FAQs

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SEVEN MOST COMMON QUESTIONS, plus A BUG IN EDITING ROUTES and DOWNLOADING VEHICLE COST and CARBON DATA… 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. 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.

Firefox has added new security features that can cause confusion. One of those features is triggered when you download simulation results from SCM Globe to your PC. In the Firefox browser when you click on the “Export Results to Excel” button it will cause Firefox to open a dialog box. The dialog box will ask “What should Firefox do with this file?” There are two options: 1) Open with; or 2) Save File. Select “Save File”. The simulation data will then download as a data file to your PC. The file will be something called an “octet-stream” instead of a .csv file. Unlike a .csv file, you cannot open this file by just clicking on it. You must open it from within your spreadsheet application. So open your spreadsheet application (MS Excel, Apple Numbers, Google Sheets, etc.) and use the spreadsheet to open the simulation data file that you just downloaded. It will open correctly inside your spreadsheet application.

We have gotten several reports that entity icons do not appear 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 new 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; everything works fine. But Firefox browser settings on your computer may be set differently depending on your company security policies, ask your IT support staff 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. 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”.

4. I’m trying to deliver a product to a facility but it won’t let me. The product doesn’t show up when I try to deliver it to a facility on the route – what’s the problem?

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.

5. My ship route draws as a straight line – how do I get ship routes to stay on water and go around the land?

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.

You can also do this for airplane routes if needed. Airplane routes are also drawn as straight lines between starting and destination facilities. Sometimes you may want to modify these straight lines to avoid restricted airspace etc. See more information about routes in Tips for Building Supply Chain Models – scroll down the the “Routes” section of that page.

6. Simulations are not working – I click the “Simulation” button on the EDIT screen, it opens a new browser tab for the SIMULATION screen but the screen remains greyed out – why is that? And sometimes I make a change on the EDIT screen and it doesn’t show up on the SIMULATION screen… why?

SIMULATION screens remain greyed out for one of two reasons: 1) You are working on a slow Internet connection and it takes a while longer to fully load the SIMULATION screen, so it seems like the screen just remains greyed out – be patient, it will load. 2) You have created a vehicle and have not assigned a route to that vehicle – all vehicles need routes assigned to them or the simulation will not run. Go back to the EDIT screen and assign routes to all vehicles or delete any vehicles not needed. Then click “Simulation” button again.

Changes to your supply chain model in the EDIT screen do not update in the SIMULATION screen until you go to the SIMULATION screen and click the browser refresh button or the “Reload Supply Chain” button. And remember, if you do reload your supply chain in the SIMULATION screen, but then go back to the EDIT screen and make more changes, you must click browser refresh on the SIMULATION screen to include those additional changes before you play the simulation.

Sometimes on the EDIT screen you may also notice that new facilities, or vehicles or route changes you make do not immediately update onscreen. If that occurs, or to re-draw the whole supply chain on the map, just click the browser refresh button – when in doubt click browser refresh!

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 SIMULATION 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.) will cause your simulations to run slowly. See more ideas for speeding up your simulations here: SPEED UP – UNFREEZE – DEBUG Your Simulations

***  UPDATE ON BUG FIXES for EDITING ROUTES and DOWNLOADING VEHICLE COST DATA  ***

There is a bug in how some route distances are displayed onscreen, after changing a route line it may display an incorrect route distance. But this is only a display problem, the route data used in the simulations is correct so simulation results are accurate. The first time a route for a truck or train is drawn on the map, it shows the correct round trip distance. If you accept the route as first drawn then all is well and there is no problem. But if you drag and drop the route line to get it to follow a different road, the route distance onscreen does not update; it remains the same distance associated with the original route. Routes for airplanes and ships also have a problem with distance displays. The first time a route for an airplane or ship is drawn, it shows the correct round trip distance. However if you change the route by dragging and dropping the white globes shown along the route line, the distance then shown is only the one-way distance, not the round trip distance. We are working on this display problem.

When you first create a route, you can drag and drop the route line to follow a different road than the one first shown onscreen. But after you create and save a route, you can only change stops and drop or pickup quantities on existing routes for trucks or trains. You cannot change the route line itself. When you click on “Edit route line” in the dialog box, it will display the route line onscreen covered with hundreds of little white globes. If you drag and drop one of those white globes it will distort the route line in a manner shown in the screenshot below. When this happens do not click “Update”, just click “X” in upper right corner of the route box. To change the route line of an existing route for a truck or train, you have to remove the entire route and recreate it.

Route Line Edit Error (click on image to see larger picture)

There is a bug in downloading vehicle cost and carbon data for reportingIt is a bug that only seems to happen sometimes and not every time. Some people never see this bug. Intermittent bugs like this are difficult to track down and fix. We are working on it.

However, simulations do capture and display vehicle cost and carbon data on the simulation screen. So just type in the total cost numbers from the simulation screen for vehicles where the total cost number does not download. Regarding total carbon numbers for facilities and vehicles they only display on the simulation screen and do not download. At present people can type in the total carbon numbers they need from the simulation screen.

 

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM that is not answered by these FAQs, please contact info@scmglobe.com with a description of the problem and attach a copy of your supply chain model so we can load your supply chain model and investigate your problem. To attach a copy of your model read instructions here — Download and Share Supply Chain Models.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER 

  • If you are a student, after you activate your account, look on the right side of your account screen underneath “Helpful Links” as shown in screenshot below. See the label “Account Expires On:” Next to this label will be the expiration date of your subscription. If you need to extend your subscription by a few extra weeks to cover your whole semester, then send an email to: info@scmglobe.com – tell us your name, your school, the email address you used to register, and the end date for your semester. We can extend your subscription to cover your whole semester.
    FAQ answer .
  • 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.
  • To sign in at www.scmglobe.com you must always use the same email address you used to register.
  • Once you have run the simulation by clicking the “Simulation” button, you will have two browser tabs open – one for editing, and one for simulation. Flip back and forth between these two tabs. Avoid opening additional browser tabs by just clicking on these two existing browser tabs to navigate back and forth between editing your supply chain model and simulating its operation.
  • When you add new data or edit existing data for products, facilities, vehicles, and routes, always click the “Update” or “Save” button in the lower right corner of the data entry dialog boxes.
  • After making changes to a supply chain model in the Edit screen, go to the the Simulation screen and click the browser refresh button or the “Reload Supply Chain” button to synchronize those changes with the simulation screen before running a new simulation.
  • Close all browser tabs except the tabs for SCM Globe edit screen and simulation screen (and the tab for this online guide if needed). Having lots of other browser tabs open will cause simulations to run slowly.
  • Watch the short training videos and read the short tutorials in the “Getting Started” section of this online guide, and in 15 – 30 minutes you will know enough to get started; you can learn the rest as you go.
  • Share your supply chain models with other SCM Globe users; see ““Download and Share Supply Chain Models

[This online User Guide has answers to your questions. It opens in a separate browser tab. Leave that browser tab open as you work, and use the menu at the top of each page to find what you need when you need it.]

 

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