The Quantitative Supply Chain Blog

where supply chain and rocket science meet


Supply Chain Science (More posts)

May 11, 2023

RFI, RFP and RFQ madness in supply chain

Over the years, Lokad has gained some notoriety, and we have earned the privilege of being part of an increasingly large number of RFI (request for information), RFP (request for proposal) and RFP (request for quote) related to supply chain optimization.

Apr 17, 2023

The maintenance of the optimization

Lokad offers a flat monthly fee for software and expert services, ensuring optimal supply chain performance. Traditional optimization software fails due to inadequate maintenance. Lokad's supply chain scientists maintain automation, requiring ongoing engineering resources to prevent reverting to inefficient spreadsheet management.

Mar 6, 2023

The role of IT

In many, probably most, large companies operating a supply chain, the IT department has years of backlog. The backlog is made of a myriad of glitches, inconsistencies, or fragilities that could be fixed but aren’t. Besides creating vast bureaucratic overheads, this endless series of pointless annoyances demotivates everyone.

Technology (More posts)

Feb 6, 2023

Stochastic gradient descent with gradient estimator for categorical features

The broad field of machine learning (ML) provides a wide array of techniques and methods that cover numerous situations. Supply chain, however, comes with its own specific set of data challenges, and sometimes aspects that might be deemed “basic” by supply chain practitioners do not benefit from satisfying ML instruments – at least according to our standards.

Sep 21, 2022

Differentiating Relational Queries

Supply chain data present themselves almost exclusively as relational data such as orders, clients, suppliers, products, etc. Those data are collected through the business systems - the ERP, the CRM, the WMS - that are used to operate the company.

Sep 6, 2022

Reproducible Parallel Stochastic Gradient Descent

The stochastic gradient descent (SGD) is one of the most successful techniques ever devised for both machine learning and mathematical optimization. Lokad has been extensively exploiting the SGD for years for supply chain purposes, mostly through differentiable programming. Most of our clients have a least one SGD somewhere in their data pipeline.

Industry deep dive (More posts)

Sep 27, 2022

Pitfalls of supply chain for aeronautics

Aeronautics companies are fundamentally risk adverse – for very good reasons – and this reflects in the management of the companies’ activity in every area. However, this mentality can be a hindrance when it comes to supply chain, as avoiding risk and not integrating the very concept of risk at the heart of the supply chain means losing sight of what you are optimizing.

Lokad News (More posts)

Mar 27, 2023

Let’s try Lokad

The engineering teams at Lokad have spent the last decade refining _Envision_, a specialized programming language dedicated to the predictive optimization of supply chains. As it turns out, most supply chain optimization challenges are, well, _weird_ (for a lack of a better word) and mainstream software technologies fall flat on their faces when confronted with such challenges.

Jan 19, 2023

LokadTV reaches 6000 subscribers

Almost exactly 18 months ago, I wrote a post to celebrate passing 3,000 subscribers on LokadTV. That post, in fact, was written almost 18 months after we celebrated passing 1,000 subscribers. Curiously enough, we passed 1000 subscribers about 18 months after we began actively promoting the channel.

Aug 24, 2022

Launching Supply Chain News

The ambition of is to create a vibrant online community. No terms to accept, no forced login, no ads, no monetization plan, just a plain discussion text-based board, with a voting system to let the most interesting contributions surface.