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Selecting the best Supply Chain Planning tool

What could be the cause for your low organisation performance?

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Posted by Dave Food on Oct 26, 2021 6:44:46 PM
Dave Food

What could be the cause for your low organisation performance?  

You might be dealing with the Board, especially CFO, who ask why inventory moves crawling whilst customer satisfaction declines. You might be using tools that are not working for your planning and do not let you move forward.  As a Supply Chain (SC) leader, your compromise is to improve things, start changing processes, and enhance your staff’s commitment.  

A recent Gartner survey found that almost 90% of SC leaders plan to invest in their SCs agility in coming years. Most of them think they need to make improvements but have not taken still the necessary steps to change things. 

How to select SCP tool 

·       Involve stakeholders promptly - Every main project requires authorisation from stakeholders such as CFO, CIO and VP.  

·       Do some introductory exploration into what vendors in the area offer; evaluate them till you have involved decision-makers. Why?

·       Shareholders can grant expertise and pinpoint risks early on, bringing ideas you might not think of beforehand. 

·       If a resolution you are evaluating does not connect the CIO’s security parameters, they might disapprove of it even if the whole thing looks great. 

·       Stakeholders care more about significant results and want to see a business case for such investments. By discussing the desired future state of your business, you can go into the project with a clear idea of the agreed problems you want to solve. 

·       A source of financial distress in your SC is not counting on a digitised capability planning solution; evaluate vendors based on how well you handle this requirement; you can easily reject suppliers who cannot meet this requirement.

Assess the maturity of your SC organisation; if you are uncertain exactly where your organisation maturity level is, Gartner suggests five stages of the S&OP Maturity Scale: React, Anticipate, Integrate, Collaborate, and Orchestrate. Get feedback from leaders and planners within your company to get a proper grip on where your maturity level stays, or maybe you can ponder bringing about an SC expert to lend you a hand. 

In the React stage, you have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for data.

In the Anticipate stage, the organisation might have an objective solution for demand or production planning.  But they cannot cope with integrated demand, supply balancing and financial analysis. 

Your planning is more efficiently integrated into the third stage to anticipate SC disruptions by collaborating with other units. According to Gartner’s research, nearly 70% of companies are in the React or Anticipate steps, and you probably are too. 

Where you want and need to be

Most companies take considerable time to get to the ‘Orchestrate’ stage; move from one level to the other; your aim should be to discover solutions that can get you to the next stage. You cannot just deploy a high-end software solution and automatically jump steps. 

Determine your solution requirements before evaluating software

Most organisations are not sure what they are looking for. It can be very discouraging to be at the halfway point of valuing software solutions to have the plan stopped or called off entirely.  Now that you involved the respectable participants and handled your SC organisation current and most wanted maturity level, you will need to define the prerequisites a possible solution must have over just attractive features.  Select a Supply Chain Planning tool to have a successful project; take actions before you start calling up vendors to save you time and bothers in the long run.

Summing up: Does your ERP require a preferred vendor? Does CIOs or Director need specific security?  Are you using any application capable of importing or exporting data to a Business Intelligence tool? Is your purpose of implementing at once a full end-to-end SCP?   Where do you want to start with production planning and demands?  Should it be advisable to start with distribution and inventory optimisation later?




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