The integrated business planning functions of our class-leading software enable siloed businesses to unify their workflows to work towards business goals rather than individual team objectives. Sales & Operations Planning happens as a business-wide, holistic process, delivering overall productivity to meet demand and increase profit.
Daniel Demand Planner
Daniel’s role is to understand the unconstrained demand for the company’s products. This is comprised of a blend of the statistical forecast and market intelligence to understand how much inventory to hold of each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit).
Do you relate to Daniel’s drama?
Demand planners are often forced to challenge the forecast based on their understanding of the business. They make the 1st call on the exceptions to statistical forecast based on input from marketing and the sales team. It is a weighty responsibility and ultimately, they are limited by the information that they have access to.
How the PLATFORM helps Demand Planners like Daniel:
With richer information going into the forecast, Daniel finds less inaccuracies than he otherwise would. This releases Daniel to manage by exception, as he only needs to review items that are outside of tolerance and more time can be spent being a Demand Planner rather than an Excel expert.
In some ways, Daniel role is the most important in a supply chain business; because if he forecasts accurately, the business buys correctly, which results in more satisfied customers. The more satisfied the customers are, the more likely they are to increase their spend with you.
However even the most loyal customers will leave you if you cannot supply the products you need. Forecast accuracy is so important that it impacts directly on the share price.
As part of the sales team, Sarah is responsible for gathering and maintaining the market information and entering the opportunities into the sale forecast. In the planning world sales update the Demand Planner with market intelligence such as competitor activity.
Sarah’s challenge is understanding what customers to focus on and when. For project- based sales this can be complicated with many moving parts. For more consumable items, it is important to know if her customers are buying more of her products, than her competitors this year. With the combination products, promotions and customers to manage, it is hard for her to be proactive.
How the PLATFORM can help sales teams:
The PLATFORM creates a more controlled environment for Sarah by filtering out the noise and only brings the exceptional information to her attention, so Sarah can avoid talking to the right customers, at the wrong time.
It’s easier to Sarah to work strategically with customers and capture information about new customer promotions and special related pricing directly into the PLATFORM in real time. This collaboration gives the Demand Planner better information to work with. The forecast accuracy is measured and can be compared with the system generated statistical forecast.
Sarah Supply Planner
Sarah is responsible for taking the unconstrained forecast, establishing what can realistically be supplied with the various lead times for the products. Sarah ensures that the orders are processed efficiently and capitalise on economic order quantities.
Are you a Supply Planner who can relate to Sarah’s pain?
If Sarah operates in a disconnect environment, the supply chain is unlikely to be in balance. Their maybe too much stock of slower moving items and stock shortages of faster moving items. All this need to be considered when looking to raise customer service levels and OTIF (On Time In Full) measurements.
If Sarah needs to rush orders below their EOQ’s, (Economic Order Quantity) it has implications on the logistics costs with added freight and labour costs. Rushing orders to customers can also create pressure on production schedules and impact production efficiency.
How the PLATFORM helps Supply Planners like Sarah:
The PLATFORM helps Sarah manage by exception and highlight where there are issues to resolve to balance the inventory. Sarah can use the PLATFORM to measure supplier performance and make sure that lead times reflect reality.
Sarah works in concert with the logistics team, who are also motivated to avoid shipping air and ensure there’s sufficient storage capacity for goods, that are not being shipped direct to client.
Petra is responsible for the production of materials identified in the forecast, in line with the production plan.
Can you relate to Petra’s problem?
Petra is all about maintaining service levels and making improvements in efficiency. Changing manufacturing lines takes time and reduces output. So, Petra lives in dread of surprises in demand that impact on production requirements and increase operational costs. It does not matter how efficient Petra makes the production process, when the production team is unaware of the business’s commercial priorities to be effective.
How the PLATFORM helps Petra
The PLATFORM provides a far more reliable view of demand and helps the whole business, but especially Petra, who has to match machining requirements to skill sets in their team and avoid buying temporary labour at an increased cost.
Finlay evaluates the financial risk to the business and keeps a, ‘watching brief’ on the company’s cash position. As the adage goes; “Cash is King,” and if you run out of it, because all the money is tied up in stock, or spent on extra transportation costs and late delivery fines, then the business fails.
Can you identify with Finlay’s challenge?
Finlay is trying to maintain a predictable cash flow, in the face of competing requests for money from the different busines departments. She balances the need to buy materials and pay staff, against the income stream and cash reserves. The business also needs to fund exceptional items; such as new product launches which absorb a lot of cash, before they begin to pay back to the business.
How the PLATFORM helps Finlay
The PLATFORM Enables the finance team to see ahead to fluctuations in sales revenue and costs. Decisions carry risk and the better information available to the decision maker, the less likely they are to make the wrong decision. Sales teams will also want more items in stock to make them easier to sell and the finance teams will always want inventory to be as lean as is possible. The PLATFORM helps the busines find that balance, by presenting a holistic view of supply and demand and enables inter departmental collaboration to be both efficient and effective.
Charlie Chief Executive
Charlie the Chief Executive needs a coherent view of the business and the threats and opportunities within the supply chain to steer the business towards success. Each department has its own wins and losses all of which impact the effectiveness of their surrounding departments. C level executives like Charlie are in post to temper those departmental, ‘foibles’ to galvanise them to work effectively as a successful coherent entity.
Do Charlie’s woes resonate with you?
Revenue has taken a hit, yet the Manufacturing department have told Charlie they are at 90% efficiency and sales are complaining they cannot get the stock they need for their customers. The warehouse is full, and you are achieving less stockturns than you should be…
How The PLATFORM helps in the C Suite
The PLATFORM offers a holistic view of the business with one source of data which everyone has access to. The planning PLATFORM allows the C level team to see the ‘one truth’, at a summarised level. So Charlie and her peers can really understand current performance against KPI’s and surface insights to guide their teams to make the right decisions for the business.
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