Supply Chain Optimisation

IDSC had helped many MNCs review and improve their supply chains often with counter-intuitive results.

In 1996, a consortium of 6 large MNCs (Pepsi, Kraft, Colgate, Maybelline, United Biscuits, Taiko Sugar) decided to share their logistics in China and engaged a HK consultant to develop and tender their distribution plan. SembCorp Logistics engaged IDSC to help develop their tender response. In about a month, a plan was produced that was conservatively about 8-12% lower cost (at least US$0.5m) than the concept proposed by the HK consultant. This enabled SembCorp Logistics to clinch their first deal and set up operations in China.

Another successful distribution network project was undertaken for Mobil Oil HK Ltd with a broader scope. Manufacturing and marketing issues such as duties on raw materials, pricing structure, sales territories, etc. was also addressed so that Mobil could revise its corporate strategy for China as the situation evolves. IDSC’s results gave clarity to Mobil when its China experts could not agree on the best strategy.


IDSC also completed the study for a major Plastics’ manufacturer in Asia Pacific that mapped out the infrastructure and inventory needed to support their plans. This study showed that the client’s intuition that Subic Bay is a good hub was wrong. Other supply chain design projects undertaken were for some major tyre, tobacco, FMCG, chemicals and stockist companies


Sales Analytics & Forecasting

IDSC had helped a Japanese wholesaler, a flour mill and an adhesive label manufacturer forecast their weekly sales and likely next order (timing and quantum) at customer-product level to enable sales and ops planning (S&OP) to be done not just at aggregated product level but also for strategic accounts.


IDSC’s proprietary predictability index for customers, products and customer-product level time series also enabled them to select the more likely orders for inclusion in procurement or production plans even before the orders are received – thus raising efficiency. The system also automatically alert sales teams to changes in order patterns to help them stay on top of market developments.



Inventory Optimisation

IDSC had helped clients such as Compaq determine the best way to allocate its spares inventory so that its promised service levels in Thailand could be met. 3 out of 77 cities which should have a slower response time in order that overall cost is minimized were found and specific recommendations were made for reduction of stock points.


IDSC also helped an industrial component stockist evaluate and choose an inventory optimization software to forecast demand and coordinate the re-ordering of components so that the desired service level for different customers and product groups could be met at the lowest cost.


Results for a major bakery showed that recovery of lost sales of 3-10% and 25.6% reduction in unsold bread.


Warehouse Design

The efficiency of a facility is highly dependent on how well the concept, equipment, layout and processes are designed. Such infrastructure projects are typically left to architects and engineers who are not able to view the facility as a total system to develop robust designs able to meet future needs under a range of scenarios.


IDSC has helped clients such as Abbott Nutrition, AMP, ST Logistics and YHS design their warehouses so that requirements are correctly sized, potential bottlenecks are identified, and impact of equipment choice and process on throughput are assessed for foreseeable scenarios of future needs.


Fleet Routing


Distributing goods using a fleet of trucks is still typically done manually.


IDSC helped YHS, ST Logistics, Certis Cisco and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to develop GIS-based routing systems that minimises cost while meeting a myriad of constraints such as payload weight and volume constraints of a heterogeneous fleet, time window constraints of pickups and drop-offs, as well as refrigeration and vehicle docking needs.


The systems consider the road topology, typical speeds on each road segment, loading and unloading times, etc to develop good routes and realistic schedules. The SPH system included a GPS solution that enabled managers to log-on to the internet to view progress of newspaper delivery. IDSC had also completed a study for Certis Cisco examining the impact of cluster-level simultaneous replenishment of ATMs and how it should be optimised to achieve lowest total cost.




IDSC used layout optimization and production simulation models to help a major hard-disk manufacturer develop detailed plans for its next generation production lines which had to remain robustly efficient despite uncertainty in its order stream.


IDSC also helped a major flour mill optimize its wheat mix and flour stream allocation to products as well as what mix procurement strategy such that profitability of its products were improved by between 7% to 60%. IDSC is helping an adhesive label maker improve their forecasts as well as S&OP processes.


Air Tug Operations


IDSC helped a major airport service provider analysed how demand for its air-tugs at the airport could be forecasted and planned to maximise service level for the available fleet. This enabled the service provider to objectively work out with the airport authorities the optimal size and mix of its airtug fleet.


OR was used to determine the best way to coordinate airtug operations with airport authorities on a daily basis. The latter involved issues such as the right amount of slack time to allow for towing operations (needed by service provider to achieve higher efficiency) as well as fair ways to measure performance

Library Transformation


 Singapore’s National Library Board awarded a contract to IDSC to guide the Library Professional Services & Supply Group in the Master plan and execution of its Library program aimed at transforming NLB’s handling of physical media.


IDSC introduced life-cycle and supply chain management concepts and technologies to power the transformation which enabled NLB to better plan its collection mix, choose materials that are more relevant to users and thus maximize loan performance for available budgets, space and other resources.