Gensym Launches Online Supply Chain Simulation Solution

"On-demand" service lets users test supply chain scenarios against SCOR model

"On-demand" service lets users test supply chain scenarios against SCOR model

Burlington, MA — December 16, 2005 — Gensym, a provider of rule engine software for mission-critical solutions, has released its service for collaborative design of supply chain networks, policies and practices.

The new "on-demand," Web-based service is intended to help supply chain professionals maximize the resilience of a supply chain across a range of operating scenarios by modeling and simulating alternative designs.

Based upon the Supply Chain Council's Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model standard, was designed to provide decision-makers with a design tool ready for team collaboration via the Web. Unlike other supply chain design approaches, combines simulation of alternative supply network configurations and business rule logic for policies and best practices, according to Gensym.

Technology Foundation extends Gensym's G2 e-SCOR product for on-demand use over the Web. Built upon Gensym's G2 real-time rule engine platform, G2 e-SCOR's technology is in use at such organizations as Hitachi, HP and the U.S. Army. automatically generates standardized SCOR metrics for each scenario, including metrics for inventory levels, asset calculations, order fulfillment response times, operating costs and more than 100 additional metrics, to ensure that decision teams can model and analyze supply chains to the depth and complexity required.

From analysis of these metrics, supply chain professionals can look to drive decisions such as the number and location of distribution sites, required service levels for outsourced goods, demand push versus pull policies, inventory replenishment practices and business rules for delivery planning.

Improving Decision Making

"The design of a supply chain's network, policies and practices directly impacts its resilience to increasing business dynamics, including unforeseen disruptions, greater demand fluctuations, shorter product lifecycles and the trend towards real-time, demand-driven strategies," said Kim Mayyasi, president and CEO of Gensym. "Such design decisions can impact many millions of dollars in operating costs. With, supply chain decision-makers easily collaborate to continuously design for resilience."

Gensym said that supply chain professionals can use to improve their decision-making by collaborating over the Web to build realistic supply chain models using detailed SCOR processes across an organization, suppliers and partners, and then dynamically simulating alternative designs and operating scenarios to assess results.

The solution automatically computes and documents SCOR performance metrics and determines required service levels. Users can apply models and metrics based on SCOR to facilitate communication and collaboration across all supply chain team members. is immediately available on a subscription basis for $1,000 per month per user. Subscriptions include remote hosting of the server and ongoing software maintenance and support.

Simulation Complements Optimization

Chris Caplice, executive director of MIT's Master of Engineering in Logistics (MLOG) Program, said that traditionally optimization has been applied for supply chain and logistics decisions such as the number, location and size of distribution centers or the mix of transportation alternatives, such as trucks versus rail versus shipping versus air.

"However, given increasingly vulnerable global supply networks subject to disruptions such as demand fluctuations, hurricanes, fuel price spikes, labor strikes and many others, optimization alone is insufficient," Caplice said. "Supply chain and logistics professionals need to consider the resilience of their operations across a range of conditions, and that is where modeling and simulation offers great value by testing the robustness of candidate designs, including supply chain management policies and practices."

Optimization Plus Simulation

The new solution already is generating interest among potential customers, according to Gensym.

For example, Robert S. Kidwell, vice president and senior technical director with Mantech International Enterprise Integration Center, an information technology provider to the U.S. federal government and a Gensym partner, said that his company has been working with pre-release versions of and has been looking at the solution's potential for collaborating with federal clients to improve the design and performance of their supply operations.

In addition, Frank Cianciotta, vice president of Gensym's Internet Services, said that one of the largest computer hardware producers has been working with's rule-driven modeling and simulation technology in combination with mathematical optimization.

"They find that optimization helps make the best supply network design trade-offs while analysis via assesses resiliency of those candidate designs and determines best policies and practices," Cianciotta said. "They describe the potential of as an on-demand, collaborative tool that enables each of their analysts to be an inventor of supply chain innovations."

Additional Articles of Interest

— Supply chain executives are discovering new ways to apply technology and innovative processes to the challenge of managing uncertainty. Read more in "Rethinking Risk," cover story in the August/September 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Looking to bring new operational analytics solutions online? Here are five simple steps that every enterprise should take. Read "Bringing Operational Analytics Online — 5 Easy Pieces," an exclusive.

— A logistics team is called upon to craft supply chain processes that update logistics and inventory management at the growing retail chain Michaels Stores Inc. Read more in "The Art of Supply Chain Optimization," a Best Practices article in the October/November 2005 issue of Supply and Demand Chain Executive.