Supply Chain Network Modeling - What Is It?

by Ralph Asher | at Minnebar 16 | 9:25 – 10:10 in Challenge | View Schedule

COVID-19 has moved supply chain management from the back office to front-page news. And along with it, the discipline of supply chain design – the strategic evaluation of deciding where to locate manufacturing sites, warehouses, and other supply chain facilities – has gone from a little-known niche to a C-suite priority.

In this talk, I will introduce the ways that analytics is transforming supply chain management, and how open-source languages like R and Python are changing the paradigm of supply chain analytics. I will give a short example of how a manufacturer can design its supply chain network and understand tradeoffs. This example will be drawn directly from my experience in the corporate world and my consulting business.

I will also briefly discuss the mathematics behind supply chain network design - mathematical optimization and operations research.


Ralph Asher

Ralph Asher is the founder of Data Driven Supply Chain LLC, a Twin Cities-based consulting firm that uses data science and AI to evaluate, design, and optimize supply chains. (

Prior to founding Data Driven Supply Chain, Ralph worked as an Operations Research Scientist in corporate supply chain functions for 8 years at Target, designing e-commerce supply chain networks, and at General Mills, designing warehousing networks.

Ralph has used R for supply chain analytics for a decade and can be reached at or via LinkedIn: