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Panalpina develops supply chain algorithm

CARDIFF, UK: February 03, 2016. As a result of a collaboration with the Cardiff Business School, Panalpina says it has become the first global logistics company to develop its own application that helps customers manage, forecast and reduce inventory levels in their supply chains.

Three years ago, Panalpina and the Cardiff Business School at Cardiff University in Wales (UK), set out to search for a so-called ‘hidden formula’ for lean inventories. As a result the company has now launched ‘D2ID’, a new inventory forecasting application to include new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing.

Panalpina Cardiff Business School“As a result of our initial partnership we now have a new application at hand that allows us to forecast the demand of a company’s products and plan its inventory accordingly,” said Nicole Ayiomamitou (pictured right), lead researcher on the knowledge transfer project. “To achieve this, we have taken real inventory data from Panalpina and developed a unique product life cycle algorithm based on leading-edge mathematical thinking,” she explained.

Panalpina says the benefit of this approach is that it can predict how much space is needed at its facilities, where to position them and what services to provide in order to keep customers’ products moving and to minimize the working capital in their supply chains.

“We started off by mapping the inventories of our customers across product life-cycles. The more data we analyzed, the more refined we could make our inventory forecasting model,” explained Mike Wilson, global head of logistics at Panalpina.

Wilson, who graduated from Cardiff’s MBA program in 1993, calls this approach ‘Demand-Driven Inventory Dispositioning’, or ‘D2ID’.

Cardiff Business School professor Aris Syntetos added: “Simply put, the new application works at a product level, selecting and applying the best mathematical forecasting method at the click of a button. The application has been tested on various types of products, and the results are remarkable,” he added.

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