Seven FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, plus THE BUG REPORT and KEY POINTS — Please Read…
1. What web browsers can I use with SCM Globe?
SCM Globe runs under three browsers – Chrome, Firefox and Safari. And it DOES NOT run under Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge. If Microsoft is your regular browser, Chrome and Firefox co-exist well with Microsoft. You can use Chrome or Firefox when working with SCM Globe, and return to the Microsoft browser for other tasks.You can download a free copy of Chrome or Firefox by going to the websites of those browser makers.
- Chrome – https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/
- Firefox – https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/channel/
We have several reports of entity icons not displaying when running simulations under Firefox. At SCM Globe, we are able to run simulations without a problem using the latest version of Firefox (Ver 52.0.1). However, there may be security settings in Firefox that could prevent entity icons from being loaded and displayed. We are using the default settings that come when we download and install the newest version of Firefox and everything works fine. But Firefox browser settings on your computer may be set differently depending on your company security policies, etc. Ask your IT support person about this. We appreciate any information you can share with us on this topic.
2. Sometimes a delivery of products does not arrive at a facility when it should, and sometimes my simulation results are not the same as other people working on the same case study – is this a bug in the software?
Delivery vehicles occasionally miss deliveries. The frequency of missed deliveries depends on the frequency of deliveries and the time it takes for a vehicle to travel its delivery route. More frequent deliveries made by vehicles traveling on longer routes result in higher rates of missed deliveries (just like in the real world). Because of missed deliveries it is necessary to have “safety stock” inventory at facilities (just like in the real world) to keep them going when this occurs. And sometimes there will even be two deliveries made when only one was expected, so you need to have a bit of extra storage space available at facilities to handle unexpected deliveries. To improve scheduling of vehicles on routes see a full explanation in “Delivery Schedules Do Not Always Work Perfectly”.
You will also notice your simulation results do not always match exactly with results of others working on the same case study. This is because of small differences in where you place a facility or how you define routes or vehicles or times between departures. The more adjustments and changes you make to your supply chain model (even very small ones), the more your results will differ from others who do similar but not exactly identical things in their models. Learn more about this in “The Butterfly Effect“.
3. I was checking my simulation results and noticed there was a bunch of new inventory added to the on-hand amount at a facility and some inventory was subtracted from on-hand amounts at other facilities before the simulation even got to day one, and vehicle costs seemed high as well – what’s going on here?
“Day 0” calculations start a simulation – There are initial calculations made by the simulation engine that affect beginning amounts of on-hand inventory for some products at some facilities. These initial calculations create the “Day 0″ starting point for the supply chain at the beginning of a simulation. On Day 0 the facilities that have daily demand for a product have that daily demand amount subtracted from their on-hand inventory. Also if there are routes originating at a facility where products are picked up from other facilities and returned to the facility, then the amount(s) of picked up product(s) are added to on-hand inventory. In addition, the Day 0 calculations add a fixed cost component to vehicle costs (variable cost is vehicle operating cost per km times distance traveled). Normally, you do not need to worry about these Day 0 calculations. But if you want to learn more or compensate for these initial calculations, you can read about them in “Tips for Building Supply Chain Models” – scroll down to the heading titled “Day 0 Calculations and Adjustments“.
You have to assign a product to a facility before you can deliver that product to the facility – If you are setting up a route and can’t deliver a particular product to a particular facility because you don’t see it in the drop down box for that facility, then you have to go back to the facility (in the Facility menu) and assign that product to the facility. You can only deliver products that are already assigned to a facility. To assign a product to a facility, you add the product to the facility and give it an on-hand amount, and/or amounts for production per day and demand per day. Any or all of these amounts can be set to zero.
Drag and drop the white globes that appear along the route line of the ship when it is first created. Click on each white globe along the route as needed and drag it to change the route line to better follow the route you want. If you have an existing route for a ship and you want to change it, select the route in the edit screen and click on “Edit route line” in the lower left side of the route dialog box. When you do this you will see white globes appear along the route line. Drag and drop them as needed and then click on “Stop edit” and click the “Update” button. Because the route is no longer a straight line it will also have more distance than the initial straight line route. Distances shown on ship routes are ROUND-TRIP. Shipping routes usually take the shortest path between port of origin and port of destination while also staying on water and away from land.
Airplane routes are also drawn as straight lines between starting and destination facilities, and distances shown are ROUND-TRIP . You can usually leave airplane routes as straight lines because airplanes can fly over sea and land. Sometimes you may want to modify these straight lines to avoid restricted airspace and you would modify the initial route the same way that ship routes are modified. See more information about routes in Tips for Building Supply Chain Models – scroll down the the “Routes” section of that page.
