Pins are used to do a quick assessment of  material or process changes within the supply chain. It allows to assess in a very simplified manner the cost, compliance and sustainability changes of it. 

Before starting with a PIN a supply chain a model need to be set up. 

  1. Import a BOM

  2. Import an IPC file

  3. Create a process incl. inputs and outputs manually.

We now look on alternatives how change and adapt the supply chain. 


In our example we are starting after a supply chain for the Ball pen has already been set up. 

The aim is to replace the “High density polyethylene” used in the Ball pen example with polypropylene granulate using a pin. 


  1. Open the product model of the Ball pen example

  2. Mark the “High density polyethylene” product group

  3. Click on the pin in the tool panel 

  4. Search for the material alternative “Polypropylene granulate” and select it

  5. Switch to the Global warming app and see the changes of the impact through alternative material choices. 

  6. Save the alternative production route.

Step 1

  • How to search a data set is described in the search function article. 

Step 2

  • Open the product model. It should look like the screenshot below.

  •  Be aware there might be slight deviation in the model between our example and what you have modeled. 

  • No click the polyethylene granulates product group. 

  • Remember product groups are green bars, processes yellow ones and the grey edges are used to visualize the connection between those. 

NOTE: The dataset might be located at a different position in your Sankey. If you do not find it, you can use the search function of the browser (press Ctrl+F to open it) and search for it. 

Step 3

  • Now click on “add supply chain pin” in the tool panel on the right. 

Step 4

  • In the pop-up box select search and select the polypropylene granulate data set.

  • The apply the selected pin. 

Step 5

  • The performance analysis bar opens on the right. 

  • NOTE: As we are in the product model no change in performance is shown. 

  • The location of the pin in the model is marked through small red pin. 

  • Now we change the app to Global warming potential and see the changes in GWP performance. 

  • The change of the material lead to marginal improvement of 1,49 % 

  • You can now change between the different apps and see the how the alternative material choice has changes your cost, compliance and sustainability picture. 

Step 6: 

  • You can now save and name the alternative for further use. 

Next steps

  • Conduct MCDA to compare both options

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