The use of optimization in supply chain management is widespread, just not in supply planning. Regular use of optimization occurs in inventory management and demand forecasting. “Best-fit straight line” is one of the most common uses of optimization. With this method, you enter or pull into Excel (or your favorite statistics software) a set of “x values” (the independent value e.g. the number of cars in a train) and a set of “y values” (dependent value e.g. the fuel cost for each train), click a few buttons and you get a “best-fit” straight line – a slope (b1), a y-intercept (b0), a measure of goodness, and a straight line drawn through your scatter plot.