BASF Solves Supply Chain Optimization Problems Using FICO Optimization

Global chemical company wins FICO Decisions Award for analyzing investment impacts across entire supply chain using FICO Xpress Insight

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Decision Management & Optimization

BENSHEIM, Germany — May 14, 2019 —


  • BASF used FICO® Xpress Insight to analyze the economic value of an investment across its entire supply chain
  • The solution allows BASF to get answers in minutes rather than months, at a greater degree of accuracy
  • BASF won a 2018 FICO® Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization

BASF has optimized one of the world’s largest supply chain networks using FICO® Xpress Optimization. BASF’s advanced business analytics team used the mathematical optimization software to map all of the company’s supply chains at once to weigh the economic value of an investment, a massive computational challenge. For its achievement, BASF was awarded a 2018 FICO Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization.

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“The chemical value chain is highly complex. When making strategic investment decisions, you have to take into account multiple global production sites, interdependent plants, manifold products and various businesses,” said Franz Joachim Schwenke, head of the Advanced Business Analytics team at BASF. “Our team of data scientists is constantly searching for new opportunities, to make available data more transparent and create solutions which support strategic and tactical decisions. We created a solution that can accurately evaluate the impact of strategic and tactical decisions like investments into new production plants for an entire chemical supply chain.

“To make it easier for BASF employees to use, we integrated the solution in a FICO Xpress Insight web application,” Schwenke said. “With this interface, it is possible to generate scenarios intuitively and easily share them with other users. Our colleagues especially appreciate that input data and the optimization results are shown via interactive dashboards and network graphs, making it easy to compare several scenarios at a glance.”

FICO® Xpress Solver can consider an entire value chain at once with all its relevant constraints. Through the detailed modeling of the interdependencies between the different business units participating in the value chain, the total economic value of an investment can be evaluated faster and more accurately. The project combined strong mathematical optimization models with a business-friendly user interface.

While the data preparation as well as scenario calculation took several months in the past, the new application allows BASF to generate a scenario within a couple of minutes. In addition, the usage of mathematical programming has led to a major improvement in quality of value estimation.

“BASF showed an innovative use of technology in a project with very large-scale and very complex problems,” said Sid Dash, research director at Chartis Research. “They solved challenging data representation and computational problems that just could not be addressed using spreadsheets. The judging panel was impressed by the scope and scale of their achievement.”

“BASF is solving computational problems at an absolutely massive scale and putting it directly in the hands of business users,” said Steve Hadaway, general manager for FICO in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Our Xpress solution is ideal for businesses like BASF that need flexibility, ease of use and tremendous computational power to find answers to big problems. Congratulations to the team for this well-deserved award.”

FICO® Xpress Optimization is composed of four core components: FICO® Xpress Insight, FICO® Xpress Executor, FICO® Xpress Solver and FICO® Xpress Workbench. Solving large complex optimization problems can be the difference between success and failure in today's marketplace. FICO Xpress Optimization allows businesses to solve their toughest problems, faster, and with unprecedented accessibility by business users. FICO’s deep portfolio of optimization options enables users to easily build, deploy and use optimization solutions that meet their needs. Standard capabilities include scalable high-performance solvers and algorithms, flexible modeling environments, rapid application development, comparative scenario analysis and reporting capabilities, for on-premises and cloud installations.

About the FICO® Decisions Awards
The FICO® Decisions Awards recognize organizations that are achieving remarkable success using FICO solutions. A panel of independent judges with deep industry expertise evaluates nominations based upon measureable improvement in key metrics; demonstrated use of best practices; project scale, depth and breadth; and innovative uses of technology. The 2018 judges are:

  • Sid Dash, research director at Chartis Research
  • Tanya Andreasyan, editor-in-chief, FinTech Futures / Banking Technology
  • Anna Milne, editor at Finextra
  • Julie Conroy, research director for Aite Group’s Retail Banking practice
  • Andras Cser, principal analyst - security and risk professionals at Forrester
  • Mon Pernia, head of consumer collections, Globe Telecom (2017 winner)
  • John Rymer, principal analyst - application development & delivery professionals at Forrester

The winners of the FICO Decisions Awards will be spotlighted at FICO® World 2019, the Decisions Conference, November 4-7 in New York City.

About FICO
FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 190 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

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Emily Broadbent for FICO
+44 (0)20 7759 2017

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