Advanced planning: a roadmap towards demand-driven, agile planning

Advanced planning is about introducing advanced tools that help balance supply and demand and keep this balance in line with strategic and tactical levels.

 

Today’s markets are global and increasingly volatile: customers demand shorter lead times, smaller order quantities, personalized products and diverse product mixes. Thriving in this new reality requires lighting agility, putting huge pressure on planning teams. How can you ensure an efficient, flexible supply chain while keeping inventories small and costs low? Advanced planning tools, which increasingly take strategic and tactical levels into account, help you make the best decisions.

To make truly smart decisions, you need actionable recommendations instead of simple analyses of what has already happened.

 

Balancing supply and demand in volatile markets

Companies have been using software to plan and schedule production based on available materials, labor and plant capacity for quite a while now. In the past, calculations usually drew on ‘static’ data from inventories, bills of material and databases, without taking into account today’s increasingly variable demand. The result: alternating between too much inventory and not enough, disrupted schedules, dissatisfied customers and, as a result, lower revenue.

That’s all changing now. Today’s planning tools use advanced algorithms and logic to simulate capacity scheduling, sourcing, resource planning, forecasting and demand management, and to optimize it for multiple criteria (e.g. profitability, service, inventory level). Moreover, they have a holistic, end-to-end view of the supply chain – from procurement all the way to sales.

 

Increasingly, advanced planning is done on three levels: 

  • Operational: the basics, plan as efficiently as possible i.e. over a time span of 1 day to 1 week;
  • Tactical: make the best planning decisions, considering what will happen within a couple of weeks to a few months.
  • Strategic: keep the bigger, long-term company strategy in mind (several months or years).
Advanced planning

Putting – truly – smart data to work

Robust data analytics is the key to smart planning. Capture valuable data and turn it into actionable information and recommendations upon which you can base your planning decisions.

New technology like IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) makes capturing and analyzing data a breeze. While sensors capture data, advanced analytics and machine learning put it to work, helping you identify patterns and make simulations based on the latest customer and market intelligence and supply chain conditions. And because the data is available in near real time, your supply chain will be much more agile, adjusting to unforeseen changes on the fly and ultimately boosting profitability.

From analysis and advice to implementation


Diverse projects with local and/or international scopes in a variety of sectors have made us a supply chain expert. Based on our insights, we can:

  • assess your existing planning approach and discuss your needs
  • recommend the best solution
  • develop/implement solutions
  • ensure integration with your transactional system (your ERP, for example) to manage the execution of the plan or schedule

 

From planning boards to integrated business planning

 

Whether you choose an off-the-shelf advanced planning tool from the Microsoft AX Dynamics 365 or SAP stacks, a fully customized planning board or next-generation cloud solutions for integrated business planning, delaware can help. Two highlights from our offering include:

  • The easy-to-use planning board that we developed helps planners at numerous delaware customers gain a clear and detailed overview of available materials and production capacity. 
  • Looking for a cutting-edge solution to support more complex processes? delaware is the first SAP partner in Benelux that is running projects based on SAP’s new cloud-based Integrated Business Planning (IBP).

Even more, our experts are exploring new technologies like IoT, AI and blockchain to further optimize planning processes

 

Why choose delaware?

  • We offer a structured approach
  • We offer end-to-end solutions
  • We collaborate closely with your team
  • We have 15 years of experience in business transformation across numerous industries