Supply Chain

Supply Chain Planning As A Service: An Effective Guide

As global supply chains evolve and become multi-layered and non-linear,supply chain planning has become a complex subject for supply chain managers. APQC’s recent survey report (January 2022) pointed out that 89% of businesses considered planning in supply chain management their top priority.Rising input costs, shifting limitations, time-sensitive processes, and evolving opportunities and capabilities make supply chain planning challenging for businesses. But getting the math right is imperative to ensure that these dynamic aspects integrate with the decision-making process. Here’s where supply chain planning as a service (SCPaaS) becomes a choice for business leaders.

What is supply chain planning?

The effort to coordinate among supply chain partners—suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers—to balance supply and demand effectively and strategicallyisreferred to as supply chain planning.It involves synergising processes, technology, materials, and organisational capabilities to optimise the supply network, schedule production, forecast demand, and sales and operations planning (S&OP).

Supply chain planning systems help in the real-time balancing of supply and demand. They use demand forecasts and other tools to draw strategies for driving supply plans, optimising inventory, and managing logistics and distribution. However, traditional in-house supply chain planning solutions involving high investment in technology and human resources now have an alternative in the form of supply chain planning as a service.

Why should you choose supply chain planning as a service?

In the world of on-demand logistics, building supply chain resilience is essential for growth of a successful business. We learnt from the pandemic that anything could disrupt the supply chain. Hence, to optimise the network, your business will need access to dependable supply chain infrastructure, technology, and planning expertise that can prepare your business for challenges.

Choosing to outsource the supply chain planning process helps your business stay lean and agile without worrying about maintaining additional infrastructure and human resources. A supply chain planning software powered by AI can easily integrate your supply chain’s complexities, save time and costs, and provide valuable business insights.

The benefits of supply chain planning as a service

SCPaaS uses technology and automation to improve the forecast, visibility, speed, and accuracy of planning in supply chain management. Here are some of the benefits of SCPaaS.

  • With rapid deployment, your business will not need additional investment in maintaining and managing all IT-related aspects of the supply chain planning system.
  • Legacy systems and traditional on-site software can lead to the siloeffect as data and processes remain disconnected.
  • A well-designed SCPaaS is intuitive and easy to use, encouraging higher user adoption.
  • The costs of SCPaaS is lower than maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure and staff.
  • It can be configured to meet your specific business needs. As it is purpose-built, it drives faster time to benefits and higher ROI.
  • SCPaaS solutions provide better demand forecasting. AI- and ML-based systems help map demand and supply sides faster and identify loopholes while delivering solutions.
  • Supply chain planning software reduces planning cycle times and improves the accuracy of forecasts, thus ultimately helping in streamlining the entire supply chain network.

The future of supply chain planning process

Supply chain planning of the future consolidates all aspects of planning into a single integrated planning hub. Such an approach helps in creating a unified plan using a common platform for collaboration with all partners in the supply chain. A futuristic planning model can create an integrated hub that allows your business to use advanced analytics to improve planning and optimise the supply chain. It transforms the supply chain planning process and makes it collaborative to allow simultaneous planning by stakeholders and execution backed by data and technology.The integrated planning approach is known to directly impact operational metrics, such as reducing operational costs, improving working capital, improving reliability and risk resilience, and enhancing TAT.

This blog was first published on Silicon India.

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