The characteristics of the logistics industry are that it covers a wide range of industries, a deep specialty, many disciplines, and complex systems. There are also many types of logistics planning, which can be subdivided into different logistics links from the perspective of supply chain; at least dozens of types can be divided from the perspective of enterprise classification; various splits can be made from the perspective of logistics functions; from the perspective of innovative applications It also keeps pace with the times.
Therefore, logistics planning involves a wide range. How to use logistics expertise and experience to carry out logistics planning needs to start from focusing on problems, precise positioning, building structures, feature analysis, inductive reasoning, data modeling, and solutions. consider.
Step 1: What problem to solve
First of all, we have to clarify what kind of problem we are solving with our expertise. The "problem" mentioned here is not necessarily the problem described by the customer, because what the customer describes is often an appearance or at the operational or operational level, and we need to classify the problem.
Different problems may be solved in different ways, or it may be found that these sub-problems cannot be solved at one time after splitting the problem, but need to be solved in stages.
For example, it is necessary to solve the problem of standardization of production or warehousing and packaging, which may not necessarily be optimized through production or warehousing, but needs to be adjusted from the source of the supplier, then an optimization module needs to be added, which will increase the complexity of the planning scheme. .
In the planning problem, we roughly divide supply chain logistics planning into logistics network planning, production logistics planning, logistics park planning, warehousing planning...
Each type of planning can be subdivided into dozens, hundreds of elements, or even more. The underlying logic and relationships are more complex, so it is necessary to classify the apparent problems to find out what kind of problems really need to be solved.
Sometimes the main points of the questions raised by customers may be more, so you can integrate these questions with the method elements, then integrate them layer by layer, and finally distill the problem into one or two sentences, and find the main points that affect the whole body, that is best choice.
Step 2: Plan your content targeting
After it is clear what problems need to be solved from a professional point of view, it is necessary to position the plan. Logistics is a complex system with many types of nodes and different functions when serving different business forms or industries.
For example, from the perspective of links, there are supply functions, distribution and distribution functions, and production supply functions. From the perspective of attributes, there are strategic reserve functions, rapid replenishment functions, and transit functions. If the positioning of the logistics system that needs to be planned and implemented is wrong, there will be problems with the system logic, and if the direction is wrong, the output conclusion will definitely have a large deviation.
Therefore, whether it is to solve a network planning, warehousing planning or distribution planning, it is necessary to clarify its position in the supply chain environment, that is, the situation of upstream and downstream, and what purpose it needs to achieve. Similarly, such a positioning It wasn't shot in the head either.
Of course, some will come to an empirical position through empirical analysis. I think the best way is to analyze its input, output and its own logic through the splitting of elements and combining with methods, from the strategic and operational levels, including time, space, flow, flow and other core elements. After classification and analysis, a scientific and rational planning and positioning is obtained.
Step 3: Build the House Model
To build the house that belongs to this plan, the structure of the house is a good classification model, including top level target, intermediate structure and support. The problems that need to be solved can be placed in the top-level target, and the structure of the middle layer can be classified according to the links of supply chain logistics, or can be classified according to the problem modules that need to be solved.
You can build one level, or you can continue to classify and build multiple levels, as long as the system structure can be clearly reflected, you can build it that way.
For the support level of the whole house, you can put the content of the implementation level in the planning plan, such as what kind of equipment support, what kind of information support, and what kind of standardized operation program support is needed.
Of course, the support here is not a general concept, but the modules that support the implementation are built after the specific process configuration is determined through sufficient analysis. In our method, the process is divided into details, and basically most of the logistics activities are placed in the process of different links.
After the planned house is constructed, the structure of the entire planning scheme is basically clear and clear at a glance, which is not only convenient for communication between the team and customers, but also for further in-depth analysis in the follow-up or model revision after local demand changes during the planning cycle.
Step 4: Data Feature Analysis
Logistics planning must be inseparable from data analysis. Some data can directly help to form analysis reports, and some data are used as input for simulation. It is emphasized here that for data analysis, one of the very important purposes is to find business characteristics. There is also a question, where is the data source?
The source here has a variety of meanings, from the information system, or manual collection? From ERP, or TMS or WMS? From SAP, or UF, Kingdee?
Different sources have different data fields, formats, and data volumes, and the accuracy of the data cannot be fully guaranteed. Therefore, professional analysis of the data is required, and caution must be exercised. Data cannot be relied upon. If you rely too much on data, you will easily fall into a digital trap.
