Making disruptions invisible: Logistics planning lessons from America’s favorite pastime

Baseball Series: Pitcher in motion, batter, catcher and umpire defocused

Disruptions occur on a daily basis in every industry across the globe. The supply chain industry – specifically in the domain of logistics planning – is no exception. Transportation dispatchers and planners must be able to navigate changes in weather and traffic, as well as accidents, road closures, customer demands and more. As the Quintiq Logistics Planner Product Manager, I help our customers overcome these disruptions so they are invisible to the end consumer.

Logistics planning is not the only field in which I’ve helped people manage disruptions. In a previous career, I was an Advance Scout with a Major League Baseball team. In that role, I helped managers, coaches and players formulate a game plan for their upcoming opponents and then adapted that plan for any unexpected situations during the course of a game.

The top managers, coaches and players in baseball handle disruptions with great finesse, to the extent that the fans cannot even perceive that something unexpected occurred. One of the best managers who acts decisively to limit fan visibility of disruptions is Joe Maddon, and one of the tools he uses is his lineup card.

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If you look closely at the piece of paper he is holding in the picture above, there are different colored nodes, statistical lists and other pieces of relevant information for the players – both on his team and the opposing team. The colors represent what-if scenarios that were run before the game in order to allow him to understand the percentages of certain match-ups (i.e. how a batter fares against a number of pitchers).

If you compare Joe Maddon’s lineup card to the Quintiq Logistics Planner interface, they share commonalities that prove critical in handling disruptions seamlessly. These include what-if scenario analysis, continuous optimization, the consideration of hard and soft constraints in the planning puzzle, and easy to understand color coded suggestions.

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Joe Maddon’s lineup card works tremendously well for him as his team won the 2016 World Series. Meanwhile, Quintiq customers have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they have selected a solution from a provider that continues to break records in the world’s toughest optimization puzzles.

Does your company’s processes and tools allow it handle disruptions as well as Joe Maddon’s lineup card and Quintiq Logistics Planner, so that your customers don’t notice or feel an event that affects your plan and impacts your operations?

Take a look at how Quintiq Logistics Planner helps customers handle disruptions and bring calm to the planning process.

Curious to know more? Learn about Quintiq’s expertise in logistics planning.

This post was previously published on LinkedIn.
Jeff Butler

About Jeff Butler

I consider myself a technologist who aims to make a difference in socially impactful projects. My passion for numbers and analytical thinking has steered me into a diverse array of career opportunities, spanning industries from finance and professional sports, to supply chain. Some of my other passions are sustainability, civic engagement and health initiatives - just a small part of a long list of interests. In my spare time, I enjoy watching TED talks. I also stay updated with blogs that are focused on computer security, DIY projects and travel.