, it is also the scale of the changes that companies now face. The importance of strong network design strategy, planning and resiliency continues to be strongly felt across the globe as supply chains are disrupted and shortages are felt by consumers.

Executives can leverage advanced 3PL's logistics engineering and network design expertise to help scenario plan, validate strategic decisions, uncover cost savings, improve service levels, or integrate disparate networks following a merger or acquisition. Network design analysis can help inform critical decisions such as:

    • The optimal number and location of plants and warehouses.
    • The best mix of transportation modes and routes.
    • Which customer fulfillment strategy to adopt when preparing for e-commerce.
    • Evaluating supply chain strategies such as localization, offshoring or nearshoring.