Many of our customers' challenges are basically similar, but they always differ in detail. Therefore, the approach also needs to be adapted to best address the unique challenge of each customer. Sim Logistics successfully uses a generally applicable yet flexible approach to addressing our customers' complex issues. It is no revolutionary methodology but important in our work on developing solutions that match the needs of the customer's business.
We have made as general as possible a description of our adaptable approach from initial contact to completed project. In this way interested parties can get an idea of how a project conducted in cooperation with Sim Logistics could look like.
After the first initial contact where the customer tells about his internal logistics challenges, a visit to the customer's business is usually conducted by Sim Logistics. During the visit, which usually takes 2-3 hours in total, the customer will be able to tell more about his challenges and needs for help, preferably in conjunction with a walking tour of the business for our increased understanding.
If we feel we can help the customer with their challenge and add value to the process, discussions follow on how a collaboration and project might look like.
If both parties after the meeting are still interested in collaborating, Sim Logistics sends a quote to the customer. It includes among others general project plan, time estimate, general terms and, of course, the price of implementation. After the customer's acceptance and written order, the project can begin.
An assignment carried out by Sim Logistics usually contains customized variants
of the following 4 parts:
- Needs analysis
- Design of solutions
- Analysis and evaluation
- Results with conclusions and recommendations
The projects often start with a Start-up meeting, under which the project goals but also practical details of the project's implementation are discussed, such as limitations, organization and members, responsibilities, contact lists, etc. After that, the project plan is discussed more in detail than before, focusing on the next upcoming activities. Here you will find out which activities are believed to be needed based on our initial perception and estimates of when they can be conducted.
From experience, Sim Logistics knows that it is very difficult to know in advance exactly what will be part of a project and the time for performing it. Often new knowledge appears that needs to be taken into account during the project and unpredictable events occur which necessitate the project plan being edited. This means that a flexible project plan is needed to ensure that the project is constantly focusing on the most important activities to achieve set goals.
Key target dates are set for reporting part-results. Regular short reconciliations are held between Sim Logistics and the client's project manager to ensure the progress of the project with the right focus and minimal duration.
The Start-up meeting also aims for Sim Logistics and the customer to get to know each other a bit better. The meeting often ends with the initiation of the data collection through interviews and walking tours in the business, thus starting the first project part.
After the first meeting, the input collection will normally continue. Sim Logistics sends a list of requested clearly defined logistic business data as needed. If necessary, further visits to the business are also carried out.
Pre study and data analysis
The needs analysis, which usually consists of a preliminary study with data collection and analysis, has three purposes:
- Sim Logistics will have the necessary understanding and knowledge of the activities carried out.
- Data are compiled that clarify the actual internal logistics to avoid adverse effects from possible incorrect subjective perceptions.
- Provide as clear a picture as possible of the business needs regarding storage locations and racking, handling equipment, automation, personnel, systems, etc.
The results from the Needs Analysis, presented to the customer at a meeting, are then used in the next project part, in which solution/-s are designed whose characteristics and capabilities match the found needs.
Read more about examples of data analysis and investigations under Pre studies and Analysis.
During the Needs Analysis, the customer needs to allocate time and resources to assist Sim Logistics with data and information about its operations.
Design of solutions
Based on the results in the Needs Analysis, suitable solution proposals are prepared in this part, taking into account a variety of variables that differ depending on the problem / situation.
The work usually goes on such that Sim Logistics presents one or more proposals that can improve the customer's internal logistics. The proposals are presented and carefully reviewed with the customer and in close collaboration they are supplemented, developed and refined if necessary.
It may happen, already in the design part, that a proposal is being crafted that clearly are the best one, or perhaps the only possible proposal. In such cases, there is no need for a third comparative and evaluative part where two or more possible proposals are compared with each other. The project can in this case proceed directly to the final section Results with conclusions and recommendations.
If, on the other hand, there are several possible solutions, where nothing is obviously much better than the others, there is a need to compare and evaluate them in order to choose the most appropriate one. This situation is not uncommon at all, and the work goes on with the next part.
In the design part, advanced 3D visualization software is used if appropriate to shape and clarify a solution proposal. Read more about this under Visualization.
Analysis and evaluation
It may also be that even if only one natural and obvious proposal has taken shape in the design, the customer may want to know more about the proposal. A deeper analysis can then be carried out with the purpose of obtaining details of what the proposal actually means and if it really meets the desired goals.
An common assignment for Sim Logistics, which usually contains an analysis and evaluation part, is to dimension and design a brand new warehouse with layout or expansion of an existing one. Read more about this service under Design of Warehouse and Layout.
This part, therefore, aims at analyzing, in depth, the proposal (s) proposed in the design section to obtain the information needed to take, for example, an investment decision. The work often consists of different calculations or compilation of solution-specific data or capacities, SWOT analysis or dynamic flow simulation, if appropriate. Read more about Flow simulation here.
When the analysis has been completed and the requested results have been produced, work can continue with the last and final part.
Results with conclusions and recommendations
In this section all important partial results that have been identified in the previous parts of the project are compiled. From the most interesting results from the data analysis to descriptions of solutions with possible sketches and drawings to the results of the deep analysis and possible comparisons between different proposals.
Here is also reasoning about what the results mean. Conclusions are drawn from the results and other findings that have emerged during the project. Finally, Sim Logistics gives its recommendations regarding the results if appropriate as well as what the next step in the development of internal logistics could be.
Everything is compiled in a presentation and report presented and handed over to the customer. If flow simulation is included as part of the assignment, a short movie is also produced from a simulation sequence if the customer so wishes. Often, the material produced is a complete or at least an important part of a decision-making basis for the customer to use when they make major decisions regarding their internal logistics.
Normally, the project ends with a discussion about what worked well and possibly less well in the project collaboration. This is done in order for Sim Logistics (but also the customer if they want) to improve on the basis of the constructive criticism that has emerged.
Suitable time after completion of the project, Sim Logistics follows up by contacting the customer to hear how it goes with their continued work on internal logistics and implementation of proposals.
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