IBM-Planning-Analytics

Supply chain Planning

Supply chain planning is an integral part of any successful enterprise focusing on logistics or manufacturing operations. The business plan needs to be translated into operational plans to make sure that all members in the supply chain have an integrated planning process. The major challenges organizations face in achieving supply chain excellence are poorly designed planning processes, misalignment in various planning processes, inadequate IT systems, poorly designed organization structure, and unavailability of fully trained people. The problem gets worse when if any misalignment in performance metrics with multiple systems with poor integration.

Sales & Operations Planning

Leaders and managers of organizations face coordination issues in understanding business from the business process point of view, supply chain point of view, and strategy execution point of view. It shows that the coordination of senior leadership and middle management level becomes vital. In addition to coordination issues, there are challenges in balancing demand and supply and linkage of various levels of planning. Organizations are using sales & operations planning as best practice for eliminating coordination issues and challenges successfully.

In most organizations, supply chain planning is a cross-functional effort. Functional areas such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations traditionally specialize in portions of the planning activities, which results in conflicts over expectations, preferences, and priorities.

All companies do some form of sales and operations planning (S&OP) to synchronize market data with production output. But most practice a planning process based more on logistics than strategy. Demand was forecast based on last month’s numbers, and historical performance leads the analysis. Companies rarely solicit a cross-section of perspectives from different functional areas or supply chain partners. The practice is static and insular, disconnected from the reality of today’s complex supply chains. As a consequence, sales and operations planning becomes almost dysfunctional, lacking the communication and the insight into market demands required to carry out business plans and achieve strategic goals.

Taking a more strategic approach, however, the sales and operations planning process can be designed to bring a company’s marketing, finance, sales, and operations departments together to continuously monitor and meet customer demand. As the separate departments collaborate, they create business plans with the latest and most accurate data and begin to develop and measure a common set of metrics. With integrated S&OP processes, companies are better able to synchronize supply and demand, improve revenue, decrease costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Master production scheduling

In today's competitive marketplace, manufacturers must produce a daunting array of products — all while dealing with changing demands, shorter life cycles and limited capacity options. To prosper in this challenging environment, astute manufacturers are using Master Production Scheduling to generate efficient, effective supply and manufacturing plans that maximize customer service. The process starts at the top level with a Master Production Schedule (MPS). This is an amalgam of known demand, forecasts and product to be made for finished stock. The phasing of the demand may reflect the availability of the plant to respond. The detailed production schedules can be derived from the MPS.

Our highly experienced consultants can help in designing the master production scheduling processes and can implement in suitable IT systems. We also can develop the models highly customized to particular industry requirements with special challenges.

Master Scheduling and Capacity Planning

Master Production Schedule solution presents all the information necessary to ensure an optimal manufacturing environment. Master Scheduling considers all manufacturing resources, inventories, costs, and constraints and generates master schedule to satisfy your customer demands with expected service levels. Capacity planning performs validations of capacity at rough cut capacity level and at detail level considering all work centers, tasks, operations, and manufacturing parameters.

Materials requirements planning

Materials requirements planning is the detailed level material planning process essentially smoothen supply chain operations. MRP can drive procurement schedules, manufacturing schedules, and inventory plans. To have a robust MRP process in place, lot of readiness is required for the supply chain members in the organization which include, lead times, inventory parameters, safety stock parameters, bills of materials, enabling IT systems, and well trained people.

We help our clients in designing MRP process which includes designing of inventory parameters such as re-order levels, safety stocks, safety lead times, and other essential requirements. We use appropriate solutions to implement the systems with seamless integration with multiple systems in the organization and provide required training to the people.

Inventory planning

Inventory planning process helps you to optimize your planning process so you can make sure the right products are at the right place in the right quantity and at the right time to satisfy customer demand. When it comes to inventory – typically an organization’s biggest investment – flying blind can be detrimental. By using the proper inventory planning software, the risks that come with having the wrong merchandise and/or the wrong amount where and when it is needed can be minimized. Better decisions can be made to ensure the best performing products are allocated the proper inventory to maximize sales and minimize out-of-stocks.

A proper inventory planning process also helps you eliminate supply chain variability. You and your trading partners will gain better visibility of procurement, production costs and service requirements. Operating more efficiently, you can eliminate expediting costs of production and transportation, so you won’t disrupt the flow of other products. Not only will you accelerate the introduction of new products, you’ll deliver better customer service.

Inventory planning process helps you realize hard-dollar benefits that come with improving inventory efficiencies. To reduce inventory levels and increase turns, you can automatically calculate time-phased inventory plans – instead of stockpiling excess products.

Our highly experienced consultants in the supply chain domain can help you to establish best practices in inventory management by developing inventory planning models or implementing IT systems along with professional training to upskill the team.

