Getting Started

Taking into account the

  • location and the capacity of the suppliers,
  • the location and volume of the demand,
  • the location and capacity of resources, and
  • the capacity of your transportation network,

Network Design helps you solve business problems such as:

  • How can I make the best use of existing resources (warehouses/distribution centers)?
  • Which of my resources would be more cost-effective to close?
  • What is the best load sizes and paths to move products across my network?

Launching the App

To launch Network Design:

  1. Log into AIMMS PRO. The SC Navigator Applications page appears.
  2. Click Launch App on the Network Design tile.
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Loading data

Before you can get to work, you’ll need to load a saved Configuration and corresponding Dataset(s).

These have been created in Data Navigator.

Basic Navigation: Workflow

The navigation in the application is handled via the workflow panel, which is on the left side of the page, available on each page, and contains all Network Design phases. Some pages are available only when the user is in the proper phase (e.g., Executive Comparison or Demand Simulation).

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Network Design workflow phases are the following:

  • Control Panel: In this phase, you can overview the input data, change it if it’s needed, and run the optimization when everything is set.
  • Results Overview: Page where you view results in a map as an overview, and you can compare with the base scenario or with other solutions.
  • Result Details: Here you can analyze and look into the details of the results. If you see any option for improvements, you can adjust the input and re-run the optimization on each page.
  • Compare Scenarios: Page for loading scenarios and managing saved scenarios. Here you can perform simulations and overview different solutions for each scenario.

Status Bar

The status bar is an always visible part of the application, where the user can reach useful information and general functions.

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  • Total Cost: When optimization is run, the total cost is visible on the status bar. By clicking on the Cost Overview, a dialog page opens where the user can check the overall cost summary of the solution.

  • Active Scenario: The user can create scenarios from the solutions s/he created, or load a previously created scenario using this status bar action.

    • Until there’s no saved scenario, the current working scenario is ‘(Untitled)’. After the user saved it, its name is visible on the status bar.
    • If the user reruns the scenario a blue pencil blue-pencil will mark that the scenario is not saved yet.
    • When the scenario is in a changed status when the user clicks on the scenario on the status bar a message will pop up where the user should decide if s/he wants to save the current working scenario or load in a previous one.
  • Reference Scenario: This option is available only on the Results Overview page, and allows you to select a scenario for comparison near the current solution by opening the Reference Scenario dialog page.

  • # of compared scenarios: In Compare Scenarios phase the number of selected scenarios is visible on the Status bar. If the user wants to change the selected scenarios, s/he should click on this element, which will open the Scenario Selection dialog.

  • Current Configuration: The current configuration is visible on the status bar too. If the user wants to change that, should click on this element, which will open Load Configuration dialog.

  • Network Input: On the Status Bar there are displayed all dataset(s) that are used. If the user has multiple dataset types for the configuration each is visible. When the user wants to change the dataset type, should click on this element on the status bar, which will open the Load Dataset dialog.

Note

When the configuration allows multiple dataset types to be loaded, those are presented in the status bar too, after Network Input.

Running Optimization

In the First Phase - Control Panel page you can find the controls for the optimization and run the optimization model which is the central purpose of this app.

Click Optimize (the AIMMS logo button in the bottom right corner) to run the model on the currently loaded data.

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Control Panel is just the start. If you feel that the solution can be improved while reviewing results, some of the inputs can be changed on the other pages and the optimization can be solved again on each page, so the effect of your changes is visible right away.

Scenarios in Network Design

Network Design allows you to make changes to the input data, run the optimization again, and save the result as Scenarios which can then be compared to other scenarios to examine the effects of different kinds of changes.

Read more about scenarios in How to use Scenarios.

Help

Each page has a Help side panel, where the basic information is visible about the page that is open. The user can always reach it, and when the presented information is not enough, the user could use the Open Documentation button, which navigates to the proper documentation page.

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Debug Export

This section is handy for debugging purposes. You can download a file containing the data needed to reproduce your model and send it to the AIMMS support team at support@aimms.com.

On the Help side panel the Debug Export button opens the Debug Export dialog. This screen is only used for bug reporting. It provides a means of exporting the entire Network Model contents into a binary “dump” which Tech Support can then use to diagnose errors.

Two options are available here:

  • Download Current Data which saves input data and user edits.
  • Download Configuration and Dataset saves input data without user changes.