6. The EDIT SCREEN loads slowly and SOMETIMES FREEZES when I make changes to an entity and click the Update button; the twirler just keeps twirling. The SIMULATE SCREEN can also load slowly and SOMETIMES STAYS GRAYED OUT – why is that?
The Edit screen may load slowly if you are using a slow Internet connection or a wifi connection with weak signal. During this time the screen appears to freeze, it shows the map but not the supply chain, it may take 10 – 15 seconds to load the supply chain. Other times, even on a fast internet connection, changes to an entity (products, facilities, vehicles or routes) do not update when you click “Update” – the twirler just keeps twirling. If this happens click your browser refresh button to redraw your supply chain map. When the map redraws on the screen, click on the entity you were working on when the freeze happened. Make the changes again if needed, and click the Update button – it will update. When in doubt click browser refresh!
The Simulate screen can freeze and remain grayed out for one of two reasons: 1) You are working on a slower Internet connection and it takes longer to fully load the Simulate screen, so it seems like the screen remains grayed out – be patient, it will load. 2) You created a vehicle and did not enter a value for “Delay Between Departures” for the vehicle or did not assign a route to that vehicle – all vehicles need one or more routes assigned to them or the simulation will not run. You will see an error message and even after you click “OK” to close the error message the Simulate screen will remain grayed out. Close the browser tab with the still grayed out Simulate screen.Go back to the Edit screen and enter a value for “Delay Between Departures” and assign routes to all vehicles, or delete any vehicles not needed. Then on the Edit screen click the “Simulation” button again to open a new Simulate screen.
NOTE: Because SCM Globe is a web-based application, changes to your supply chain model in the Edit screen do not update in the Simulate screen until you go to the Simulate screen and click the browser refresh button or the “Reload Supply Chain” button. And if you do reload your supply chain in the Simulate screen, but then go back to the Edit screen and make more changes, you must click browser refresh again on the Simulate screen to include those additional changes before you play the simulation.
7. How can I make SCM Globe run faster on my PC or laptop?
As you work on larger and more complex supply chains you may notice a slowdown in response time. SCM Globe runs partly on our servers in the cloud and partly in the browser on your PC or laptop or tablet. Response time is affected by the speed of your Internet connection combined with the power of your PC. SCM Globe runs best on newer computers with more memory and fast Internet connections. Depending on all these factors, when you load a supply chain model or refresh your Edit or Simulate screens, it may take a moment or two for the entire supply chain to finish drawing on the map and for your PC screen to completely refresh. Wait for this to happen before clicking on other buttons. Also make sure no other applications are running on your PC except your web browser and SCM Globe. Running other applications at the same time (such as email, word processing, facebook, YouTube etc.) can cause your simulations to run slowly. See more ideas for speeding up your simulations and addressing other problems here: SPEED UP – UNFREEZE – DEBUG Your Simulations
*** See “Download and Share Supply Chain Models” to download a copy of your supply chain (json file) to your PC and send it to other SCM Globe users
[ Be sure to read Tips for Building Supply Chain Models for advanced modeling techniques you will need as you start creating more complex supply chains.]
BUG 1 — There is a bug in downloading vehicle data to spreadsheets on your PC or laptop. It is a bug that only happens sometimes, not every time. When it does happen it causes data for some vehicles not to download.
- WORK-AROUND — Try renaming vehicles that do not download — put letter “A” or number “1” at start of those vehicle names and run your simulation again. The download bug is related to alphabetizing of vehicle names; this renaming trick can usually bypass the bug.
- If vehicle data still does not download then see the vehicle cost and carbon numbers shown on the Simulate screen and type them into the spreadsheet holding the rest of the downloaded simulation data. The “Vehicles” tab in the upper right corner of the Simulate screen shows this data.
BUG 2 — When a new route for a truck or train is drawn on the map, it shows the ONE-WAY trip distance and time instead of ROUND-TRIP. And if you drag and drop the route line to follow a different road from the one first shown, the route distance onscreen does not update; it remains the same distance associated with the original route. Routes for airplanes and ships are not affected by this bug and they always show the ROUND-TRIP time and distance.
- WORK-AROUND — This is only a display problem, the route data used in the simulations is correctly updated so simulation results are accurate. Remember that existing routes in supply chain models from the library show ROUND-TRIP time and distance, but new truck and train routes show ONE-WAY time and distance.
BUG 3 — When you try to drag-and-drop a facility to change its location it can be hard to get a hold on the facility if it has vehicles assigned to it because the vehicle icons overlay the facility icon. This is a display problem, and there is an easy work-around.
- WORK-AROUND — Go to the Edit screen, click on the facility you want to move and zoom in on the facility on the map. As you get closer and closer to the facility you will see the icons for the facility and the vehicles spread out. Then you can click on the facility icon and drag it to a new location.
