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Llamasoft: Supply Chain Design, Modeling, and Analytics Across Product Lines

Published On: April 18 2013

LLamasoft, long known for strong supply chain design expertise, says that “supply chain design, modeling and analytics” is the more appropriate way to think about this Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm. Now the last independent supply chain network design firm, LLamasoft focuses on the supply chain execution (that is to say, not planning) side of things. Toby Brzoznowski (co-founder and executive vice president) reports that the company is continuing to grow very fast, broaden its product lines, and invest heavily in R&D. Which is, after all, what you would expect from a vendor promising to deliver a full end-to-end view of all supply chain activities down to the last operational detail.LLamasoft’s flagship product has been Supply Chain Guru, known early on for good modeling and simulation. More recently (2012), LLamasoft introduced Transportation GuruK2 Cloud Solver, and Supply Chain Guru 7.1, with Supply Chain Sherpa coming out in February 2013.

The easiest way, perhaps, to understand LLamasoft's product line-up is by platform:

Mobile:

• Supply Chain Sherpa: tablet-based solution for very rapid modeling and mobile supply chain design and visualization.

Desktop-based:

• Supply Chain Guru: solution for modeling, optimizing, and simulating the supply chain; allows users to run scenario analyses to answer “What If” questions, find inefficiencies in the supply chain, and test outcomes using simulation technology to mitigate risk.

• Transportation Guru: transportation network design and routing software; allows supply chain designers to simulate cost and service improvements to existing transportation operations; run continuous what-if analyses; and identify longer-term strategic improvements to transportation networks.

Enterprise Server:

• K2 Enterprise – Centralized, enterprise-level modeling environment for more complex organizational requirements.

Cloud:

• K2 Cloud Solver – enables users to solve models remotely, run larger and more complex models, and have faster run times while freeing up local computers.

The core of LLamasoft’s mission is to provide an enterprise with the tools to:

• have end-to-end visibility of supply chain components, including SKU level detail, network structure, inventory, transportation and sourcing, service levels, and other operation details;

• model inventory options across multiple echelons of the supply chain;

• run simulations to estimate service levels;

• do analyses on cost-to-serve, by looking at the pricing, inventory quantities, distribution methods, and other cost inputs required to fulfill customer demand;

• assess how product flows at the SKU-level through the transportation network; and

• model different transportation options.

Although LLamasoft has some keen competition, to be sure, in the areas of network design, inventory optimization, and transportation modeling, LLamasoft is taking the offensive. LLamasoft has invested as much as 35% back into R&D, Brzoznowski is quick to point out, and has recently closed on another $6 million of financing recently raised from MK CapitalAugment Ventures, and First Step Fund, as well as an investment by client NIKE. Meanwhile, LLamasoft has been talking about growth as high as 70%, and quadrupling its employee count in two years (from 40 employees in 2010 to 160 employees today). With LLamasoft’s third annual corporate event, SummerCon2013, coming up June 17–21, in Ann Arbor, MI, we can expect to see more innovation coming from this leading independent supply chain design vendor.
 
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