What we have noticed here at Vanguard Software, is that the supply chain planning process has undergone an extremely positive change in the past decade, supported by both technological advancements and process maturation. Before globalization, supply chain planning was an internally focused, linear-based perspective, revolving around a singular supply chain model. The impact of e-commerce has shifted the focus to Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) processes, spanning into weeks of advanced analysis with higher accuracy and dependability. E-commerce giants, such as Amazon, have also emerged and stretched vendors’ supply chains, placing them under new stresses like never before.
Following the growth of globalization, supply chain and integrated business planning processes must also be able to leverage and utilize today’s advanced technologies at a more affordable cost and quicker learning curve to remain relevant. Further, these solutions must be able to handle tens of thousands of SKUs, with the ever-growing SKU explosion occurring. These solutions should also support user preferences like multiple-language support.
By mixing in the latest tailored applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities with continued advances in data analysis and visualization, planners and decision-makers are allowed more time to respond to unplanned changes in product demand or supply. This “manage by exception” approach allows market leaders to extend their lead over their competition or challengers to close the gap.
In closing today’s blog, we advise you to read the white paper from The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group. Ferrari’s insights will put into context the process, people, and information implications in achieving an integrated business-planning capability. Stay tuned for Part 2, where Ferrari will focus on business systems technology implementation considerations, keying in on SAP environments.
Bob Ferrari is the Vice President and Managing Director of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group, as well as the Founder and Executive Editor of the very popular and well-read Internet blog Supply Chain Matters.
About Vanguard Software
Vanguard Software introduced its first product for decision support analysis in 1995. Today, companies across every major industry and more than 60 countries rely on Vanguard Software’s Integrated Business Planning (IBP), forecasting and advanced analytic cloud platform. Vanguard Software is based in Cary, North Carolina.