BUG 4 — Sometimes you can overload a vehicle on a delivery route and the error checking does not prevent the overloading. When you first overload a vehicle on a route the error checking catches the overload and displays an error message. But when you click OK on the error message sometimes the high quantity number that caused the overload is not changed back to its original, lower amount. If you then click “Update” in the route dialog box that overload quantity number will be accepted and the simulation will run using that number.
- WORK-AROUND — Watch the product quantity input field to see if it is reset correctly after an overload error message displays. If it does not reset correctly then type in the original number. When you go to edit a product quantity number on a route and you get an error message even though you did not change or increase the number then you know it is an overload number that got into the model. When that happens type over the bad number with a lower number so it does not trigger an overload error.
BUG 5 — When you first create a truck route, you can drag and drop the route line to follow a different road other than the one first shown onscreen. But after you save the route, you can only change the stops and the product drop and pickup quantities on that route. You cannot change the route line itself. When you click on “Edit route line” in the dialog box, it will display the truck route onscreen covered with hundreds of little white globes. If you drag and drop one or more of those white globes it will distort the route line in a manner shown in the screenshot below, but it will not enable you to drag-and-drop the route to follow a different road.
- WORK-AROUND — To change routes of existing truck or railroad routes, delete entire route and recreate it.
- Drag-and-drop road routes to pick a new route other than the one first suggested. The drag-and-drop function can be tricky to use. When dragging and dropping initial road routes, zoom in and start at the beginning or end of the route; roll cursor over route; see circle appear over route; click on circle and drag with cursor; route will snap to follow other roads. We are working on improving ease of use.
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM that is not answered by these FAQs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the problem and attach a copy of your supply chain model (json file) so we can load your supply chain model and investigate your problem. To attach a copy of your model (json file) read instructions here — Download and Share Supply Chain Models.
SAVE BACKUP COPIES of your supply chain model from time to time as you make changes. Click “Save” button next to your model in Account Management screen. Then if a change doesn’t work out, you can restore from a saved copy.
NOTE: The academic version of SCM Globe supports supply chain models containing up to 15 – 20 products and a similar number of facilities, vehicles and routes. Models exceeding these limits will run slowly and experience other problems. See “Tips for Building Supply Chain Models” for ways to work with these limits and other useful ideas.
- Student accounts default to 90 days. If you need to extend your subscription by a few extra weeks to cover your whole semester, send an email to: email@example.com – tell us your name, your school, email address you used to register, and end date of your semester. We can extend your subscription to cover your whole semester.
- Look on the right side of your account screen underneath “Helpful Links” as shown in screenshot below. Red arrow points to “Account Expires On:” see the expiration date of your subscription. If you just want to buy more time on your account, then click the “Purchase More Time” button shown under the account expiration date. It will take you to the payment screen where you can buy more time.
- An instructor may request extended access if a student has an Incomplete for the course. The student must discuss their need with their instructor who will make the extension request if it is approved by the instructor.
- Flip back and forth between two browser tabs – Edit and Simulate. Once you run a simulation by clicking the “Simulation” button, you have two browser tabs open – one for editing, and one for simulating. Avoid opening additional browser tabs, don’t need to click the “Simulation” button again, just click on the two existing browser tabs to navigate back and forth between editing your supply chain model and simulating its operation.
- Click the “Update” or “Save” button in the dialog box when you add new data or edit existing data for products, facilities, vehicles, and routes (always in the lower right corner of the dialog boxes).
- SAVE BACKUP COPIES of your supply chain model from time to time as you make changes. Then if a change doesn’t work out, you can restore from a saved copy.
- “Getting Started” has the short training videos and tutorials you need to get started; in 15 – 30 minutes you will know enough to get started. You can learn the rest as you go.
- Share your supply chain models (json files) with other SCM Globe users; see ““Download and Share Supply Chain Models”
- There is a SPREADSHEET REPORTING TEMPLATE you can use to analyze downloaded simulation data. Import your simulation data into the template and create monthly profit & loss reports as well as generate key performance indicators. See more about this in the online guide section “Analyzing Simulation Data” – scroll down to the heading titled “Download Simulation Data to Spreadsheet Reporting Templates”. The sample template is set up for the Cincinnati Seasonings company, but look at how the reports read the simulation data and you will see how to change the spreadsheet as needed to accommodate any case study.
NOTE: The academic version of SCM Globe supports supply chain models containing up to 15 – 20 products and a similar number of facilities, vehicles and routes. Models exceeding these limits will run slowly and experience other problems. See “Tips for Building Supply Chain Models” for ways to work with these limits and other useful ideas..
[This online User Guide has answers to your questions. Click “Help” button in upper right corner of every screen in SCM Globe. It opens in new browser tab, use menu across top of each page in the online guide to find what you need when you need it.]
Copyright © 2018 by SCM Globe Corp.