Manufacturing and Logistics Planner (MLP)

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Outputs/Decision variables

MLP is optimization modeling based decision tool that helps the management of a large or medium firm to undertake medium-term planning of manufacturing and/or logistics operations.

  • Standalone / Web based / Commercial / Academic versions of all products.
  • Seamless integration with an existing database or ERP application.
  • Standard reporting structure using Tables, Charts and GIS maps.
  • Automated sensitivity analysis of “what-if” scenarios.
  • Custom modeling of special and strategic concerns.
  • Variance reports to compare optimal vs. actual conditions

MLP finds the optimal plans as indicated above subject to meeting the estimated demand/sales of each product in each market and several resource constraints at various stages in the supply chain.

In addition, MLP calculates ‘marginal value’ of every resource whose capacity constraint is modeled by the user, for example, supplier, plant, process/equipment within a plant, warehouse, depot or retail outlet. Marginal values indicate critical bottlenecks in the entire supply chain.


User has the following choice for objective on which the model performs optimization

  • Maximize contribution
  • Minimize total delivered cost
  • Minimize average lead time
  • Minimize average utilization of production
  • Multiple objectives with user-specified priority ranking


MLP tool is modular. This allows it to be implemented for any of the following networks

  • Inbound logistics, Production, Outbound logistics
  • Procurement and Inbound logistics
  • Production
  • Outbound logistics and distribution
  • Production and outbound logistics
  • Inbound and Outbound logistics

Therefore, MLP can be applied to practically every industry.

Questions MLP can help answer

  • What is the optimal production plan (product-mix) from various plants for a finite set of periods (say, the next 12 weeks or 12 months or 8 quarters)? By how much will it increase profits or reduce costs as compared to existing production plant?
  • What is the optimal plan for plants-warehouse-markets allocation and for transportation of finished products from each plant to each warehouse and market? By how much will the optimal transportation plan increase products or reduce costs as compared to existing plan?
  • What is the optimal plan for procurement from various suppliers to plants for a finite set of periods (say, the next 12 weeks or 12 months or 8 quarters) and for transportation of raw materials from each supplier to each plant? By how much will it increase profits or reduce costs as compared to existing procurement plan?
  • In the existing plants,
    • What is the period-wise and average utilization level of each resource/equipment/process?
    • Which are bottleneck resources/equipment/processes?
    • How does the nature of bottlenecks change over time?
    • Which resources to focus on for capacity expansion and productivity improvement? (prioritization of resources)
  • In which plant should a new product be produced? What will be impact of a new product introduction in a particular plant for selling in particular markets?
  • Among existing markets, which market(s) are most economically attractive for the company? Which markets should be the priority of marketing efforts? What will be impact of expanding a product in a market on company-wide profits and costs?
  • What is the optimal plan for stocking inventory for finished products and raw materials in various storage areas (warehouses) over a finite set of periods?
  • Sensitivity analysis: What is the impact of changes in the following parameters on the firm’s optimal plan and financial indicators:
    • Production capacity of a plant
    • Supplier’s quantity commitment
    • Route’s (transport) capacity
    • Sales volume (demand) in a market
    • Sales price in a market
  • What is the financial impact of a particular production, procurement and logistics plan?
    • Total enterprise-wide cost
    • Manufacturing cost
    • Logistics cost
    • Period-wise cost, Product-wise cost
    • Total enterprise-wide profit
    • Period-wise profit, Product-wise profit