Yes, we’ve all heard the old adage “measure twice, cut once,” and some of us even practice it, but what if you don’t? What if you can’t? What does measuring even mean in the context of supply chain management, anyway? What’s the harm if you skip that step and just go for the cut? After all, you’re a busy person leading a busy team, you don’t have time to grab a coffee, let alone worry about something as nebulous-sounding as, say, demand optimization in this particular context–we’re talking about stocking the supply chain, amirite?
But if “recent times” have taught us anything, it’s that you really DO need to put the planning back into supply chain management, and that means looking at all the variables–demand, suppliers, fill rates, OTIF, to name but a few. If you want to do it correctly, you’ll need to step away from the disconnected Excel sheets of yore and think through all the different angles of operations planning from something more akin to the drone level, whether you’re trying to make a legacy system more nimble or creating something from scratch. So where do you start? What are your options? Fortunately, ketteQ has a whole suite of solutions for all kinds of planning problems.
What kinds of problems, roughly?
Everyone references the toilet paper supply shortages in the early days of COVID-19 as exhibit A in supply failures, but the recent incident in the Suez Canal is another great example–certainly, people waiting on that ship (and the ships behind it) experienced a supply failure! The Suez Canal incident is also useful for demonstrating the age-old problem of resiliency versus efficiency. How many companies dealt with the very real pain point of not having resiliency in their supply chains when the ship their goods were traveling on hit a single point of failure? Can you plan for something seemingly so rare? Should you?
Well, yes, you should–and you absolutely can, thanks to the power of scenario planning. We use Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) because it helps you run through pretty much every “what if ??????” scenario you can come up with, easing the pain points around demand volatility, forecast variability, unreliable data, complex supply chain handshakes, and so much more.
What kinds of solutions, actually?
You could argue that the ship stuck in the Suez Canal is maybe a one in a million type of delivery problem, but it’s not impossible to imagine something similar happening with a different mode of transportation or some other kind of cascading effect way up the vendor chain that snowballs into something bigger. As the only Supply Chain Planning & Automation™ platform built on Salesforce, ketteQ gives you true end-to-end visibility across your entire supply chain, coupled with powerful predictive and prescriptive analytics, to help you prepare for (and weigh the options) of everything from the “100% likely” to the “probable, given the space we’re in”:
• Sales & Operations Planning matches supply with demand to seamlessly synchronize sales forecasts and inventory.
• Demand Planning maximizes revenue by using machine learning to integrate sales, marketing, open orders, history, and any other data point.
• Capacity & Production Planning ensures optimal supply by proactively preparing for the unanticipated with a 360-degree view into inventory, capacity, and raw materials.
• Control Tower gives visibility into decision-grade data with tools and notifications for making fully informed, smart decisions at any point or location.
• Revenue Planning minimizes risk by reconciling sales data from Salesforce and other CRM systems with financial and supply chain data to better set and meet financial KPIs.
• Replenishment Planning reduces inventory and increases service levels by automatically defining the best balance between the two.
• Supplier Collaboration removes the blind spots in the supply chain and transparently improves supplier collaboration through an easy-to-use portal.
• Order Fulfillment / OTIF enhances on-time delivery by working through scenarios and simulations ahead of global trends and predictions.
Who wouldn’t want the ability to see into the future and use that insight to measure more precisely before figuring out where to cut? If you’re ready to grab the controls, join one of our roundtables! Our next one is on May 12, and it’s about putting the planning back in supply chain management–it very well could put you ahead of the pack. Space is limited, click here to sign up now or book time with our CEO Cy Smith to see how ketteQ can take your supply chain to the next level!