Core concepts of SCM?

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT In commerce, supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected, interrelated or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply chain. Supply-chain management has been defined as the "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply-chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.” For more explanation visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi1QBxVjZAw LOGISTICS Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, materials handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security. For more explanation visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu3o2-3uSKE CORE CONCEPTS OF SCM Shortly after your alarm clock goes off and the coffee maker kicks on, the aroma of your favorite coffee fills the air. The supply chain is responsible for getting those coffee beans across the world and to your kitchen. Something so common in every household, takes a great deal of planning, demand forecasting, procurement, and logistical expertise to move those beans to local sellers while still fresh. Without a strong supply chain in place, your caffeine-fix options would be severely limited. SCM involves a series of key activities and processes that must be completed in an efficient (fuel-conserving, cost-reducing, etc.) and timely manner. Otherwise, product will not be available when needed by consumers like you. The Seven Rights of Fulfillment The ability to meet customer requirements, for everything from coffee beans to Crocs, is built upon the expectation that everything is done correctly in the supply chain. And that means doing it right the first time – no mulligans, no mistakes are allowed. In the quest to provide quality service and satisfy customers, world-class companies along the supply chain are guided by the Seven Rights of Fulfillment. If you think about it, every order needs to be executed according to these seven goals. You must attempt to deliver a “perfect order” to every customer every time. Doing it right the first time makes the customer happy, saves the cost of fixing errors, and doesn't require extra use of assets. Thus, every part of the organization has a vested interest in pursuing perfection. A “perfect order” delivery is only attained when all Seven Rights of Fulfillment are achieved. To accomplish a perfect order fulfillment, the seller has to have your preferred product available for order, process your order correctly, ship the entire order via the means that you request, provide you with an advanced shipping notification and tracking number, deliver the complete order on time and without damage, and bill you correctly. A seller’s ultimate goal is to make the customer happy by doing the job right, which gives them a good reason to use the seller’s services again in the future. SCM Flows If the goal of SCM is to provide high product availability through efficient and timely fulfillment of customer demand, then how is the goal accomplished? Obviously, you need effective flows of products from the point of origin to the point of consumption. But there’s more to it. Consider the diagram of the fresh food supply chain. A two-way flow of information and data between the supply chain participants creates visibility of demand and fast detection of problems. Both are needed by supply chain managers to make good decisions regarding what to buy, make, and move. Other flows are also important. In their roles as suppliers, companies have a vested interest in financial flows; suppliers want to get paid for their products and services as soon as possible and with minimal hassle. Sometimes, it is also necessary to move products back through the supply chain for returns, repairs, recycling, or disposal. Because of all the processes that have to take place at different types of participating companies, each company needs supply chain managers to help improve their flows of product, information, and money. This opens the door of opportunity to you to to a wide variety of SCM career options for you! SCM Processes Supply chain activities aren't the responsibility of one person or one company. Multiple people need to be actively involved in a number of different processes to make it work. It's kind of like baseball. While all the participants are called baseball players, they don't do whatever they want. Each person has a role – pitcher, catcher, shortstop, etc. – and must perform well at their assigned duties – fielding, throwing, and/or hitting – for the team to be successful. Of course, these players need to work well together. A hit-and-run play will only be successful if the base runner gets the signal and takes off running, while the batter makes solid contact with the ball. The team also needs a manager to develop a game plan, put people in the right positions, and monitor success. Winning the SCM “game” requires supply chain professionals to play similar roles. Each supply chain player must understand his or her role, develop winning strategies, and collaborate with their supply chain teammates. By doing so, the SCM team can flawlessly execute the following processes: • Planning – the plan process seeks to create effective long- and short-range supply chain strategies. From the design of the supply chain network to the prediction of customer demand, supply chain leaders need to develop integrated supply chain strategies. Broadly, the typical sales and operations planning steps are: 1. Define Your Plan using demand planning and statistical forecasting generate a demand plan aligned with seasonality & product life cycle trends. 2. Agree on an Inventory Strategy to achieve desired service levels by defining statistical safety stocks and reorder point replenishment models. 3. Optimize Supply by rebalancing inventory across sites to resolve supply gaps. 4. Manage Your Constraints to ensure that there is enough capacity to fulfill demand increases and balance worker capacity with material levels 5. Make Decisions by evaluating financial trade-offs to maximize revenue and optimize inventory • Procurement – the buy process focuses on the purchase of required raw materials, components, and goods. As a consumer, you're pretty familiar with buying stuff! Procurement is just one of the many roles involved in a good supply chain. It should be considered a core component of a company’s corporate strategy. Proper procurement management is vital because an organization can end up spending over half of its revenue on purchasing goods and services. Procurement makes a huge difference between the success and failure of a business. The procurement process includes the following steps: 1. Identifying requirements 2. Approving the request for purchase 3. Finding suppliers 4. Making inquiries and receiving quotations 5. Negotiating the terms 6. Making a final selection of the vendor 7. Creating a purchase order and goods receipt 8. Shipping management 9. Receiving invoices and making payments • Production – the make process involves the manufacture, conversion, or assembly of materials into finished goods or parts for other products. Supply chain managers provide production support and ensure that key materials are available when needed. Production has following planning steps: 1. Sales Forecasting 2. Sales and Operations 3. Demand Management 4. Detailed Scheduling 5. Production: 6. Material Requirements Planning 7. Distribution – the move process manages the logistical flow of goods across the supply chain. Transportation companies, third party logistics firms, and others ensure that goods are flowing quickly and safely toward the point of demand. It is an overarching term that refers to numerous activities and processes such as packaging, inventory, warehousing, supply chain, and logistics. 8. Customer Interface – the demand process revolves around all the issues that are related to planning customer interactions, satisfying their needs, and fulfilling orders perfectly.

