Logistics Network Design System MELOS: MEta Logistics Optimization System
MELOS (Meta Logistics Optimization System) provides a strategic planning capability that is used to design “truly” optimal logistics networks and production plans, and that allows to users to execute “what if” analyses. Using sophisticated models of total logistics network, MELOS finds an optimal solution to improve the flow of products through forward and/or reverse logistics networks at the lowest cost under the constraints of customer services. MELOS can be readily customized to your individual requirements. MELOS also provides a tactical planning capability that is used to design master production plan of plants and/or lines, replenishment and distribution plan, and inventory plan of warehouses. This system is based on the abstract logistics network design model proposed by Dr. Kubo, a chief adviser of our company, in his book titled “Logistics Engineering.” The model uses generalized concepts of networks and generic bill-of-materials; it can handle multiple layered networks with cycles and also reverse flows. Facilities such as plants and warehouses are modeled as resources on arcs. Vehicles, ships, rails, and airplanes are also modeled as resources moving in the network. Furthermore, several types of inventories are explicitly defined in the model; they are categorized into in-transit, cycle, lot-sizing, seasonal, and safety inventories. The cost parameters of all type inventories are estimated by other optimization systems and are adjusted by iterative schemes. Thus all inventory costs are quite accurate even though they are just approximations in this model.