Supply Chain Network: Decision-Centric Planning

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Improve business outcomes with unified, automated supply chain planning

Traditional supply chain network planning practices are data-centric.  Planners are tasked with gathering, manipulating, and analyzing data from a number of sources to produce valuable decision-making insights.  Finding a single version of the truth can take weeks, and plans are often outdated as soon as they are created.  Manual planning (whether in spreadsheets or a siloed system) causes data to go stagnant and important decisions to be misinformed.

Imagine spending the better part of a month formulating and preparing a demand plan for a new product being introduced.  You’re all set to send the recommendations off to the supply planning team when Marketing announces a last-minute promotion in the largest sales region.  It’s back to the drawing board – or worse – lose the confidence of your leadership because your plan was so obviously off.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  A decision-centric environment is one that supports continuous planning, meaning that you’ll never be left with outdated plans or rushing to keep up with changes.  Decision-centric means that supply chain network planners can focus on improving business outcomes, rather than chasing the data they need.  To realign your planning efforts with company goals, you can approach decision-centric planning in just two steps.

Step 1: Go Cloud-Native

Moving forecasting and planning activities to a cloud-based platform is a huge first step in creating a unified, end-to-end view of your supply chain and other business functions.  On top of typical cloud benefits, like lower IT cost, cloud systems like Vanguard Predictive Planning offer real-time data synchronization between all users, for all records.  Planning data that is unified across the organization provides a single version of the truth and is primed for better analysis.  In a top-of-the-line cloud system, transactional data can be fed into the platform as often as needed, and changes happening to the forecasts are applied to the inventory and supply plans in real time.

Note: Not all organizations can move their supply chain network planning environment to the cloud.  Vanguard offers an on-premises planning platform with the same unified data model as its cloud offering, enabling real-time plan synching and decision-centric planning for all enterprises.

Step 2: Automate Your Supply Chain Network

Having the most up-to-date data available lays the foundation for automation.  Using Vanguard Software, a combination of artificial intelligence, predictive and prescriptive analytics, a robust rules engine, and advanced workflows makes it possible to automate both routine and non-routine decisions, allowing planners to manage by exception.

Automation and accuracy layered onto a truly unified cloud-based platform allows organizations to understand end-to-end implications of changes and make decisions that will be most profitable.

Unifying and automating planning around the decision-making process can improve efficiencies, help organizations scale effectively, and support growth in a cost-effective manner.  To see the Vanguard Predictive Planning cloud IBP platform in action, request a demo.