Alteryx > Case Studies > Armor Express: Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency with Predictive Analytics

Armor Express: Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency with Predictive Analytics

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Predictive Analytics
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Application Development Platforms
Applicable Industries
  • E-Commerce
  • Equipment & Machinery
Applicable Functions
  • Procurement
  • Warehouse & Inventory Management
Use Cases
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Process Simulation
  • Data Science Services
About The Customer
Armor Express is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of defensive armor systems. The company is based in Arlington, VA, United States, and operates in the manufacturing industry, specifically in the supply chain department. Armor Express is committed to protecting lives by providing high-quality body armor and other protective equipment to emergency services and armed forces. The company's products are designed to protect the wearer from blades, ballistics, and shrapnel, and each vest can contain up to 15 different items sourced from different suppliers worldwide.
The Challenge
Armor Express, a leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of defensive armor systems, faced significant challenges in managing its supply chain. The company's products, which include body armor and other protective equipment, are composed of up to 15 different items sourced from various suppliers worldwide. Without the right data, matching raw material orders with customer fulfillment was a significant challenge, risking over- or under-purchasing and unnecessarily long lead times. The company's supply chain was previously managed through spreadsheets and the knowledge of its employees, leading to frequent inaccuracies in raw material purchases. These issues not only affected the company's efficiency but also had potential implications for the safety of the end-users of their products.
The Solution
Armor Express turned to predictive data analytics to address its supply chain challenges. After trialing several data platforms, the company chose Alteryx for its capabilities and performance. Jeff Gordon, Director of Procurement, Warehousing, and Analytics at Armor Express, built workflows to identify current open orders and develop a solid strategy for the future. With the help of the Alteryx Community and Marquee Crew, an approved Alteryx Partner, predictive models were built on the Alteryx platform. These models blend product SKU data with customer orders and manufacturing output, providing valuable demand and production data to Armor Express’ suppliers and helping them manage the supply of raw materials with greater accuracy. The company also integrated Alteryx with Microsoft Power BI, enabling decision-makers to quickly visualize key datasets on demand.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of predictive analytics has brought about significant operational improvements for Armor Express. The company has been able to make educated guesses about demand and adjust the supply chain accordingly. For instance, if a product line is discontinued, the predictive model can predict which products customers will choose instead. This has helped the company cut $500,000 of inventory from day one. Furthermore, with predictive analytics now doing the heavy lifting, the company has been able to improve order lead times, maintain excellent customer relationships, and even win new business from competitors. The company's suppliers have also noticed the difference, with one commenting that Armor Express now provides the best model and buy plan in the industry.
Quantitative Benefit
  • $500,000 saved through inventory optimization
  • Thousands of data points analyzed for accurate forecasting
  • Significant improvement in supplier and customer service

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