What is Supply Chain Planning?
Simply put, supply chain planning is one of the best strategies that you have to maintain the balance between the supply and the demand. The truth is that it includes many different factors including the use of specific tools for production, sales, and inventory. Overall, supply chain planning is crucial for every business. This is the way that businesses have to monitor, automate, and control all processes with the use of modern tools. Ultimately, this allows businesses not only to cut the costs but also to work more efficiently.
STEPS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN PLANNING PROCESS
1. Make Sure That it is Made in Real-Time
While in the old days businesses needed to rely only on historical data, this is no longer enough. The reality is that businesses need to create different scenarios an plan for each one of them. This makes sure that you are able to take control when any disruption occurs.
2. Integrate the Supply Chain Planning With the Company Planning
A business needs to be managed with common goals. So, you need to make sure that all the goals are perfectly aligned. This will ensure that your business is able to synchronize your short-term operation planning with supply, inventory forecasts, among others.
3. Learn More About Your End Customer
In case you sell directly to consumers, the more you know what they want and when, the better you can plan. With the use of different supply chain planning systems, you can discover more about your end consumer and quickly adapt the supply of your product.
4. Use Real-Time Data to Gain An Edge
When you use real-time data, you will be able to reduce the risk of having too much inventory and reduce the risk of stock-outs. Ultimately, you will plan with more accuracy.
5. Keep Adapting
One of the most important steps on using a supply chain planning system is that you need to keep adapting, and fast. This is why it is so important to have the right technology that allows you to know what is happening in real-time and that any disruptions that may occur won’t affect you because you already forecasted this scenario. So, you’ll be able to make all the necessary changes quickly which will not only save you time and money as it will also increase profitability.
So, what are the key supply chain planning systems that you can use to make your processes more efficient and effective?
KEY SUPPLY CHAIN PLANNING SYSTEMS
In our opinion, there are two main key systems that we believe are the most important ones in what concerns supply chain planning process:
6. Training and Motivating Employees
Supervisors need to be furnished with the right knowledge and tools to run a successful supply chain planning. This is the only way they can then make sure that the employees have the right tools to succeed. When the supervisor knows what is happening in real time and knows how he should act in case of a disruption, he will be able to pass on the information to his employees, ensuring that the process is still in place.
7. Understanding the Future Demand
While this is easier said than done, there are different methods that you can use to ensure that you can reduce inventory, minimize waste, and improve the in-shelf availability. One of the best strategies to implement this is by taking advantage of the forecasting methodology.
With a good forecast, you will have fewer missed sales, a lower working capital, higher and better customer service levels, less waste and spoilage, more efficient manufacturing, and a reduced effort of everyone involved in the process.
As you can see, supply chain planning is one of the best strategies that you can use to minimize the waste and the costs and to increase the profitability at the same time. While there are multiple tools to implement a supply chain planning that you can use, the truth is that one of the most important things to have in mind is to ensure that you access to real-time data. These tools are discussed in more details in the logistics training, supply chain certification, supply chain management diploma, and supply chain management degree programs at AIMS.