Skip to content

Network Design & Footprint Optimization

A company’s network extends across its planning, procurement, operations, and logistics supply chain. Network design organizes facilities to get the maximum productivity, efficiency, and quality. A company’s footprint varies with the layout and design of each facility. Footprint optimization ensures that assets are fully utilized and that workers can perform efficiently and safely.

As the #1 supply chain and operations firm in North America, we analyze your current network design and footprint optimization strategies and their effect on the end-to-end supply chain. We help you meet both your productivity and profit goals.

“What if” planning

At the heart of network design and footprint optimization is “what if” planning, readying a company for the short-, medium-, and long-term. “What if” planning assesses the effect of volatility on:

  • Assets
  • Transportation modes and warehouses
  • Manufacturing and distribution capacity and capability
  • Cross-functional alignment
  • Supply chain costs and efficiency
  • Value creation.

Where we add value 

Our expertise and unique approach encourages adaptability and resilience in network design and footprint optimization.


Where are the bottlenecks and vulnerabilities in your network? Are your product and brand mixes too complex for your network and footprint design? Is equipment standing idle or so positioned that it adds unnecessary steps? Among other issues, an on-site assessment looks at:

  • Scalability and efficiency of space and technology
  • Ability to meet greater (or lesser) demand

  • Overuse, underuse, and redundancy of assets and labor

  • The alignment of KPIs and other metrics with goals

  • Quality of service

  • Downtime and shift handovers

  • Maintenance scheduling

  • Owner, responsible, consult, and inform (ORCI) roles.


Data analytics and simulation modeling

Trustworthy data analytics and a simulation model of your current supply chain network and footprint clearly expose current issues and also test changes before implementation in the real world. The data analytics and model identify:

  • Potential disruptions as the network expands or contracts

  • Ways to integrate automation

  • Best strategic options to meet company goals

The short-, medium-, and long-term effects of different footprint and network scenarios.


Resilience & Optionality

Our assessment and analyses uncover ways to increase the resilience of your current supply chain and gain the benefits of optionality, creating a strong foundation for any re-design. A more resilient supply chain with more options requires:

  • Collaboration between procurement, operations, and logistics

  • Defined KPIs that align with company goals

  • Uniform processes across divisions and geographies

  • Supplier optionality, negotiation, and management skills

  • Geographic and capacity optionality (build, acquire, or expand)

  • Clear roles and accountability.


The advantages that may be gained by modifying the network design and optimizing the footprint include:

  • Increased productivity, safety, and efficiency

  • Less waste and fewer carbon emissions

  • More energy efficiency

  • Standardized processes

  • Optimized route and last mile delivery

  • Greenfield and brownfield evaluation and launch

  • Improved management.


Strategic network and footprint design 

The decision to acquire, build, or modify a network or any space within it is complex. For example, to determine if a facility should be close to suppliers or customers or if it should be on-shore, off-shore, or in-shore, a company must weigh factors that vary from demand centers through tariff agreements to weather. 

Geographic Optionality

We focus on
  • Geopolitical, natural, and business risks
  • Ease of doing business
  • Proximity to suppliers and/or customers
  • Ally sourcing potential
  • Resource scarcity
  • Infrastructure and workforce issues.

Capacity Planning

Rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP) determines where existing capacity is or may become constrained and where there is excess. When existing capacity is under- or over-utilized, performance drops and often quality is compromised. 

We focus on

  • Make vs. buy decisions
  • Planned capacity vs. current capacity
  • Reliability and redundancy
  • Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • Manufacturing process improvements
  • Asset utilization.

Cost and Time Analysis

Whenever a network or footprint is modified, disruptions occur—and disruptions mean expenses and lost time. 

We focus on

  • Financial viability
  • Environmental impact
  • Current growth rate
  • Restrictions to growth
  • Impact on procurement, manufacturing, and logistics
  • Process improvements.

The Impact of Our Approach


Geographic optionality benefits
  • Creating a more resilient supply chain
  • Improving workflow throughout the plan-make-buy-move supply chain
  • Facilitating growth.
Capacity planning benefits
  • Streamlining processes
  • Eliminating waste motion, time, and materials
  • Ensuring equipment and people are in the right place at the right time.
Cost and time analysis benefits
  • Encouraging stakeholder buy-in
  • Meeting profit goals
  • Reducing risk.

Network design & footprint optimization case studies

Company Description Project Scope Results

Industrial Distribution & Manufacturing Company


Network Design & Optimization; SIOP; De-risk Supply Chain

  • $12.5M savings
  • $30.5M case improvement
  • 57% reduction in freight unload costs
  • 23% higher EBITDA annualized

Global Manufacturing Company

Network Design & Optimization; SIOP; 3PL; Cost to Serve 


  • $8.8 million annualized benefits to P&L 
  • 16% improvement in cost per unit
  • 240% productivity improvement
  • 821% improvement in dock shipping days


Provider of Cables & Cable Systems


Geographic Optionality; Supply Chain Visibility; Network Design & Optimization


  • Clarified decision to relocate distribution center
  • Brought $3M to $5M in incremental profit by increasing production throughput 14%
  • Closed staffing and planning gaps
  • Implemented more than 20 safety, productivity, onboarding, and training improvements
  • Improved visibility into the supply chain
  • 5:1 ROI in year one


High-end Women’s Fashion

Network Design; Supply Optimization; Analytics

  • Reduced delivery times by 50% (from 6.5 days to 3, with roadmap to deliver in 1-2 days)
  • 42% savings on inbound freight
  • Roadmap to achieve a 4% margin increase, year to year
  • Improved e-commerce service
  • Delivered project ROI of 7 to 

Provider of High-Tech Products

Operations Excellence; Network Design & Footprint Optimization; Advanced Analytics & Simulation

  • Increased capacity in one plant to enable 27% growth in the current financial year and potential for a further 20% in the next financial year, representing tens of millions of pounds revenue generation
  • Achieved 16%-27% throughput improvement 
  • 3:1 engagement ROI in year one leading to a 5:1 ROI in year two 

Related resources

Supply Chain Trends Report

supply chain trends report 2023 cover image

Download eBook here >


The resilient, agile, digitally enabled supply chain of the future

DigitallyEnagbledSupplyChain-ebook image

Read article > 

Our Blog: Trends and best practices for the E2E supply chain

maine pointe globe image more countries

Browse here >

Ready to speak with a consultant?


Talk to us

From rapid sprints for short-term gains to transformation for competitive advantage we are here to get you there.