Demand Management?

Demand management is a planning methodology used to forecast, plan for and manage the demand for products and services. This can be at macro-levels as in economics and at micro-levels within individual organizations. For example, at macro-levels, a government may influence interest rates in order to regulate financial demand. At the micro-level, a cellular service provider may provide free night and weekend use in order to reduce demand during peak hours.

Supplier Relationship Management?

Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the discipline of strategic planning for, and managing, all interactions with third party organizations that supply goods and/or services to an organization in order to maximize the value of those interactions. In practice, SRM entails creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers in order to uncover and realize new value and reduce risk of failure. Supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected, interrelated or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply the chain.

Sourcing & Purchasing?

Sourcing describes all those activities within the procurement process concerning identifying and evaluating potential suppliers, engaging with selected suppliers and selecting the best value supplier.The outcome of the sourcing process is usually a contract or arrangement that defines what is to be procured, on what terms and from which suppliers. Purchasing refers to the portion of the procurement cycle that is actively engaged in buying a product or service from a supplier. Think of purchasing as the transactional portion of procurement. If procurement is the subject, then purchasing is the verb. Tasks that directly relate to the process of how goods and services are ordered are purchased while activities such as strategic sourcing and vendor contract negotiation constitute procurement.

Quality Management?

Quality Management, the six Total Quality Management factors that are related to supply chain performance are leadership, strategic planning, human resources management, supplier quality management, customer focus, and process management.Strategic Supply Management initiatives include: Reducing supply bases and establishing closer relationships with their suppliers, Buyers are working closely with suppliers and potentially launching joint strategic projects, Earlier supplier involvement and joint problem-solving efforts, leading to the early discovery of quality problems ,Inter-firm production scheduling breaks down barriers between organizations, resulting in shorter production runs, and developing a favorable quality culture based upon top-management commitment to improving beyond organizational boundaries.

Introduction to Logistics Management?

Logistics management is a supply chain management component that is used to meet customer demands through the planning, control and implementation of the effective movement and storage of related information, goods and services from origin to destination. Logistics management helps companies reduce expenses and enhance customer service. The logistics management process begins with raw material accumulation to the final stage of delivering goods to the destination. By adhering to customer needs and industry standards, logistics management facilitates process strategy, planning and implementation.