Transportation Requirements Planning

Transportation resources are very critical in overall supply chain operations. Transportation managers focus on the planning of the trips, maintaining the trucks, and efficiency and utilization of transportation resources. Traditionally, companies used a team of analysts to model scenarios and calculate resource requirements. Any revisions required extensive man hours and double and triple checking updated plans for accuracy. The results were less than ideal because it was simply not possible to manually calculate all the combinations needed to arrive at an optimized plan. Factors such as rolling DOT rules, slip-seating, delivery windows, capacities, and truck schedules had to be included in the resource modeling to be effective.

In a tight economy, do companies have spare resources and time available to crunch through hundreds of combinations and arrive at an ideal solution? Probably not! They do just the minimum required to get the bids out in time. With the tools available, however, optimized bids and visual presentations can be compiled in a fraction of the time without the angst of cross-checking hundreds of manual calculations. Logistics companies that use these tools have a significant advantage in both demonstrating results and helping clients cut costs.

Our experience modelers design and implement transportation requirements planning in most appropriate software applications to ensure that our client meets the targets for efficiency and utilization.

Distribution Requirements Planning

In today's competitive marketplace, manufacturers must produce a daunting array of products all while dealing with changing demands, shorter life cycles and limited capacity options. To prosper in this challenging environment, astute manufacturers are using supply chain planning tools to generate efficient, effective supply and manufacturing plans that maximize customer service.

Distribution requirements planning allow organizations to manage the distribution of products between facilities.

The DRP tool allows the user to anticipate which warehouse within the structure will require the products by making use of inventory and demand data within each facility of the structure. Organizations with multiple warehouses within one logistical company can use DRP to manage their inventory and calculate their future aggregated demand. DRP does not rely on historical sales data, but rather on future time-phased requirement. DRP is an extremely vital partner in safety stock level management.

Our consultants understand the supply chain flows very well and understand the importance of distribution requirements planning in overall supply chain planning. We design the DRP process in alignment with the overall supply chain planning processes and implement through proven softwares.

Network Planning & Optimization

Supply chain networks have increasingly become global and dispersed. A variety of factors—ranging from cost structures, tax laws, skills and material availability, new market entry and others—have driven companies to redesign and reconfigure their supply chains continually. The consequent increase in complexity of market, channel, supply networks and distributed facilities has rendered related planning more intricate and complex. Escalating financial and competitive pressures make supply chain network planning more critical than ever today.

Too often, however, the costs of pursuing an optimal supply chain network outweigh any savings that are created. This is because the network is not being viewed in a “transformational” way that aligns business strategy, customer satisfaction, profit goals, and value creation. World-class Transformational Supply Chain Network Planning is based upon a full understanding of an organization’s business objectives – not one or two pieces of the entire supply chain puzzle.

If you want to generate continuous profit and value from network planning, take a holistic approach that encompasses business and supply chain strategy, real estate, sustainability, and taxes and incentives. The most successful networks consider the entire global supply chain. By going beyond an analysis of the typical costs – transportation, distribution, inventory – and including taxes, customs tariffs and duties, and security compliance, your company moves to the highest phase of network planning.

As network modeling packages become easier to use and company systems are more frequently linked together, it becomes increasingly viable to utilize these tools to answer tactical questions. Combine superior modeling packages with the best practice of involving the whole company in supply chain network decisions, and you have world class transformational supply chain network planning. Our experienced supply chain engineers design, supply chain networks effectively and implement them through robust network planning and optimization software applications.

Forecasting

For decades, companies have built supply chains focused on cost optimization, using inventory as a buffer to meet customer service objectives. As sources of growth to become more difficult to find, companies are attempting to drive incremental sales increases through innovation, faster speed to market, and customization. In this world, an efficient, high-performing supply chain is critical to success. Yet often companies are challenged by their inability to meet customer service expectations despite having high levels of slow-turning inventory. Such problems are the result of an underperforming supply chain, often resulting from poor forecasting accuracy, ineffective planning processes, and production capabilities that are slow to respond to changing market demand. These inefficiencies become a barrier to growth, leading to unsatisfied customers and lost sales, bloated inventories and stale product, and clogged distribution networks. Ultimately, they consume resources and capital that could be better used to fuel growth through product development and marketing activities.

Most companies use some type of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to develop their forecasts. Unfortunately, these programs can be rigid in their methodology and difficult to modify after they are installed. They typically strive to forecast customer orders without first understanding the underlying drivers of consumer demand. Forecasting tools and processes together enable the company to better anticipate and respond to changes in customer demand and identify future opportunities. The accuracy of forecasted demand rose dramatically.

Our experienced supply chain consultants design the forecasting models suitable to our client’s requirements and expectations. Our consultants pay attention to overall supply chain processes and ensure that the forecasting processes designed is very much aligned with the overall planning engine of the organization.


Top