Supply Chain Process Today: Integrated Planning Acceleration

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Bob Ferrari, Vice President and Managing Director of The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group, provides insights on items to consider when planning for IBP technology deployment and supply chain process improvements, as well as specifics for SAP customers.

In a recently released by Bob Ferrari, Vice President and Managing Director of The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group, Ferrari covers the accelerated morphing of the supply chain by ongoing rapid business changes occurring across multi-industry business and supply chain environments. He also addresses changes occurring in the information technology (IT), business application, and supply chain process applications technology market.

Ferrari covers:

  • Technology system support considerations
  • How to complement the integrated supply chain process
  • The supply chain and business planning applications support landscape
  • Important user experience considerations.

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.

Takeaways include how teams should ensure that any technology vendor being evaluated should have a proven track record, specific knowledge, specialization in business forecasting and advanced planning systems capability, and specific customer references attributing quicker time-to-value and user acceptance in regard to their implementation.

Vanguard Software has not only met each of these requirements, but set the bar. Vanguard Software has over 22 years of experience with a 99%+ customer retention rate. Vanguard’s IBP platform continues to evolve and include more features, based on customer and market feedback and supply chain process optimization.

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 , where Ferrari will focus on business systems technology implementation considerations, keying in on SAP environments.

 About the Author
Bob Ferrari is the Vice President and Managing Director of the , as well as the Founder and Executive Editor of the popular Internet and well-read blog Supply Chain Matters.