Transportation?

Transportation is defined as the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transportation is important since it enables trade between people, which in turn establishes civilizations. I find it an interesting point that transportation is an enabler of civilization, but this makes sense, as it enables the ability to trade and communicate.

Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics ae the set of activities that is conducted after the sale of a product to recapture value and end the product's lifecycle. It typically involves returning a product to the manufacturer or distributor or forwarding it on for servicing, refurbishment or recycling. Reverse logistics are sometimes called aftermarket supply chain, aftermarket logistics or retrogistics. The aftermarket processes that a product can undergo in reverse logistics are numerous and include: Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Servicing, Returns Management, Recycling, Waste Management, Warranty Management, Warehouse Management.

Cold Chain?

The term cold chain or cool chain denotes the series of actions and equipment applied to maintain a product within a specified low-temperature range from harvest/production to consumption. A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics, which maintain a desired low-temperature range.

Inventory Management?

Inventory management is a discipline primarily about specifying the shape and placement of stocked goods. It is required at different locations within a facility or within many locations of a supply network to precede the regular and planned course of production and stock of materials. The concept of inventory, stock or work-in-process has been extended from manufacturing systems to service businesses and projects, by generalizing the definition to be "all work within the process of production- all work that is or has occurred prior to the completion of production".

Introduction to Warehouse?

A warehouse is a building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial parks on the outskirts of cities, towns or villages. They usually have loading docks to load and unload goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for the loading and unloading of goods directly from railways, airports, or seaports. They often have cranes and forklifts for moving goods, which are usually placed on ISO standard pallets loaded into pallet racks.

Warehouse Process?

The six fundamental warehouse processes . Optimizing these six processes will allow you to streamline your warehouse operation, reduce cost & errors, and achieve a higher perfect order rate. They are : 1. Receiving 2. Put-Away 3. Storage 4. Picking 5. Packing 6. Shipping

Warehouse VAS?

A value-added service (VAS) is a popular telecommunications industry term for non-core services, or, in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions. However, it can be used in any service industry, for services available at little or no cost, to promote their primary business. In the telecommunications industry, on a conceptual level, value-added services add value to the standard service offering, spurring subscribers to use their phone more and allowing the operator to drive up their ARPU. For mobile phones, technologies like SMS, MMS and data access were historically usually considered value-added services, but in recent years SMS, MMS and data access have more and more become core services, and VAS therefore has begun to exclude those services.

MHE, Safety & Security?

Material handling equipment (MHE) is mechanical equipment used for the movement, storage, control and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal.The different types of handling equipment can be classified into four major categories:transport , positioning , unit load formation , and storage . MANAGING WAREHOUSE SAFETY AND SECURITY There are many warehouse management procedures you can adopt today to better cultivate industry-leading safety and security. They are : Risk Assessments, Electric and hydraulic safety circuits within machine, Safety fencing and zoning ,Additional warehouse safety guarding.

E-Commerce?

E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. E-commerce is in turn driven by the technological advances of the semiconductor industry, and is the largest sector of the electronics industry.

ERP & TMS?

Enterprise resource planning refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results. A transportation management system is a subset of supply chain management concerning  transportation operations and may be part of an enterprise resource planning system. A TMS usually "sits" between an ERP or legacy order processing and warehouse/distribution module. A typical scenario would include both inbound (procurement) and outbound (shipping) orders to be evaluated by the TMS Planning Module offering the user various suggested routing solutions.

VMI?

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Collaborative Replenishment is a proven approach to streamlining inventory management and order fulfillment that improves collaboration between suppliers and their distribution partners by aligning business objectives and optimizing operations for all participants. You may be asking, what is the difference between VMI and Collaborative Replenishment. It’s simple, Collaborative Replenishment is an evolution of VMI that includes trading partners working together to ensure an efficient inventory management program. It goes far beyond the capabilities of what traditional VMI is thought of including things like truck building, available to promise and more. It offers companies more choices by enabling orders to be launched by any trading partner, offering multiple routes to market, and utilizing various types of demand signals. In all, collaborative replenishment is a more flexible approach to supply chain management, but at is core Collaborative Replenishment includes VMI and all its benefits.

