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.