From a technical point of view, the data is first standardized, and then the data is visualized and fitted through statistical tools or simulation tools to find its characteristics. Return to the business level to find outliers or problems. Help orientate the solution. And after the data features appear, it is necessary to communicate and confirm with the customer's business personnel to avoid being misled by the data.
The above is the data analysis from the perspective of building the logistics system planning for the operation of the enterprise. Some logistics plans are on the macro level, such as park planning and strategic planning, and some are planned from the perspective of the government. Therefore, the data requirements are not necessarily particularly accurate, as long as they can be Just reflect the trend.
In this way, as long as the data analysis is logically correct, the input data source is reliable, and the conclusions reflected after the data analysis have no obvious deviation, it is acceptable.
Step 5: Inductive ReasoningInductive reasoning is the most test of logistics planning ability. On the one hand, professional ability is required to split the scenarios that need to be planned, and at the same time, it is necessary to use planning or industry experience to revise and judge them. Which are the main problems and which are the secondary problems, which need to be quickly identified, otherwise they will be "lost" in the in lots of details.
So how to do inductive reasoning?
I think it is still considered from the perspective of links, processes and activities, which is why logistics is a specialty that combines practice and theory in depth. Only theory, without practice, lacks judgment, only practice, without theory, it lacks systematization.
Here we can learn the "strategic map" model and the SCOR model. The former has a very clear classification and combination, and the corresponding elements are built around the goal, while the latter "perfectly" presents the supply chain process, and can be configured according to the goal. Decisions are made through systematic evaluation, from the top to the strategy and the bottom to the informatization.
Through the splitting activities of supply chain logistics and combining and analyzing the practical problems of customers, we find the key points to solve the problem through design principles and systematic analysis methods, build a planning blueprint, and then systematically analyze each The elements are described so that reasonable planning can be carried out by means of inductive reasoning.
The goals of each planning project are different, the elements involved are also different, and the logic is also different. It must be divided and combined reasonably according to the specific project.
Step 6: Build the model (tool application)
The construction model mentioned here mainly refers to the mathematical model. Of course, not every planning project needs to build a mathematical model independently.
Some planning projects can support the planning point of view by doing data analysis. However, for some planning projects, such as site selection, network layout, path optimization, and resource allocation related content, it is necessary to build a mathematical model to obtain relatively accurate results. Building a model can be done by logistics experts independently or by a team of multiple people. The logistics experts focus on building a good solution, and then the modeling engineer builds the mathematical model. It can also be solved and visualized through the application of planning tools, such as using our logistics planning and decision-making system (supply chain logistics digital decision-making platform) as an auxiliary.
If the requirements for professional ability are higher and the learning time is more abundant, it is recommended to combine the operation research idea with the logistics project practice more deeply, and to experience the relationship between the two. At the same time, try to use mathematical tools, such as MATLAB, to write and solve simple algorithms. , its purpose is not necessarily to become a master of mathematical modeling, but to think about scientific planning ideas from the perspective of the combination of logistics majors and mathematical modeling, which is conducive to the expansion of project planning ideas and the improvement of efficiency.
From my personal experience, after having the ability to model, write algorithms and implement through programs, the improvement of logistics planning thinking is huge.
Step Seven: SolutionThe solution can be divided into two levels, one is a conceptual plan (planning blueprint), and the other is a detailed plan.
The concept plan is mainly to formulate a long-term plan based on the experience of logistics experts, combined with detailed analysis after detailed investigation, through the combination of qualitative and quantitative, showing what goals the project can achieve after planning, and what effects each module can achieve. , how they relate to each other.
For example, what model is used for the raw material warehouse in the smart factory, what functions are used, how the production line is distributed, what model and function are used in the finished product warehouse, and what structure and ideas are used in the entire planning.
In the detailed design, corresponding scheme design strategies are adopted according to the type of project and the needs of customers. For example, strategic measures and implementation of strategies can be considered in strategic planning; in network planning, how to distribute inventory, how to route vehicles, etc.; smart factory logistics how each job flow is done.
Regardless of the conceptual scheme and detailed design, in addition to the application of professional skills, the logic and system of the scheme should also be emphasized. The previous analysis part needs to correspond to the solution, so that both the customer who sees the solution and the team that makes the solution (some project customer members will also be in the planning team) will be completed in one system, which is very important for the smooth progress of the planning and the project. The addition and adjustment of the content will be very clear, and the solution will be found quickly.