VISIT?

As part of the Warehousing module on both the Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc and the Procurement and Supply Chain Management MSc programmes, students have the opportunity to visit a choice of warehouses in the local Milton Keynes area. By visiting the warehouses, students are able to experience the processes and operations within a warehouse first hand and see the practical application of knowledge and skills developed on the course.
SOURCING & PURCHASING

SOURCING & PURCHASING

Sourcing describes all those activities within the procurement process concerned with identifying and evaluating potential suppliers, engaging with selected suppliers and selecting the best value supplier(s).  The outcome of the sourcing process is usually a contract or arrangement that defines what is to be procured, on what terms and from which suppliers.  The phrase ‘strategic sourcing’ may be used to describe the application of the sourcing process to significant acquisitions, or the team that manages the sourcing process on behalf of the organisation.

The scope of the sourcing process usually includes the following key activities: understanding the need; evaluating the supply market; developing an appropriate strategy; executing that strategy, usually involving market interactions such as the issue of an RFP and/or negotiation; selecting supplier(s); and developing a contractual agreement.  See also Sourcing Strategy.

Different Types of Sourcing Methods

There is a wide range of sourcing methods and one should bear in mind three key points:  1) sourcing options are often not mutually exclusive  2) sourcing methods can be applied to both front and back office functions and 3) strategic sourcing as a procurement process can be seen as finding the appropriate solution for your short and long-term goals.

A few strategic sourcing methods can be applied:

Low-cost Country Sourcing

A method of sourcing which focuses on benefiting from the competitive advantage of other countries which are able to offer lower labor and production costs. The method focuses on cutting overall operating expenses for a firm, and is in itself a procurement strategy. Most companies which look towards China are following this sourcing method.

Global Sourcing

A similar sourcing method as to the previously mentioned low-cost country sourcing; however, this type of sourcing is not strictly about benefiting from cheap production. The aim may be to get a taste of the international market and the way to carry out business there.

Alternatively, the focus could be on tapping into a new range of skills or resources which would otherwise be unavailable domestically.

Prime/Sub Arrangements

An outsourcing method in which a client works direct with an established outsourcing provider to arrange procurement; the outsourcing provider contracts out the work to a smaller company. All contracts are dealt under offshore law, as the agreements are between 2 offshore entities.

This can reduce the burden of dealing with import and export restrictions upon the company, and make the process itself smoother.

Captive Service Operations

This occurs when the outsourced services being provided are performed by a company the customer owns or are from within the same group. This creates a greater level of control, as well as addresses questions that may arise about confidentially, security and infringement rights. However, the same level of economies of scale may not be achieved as well as the opportunity to take advantage of supplier’s expertise.

Conventional Agreements

The traditional way to outsource parts of a company’s operations. Two companies create a simplified agreement to allow for maximum cost reduction through utilizing economies of scale and expertise. However, there is a significant loss of control and there needs to be a high degree of trust as sensitive data may be at risk.

 

STEPS

A slimmed down strategic sourcing process was defined, in 2012, as:

  1. Data collection and spend analysis
  2. Market Research
  3. The RFx process (also known as go to market)
  4. Negotiations
  5. Contracting
  6. Implementation and continuous improvement

While the modernized process combines the market assessment and cost analyses steps of the older model into a single “market research” step, and the supplier identification and sourcing strategy development steps into a single “go-to-market” step, negotiation has split into “negotiation” and “contracting.” This change is due to the heightened importance of market intelligence in modern strategic sourcing plans, and its ability to deliver value by improving both pricing and contract terms when leveraged against the identified suppliers.

Although both descriptions of the sourcing process are accurate to some extent, there is no standard set of steps and procedures. As strategic sourcing is put in place and practiced over time, many large, sophisticated organizations will modify the process to better meet their individual corporate needs.

