Network Analysis for Forward-Deploying Implements & Attachments

At A Glance

Carlisle performed an in-depth network analysis for a heavy equipment (construction) OEM to identify the trade-offs of forward-deploying implements and attachments into their U.S. spare-parts distribution network. The optimal outcome would not only increase service levels to customers by decreasing lead times, but also provide better availability and network-wide inventory control. The project recommendation for improving these two factors will result in a projected 12.5% increase in implement and attachment sales per year for the OEM.

The Context

The construction implements and attachment industry has been a competitive space for decades. The aftermarket offers retailers and end-customers a proven and efficient alternative, emphasizing the need for a reliable source of implements and attachments from the OEM. Following a former Carlisle recommendation to add U.S. network capacity through the addition of a distribution center (DC) to their network in a high sales demand region, the OEM now had the network capacity to support forward-deployment of implements and attachments. The move would provide enhanced service levels to retailers and provide a reliable source to order from.

Carlisle assisted the client in assessing all supply chain costs incurred by adding implements and attachments to their spare parts distribution channel. A sales opportunity analysis was also performed, to quantify the return on investment that an increase in service levels would provide.

The Approach

To execute this network analysis, Carlisle followed a three-step approach:

  • Supply Chain Data Analysis: Cleansed and validated supply chain data to provide an extensive network analysis of the client’s current state implements and attachments business
  • Network Modeling: Simulated the client’s current state network, along with multiple future state forward-deployment scenarios. Outputs from the models were used in a cost-to-serve analysis to detail:
    • DC space (storage) requirements
    • Transportation costs
    • Warehouse property/fixed costs
    • Inventory carrying costs
    • Network labor requirements
  • Service Level and Sales Opportunity Analysis: Evaluated service level improvements, as well as sales and units in operation (UIO) data, to realize the resultant potential sales increase for storing product closer to the retail base

The Result

Forward-deployment of implements and attachments to the client’s network DCs would significantly enhance service levels to retailers.

Order Response Time (ORT) 1-2 Day ORT 2+ Day ORT
Baseline 26% 74%
Forward Deployment 45% 55%


The inventory move would also decrease the average distance between a retailer and the implement and attachment supply point by over 40%, and allow for increased implement and attachment supply to be stored in the network. Additionally, the increase in product availability and decrease in lead-time could lead to a significant return on investment for the OEM, as customers will be less likely to turn to the aftermarket due to a stockout at the retailer.