Outsourcing a business practice to another company may also be incorporated into a sourcing strategy for services. This strategy may involve the transfer of staff and assets to the outsource company. Due to the strategic and complex nature of outsourcing, many organizations such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and McDonald’s have created what is referred to as Vested Outsourcing agreements to help build highly collaborative win-win business relationships. Researchers at the University of Tennessee provide guidance on how to create Vested Outsourcing agreements in their book Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules that will Transform Outsourcing.

Supply chain planning (SCP) is the forward-looking process of coordinating assets to optimize the delivery of goods, services and information from supplier to customer, balancing supply and demand.

Importance of Strategic Planning in Supply Chains

Supply chains are basically networks. They are networks of facilities, people and distribution options whose primary purpose is procurement and transformation of goods so that can then be delivered and distributed to potential customers. Supply chains can be pictured as arteries that supply business or organizations its industrial life. Disrupt a supply chain and you will find business or organizations gasping for breath and clinging to dear life.

Strategic Planning improves Efficiency

Supply chain networks are basically three-network things: the supplier, the manufacturer and the distributor. While planners may call the supplier, the supply manufacturer or distributor, it still refers to the same thing. This three-network relationship forms part of the supply chain. All supply chains follow the same three-network design or a variation of the three-network design.

Strategic planning is important to supply chains, first of all, because it improves efficiency. The key word is Speedier. Planning how to get the raw materials or supply, planning where to get it, planning when to get it, planning an efficient procurement system all contributes to the goal of efficiency. If you cannot get your supply faster, the manufacturing aspect of the network might grind to a halt, waiting for the raw materials. This will be a costly episode in business or organizations.

The strategic planner then ought to design a speed equation. How to make the supply faster, where to get the supply faster, when to get the supply so that it will arrive faster are key questions for the planner. Strategic planning must improve efficiency; it must make the supply chain Speedier.

Strategic Planning improves Economy

The need for speed is just part of the supply chain equation. A speedier delivery will not produce a strategic advantage for business or organizations if it cannot get the supply cheaper. The key word is Cheaper. It would be totally absurd to have the supply delivered fast if in return it becomes more expensive. This would be a disaster to business or organizations.

Collectively, speed and price should go hand in hand in the supply chain to create a strategic advantage. The question of how, where and when to procure supply in the fastest way, now has to be tempered with how, where and when can we get it the cheapest. The strategic planner must be able to incorporate such into the plan. A supplier might be able to get if fast but will the cost still justify it? A supplier might be able to get supplies cheap but will the speed justify it? These are basic questions that can affect the strategic plan.

The supply chain should be designed then in a manner where the price would be a consideration, aside of course from the speed. Business or organizations then have to source out suppliers who can provide it cheapest in relation to fast delivery. It is always wise do business with suppliers in various localities and even in various countries.

Utter dependence on a few suppliers located in the same location is never an intelligent option. An armed conflict can just erupt in the locality, as what usually happens to suppliers in the African continent and it can just wipe out your entire year’s supply of raw materials, as proven time and time again.

 

 

Strategic Planning Improves Expectation

Another factor that improves the supply chain network and creates a strategic advantage is the identification of and the transacting with manufacturers or outsource manufacturer who are able to transform the goods that have been delivered fast and cheap into finished products or partially finished goods.

If business or organization can transform the supply, that has been delivered fast and cheap, into finished products, then the strategic plan should involve in-house manufacturing.

However, if an outfit out there can do the job better and probably cheaper, then it is always the rational way to do business. Strategic planning improves the expectation of business or organizations. They can now decide who will do the process better, and not regret in some future date.

Most of the toys, consumer electronics and even household goods are made in China. The strategic consideration of course is expectation. These guys can do it better. Not only can they do it faster and cheaper, they also can do it better. This is the primary reason why many manufacturers have partially done the manufacturing process or fully given the manufacturing process to outsource manufacturers commonly known as sub-contractors.

In the event a new entrant happens to do the manufacturing process better, the strategic planner has to seize the opportunity but then as he still needs the previous manufacturer, he then needs to incorporate the new relationships, anticipating complexities that may eventually arise in the future. The search for the better should form part of the strategic plan. In a world that is constantly changing, the business or organizations that can do its process better might be the only ones left standing.

Strategic Planning Improves Evolution

People do evolve, so does the product. Evolution and change is another key factor that must be incorporated in strategic planning. Lifestyle changes and patterns affect product evolution and product delivery. The key is Better and better.

The strategic planner has to visualize how lifestyle changes and patterns affect product delivery. Years ago, a large segment of the working class worked regular 40 hour weeks Monday to Friday. That is not so true today. Many still work 40 hour weeks or more but on different shifts and in different locations. The 24/7 establishments evolved to cater to these lifestyle change and pattern. From the initial grocery stores that started to open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, now comes the high-end stores, gyms, entertainment arcades and a host of other industries.

Supply chain strategy calls for an evolution in the delivery and distribution to ensure everyone gets everything they need in the exact time. If there has to be delivery and distribution at 1:00 in the morning, business or organizations must evolve to answer this end-user need. Neglect it and others will do the evolution for you and you might be on the verge of extinction.

Doing things better and better must be a passion that the strategic planner must not forget to consider. This passion must be present not only in product design, in product manufacturing but in product delivery as well. The supply chain has to constantly evolve to cater to the needs of the constantly evolving end-user and their world. The business world has actually become a world without any clear boundaries. Where it used to be that office hours was 9 to 5, now the definition of office hours is so loose it can be any time in the twenty-four hour clock.

Strategic planning is extremely important in supply chains. It may spell the difference between healthy business or organizations, or business or organizations that have contracted a life threatening disease. Supply chains are lifelines; strategy must be able to keep them alive and well.

 

How to achieve connected supply chain planning
To succeed in a growing global market, you must adapt effectively to the digital revolution and seek out practical ways to connect your supply chain planning from start to finish. Here are five steps we recommend to achieve connected supply chain planning.

  1. Make the move to real-time supply chain planning
    When using ERP systems and spreadsheets for planning, companies typically rely only on historical data, resulting in little wiggle room for changes should any disruptions occur in demand or supply. For example, based on the previous year’s numbers, a company can estimate the number of products it will sell in the next quarter. But what if a massive hurricane destroyed a key distribution center, leading to too little supply on the shelves? With Anaplan’s real-time connected supply chain management solution, you can create “what-if” scenarios and plan more effectively so you’re ready when disruptions occur.
  1. Unify supply chain planning with enterprise planning
    A vital second step is connecting traditionally siloed supply chain planning to sales and operations planning and financial planning. Companies can benefit from synchronizing their short-term operational planning with their wider business planning processes to make real-time updates to inventory forecasts and supply. Deploying real-time S&OP solutions that enable enterprise-wide collaboration means key stakeholders across the business can create new scenarios and quickly assess how to use their resources wisely to optimize profitability when an unforeseen event happens.
  2. Anticipate the demand of the end customer
    For consumer-packaged goods companies, anticipating what customers want and when they want it is an ongoing challenge. A solution like Anaplan allows end-to-end visibility across the supply chain, and beyond their existing network of wholesalers and retailers to sense demand signals from customers. When you can rapidly identify changing consumer sentiments and assess how that changes demand for your product, it benefits your company, partners, and customers by improving profitability, margins, and lead time.
  3. Leverage real-time data across all points of the supply chain
    Because supply chain planning typically involves a myriad of suppliers, channels, customers, and pricing schemes, models soon become large and potentially unwieldy—especially when spreadsheets are your primary planning tools. Incorporating a solution that uses real-time data allows you to plan with more accuracy and reduces the risk of stock-outs or having too much inventory.
  4. Ensure you have the flexibility to cope with change
    When you have technology that lets you plan efficiently and react quickly, disruptions aren’t disruptive because re-planning and re-forecasting is easy—resulting in time and money saved and increased profitability.