As supply chains continue to recover from 2020 disruptions, many business leaders have looked ahead to 2021 to figure out how they can incorporate more resiliency into their supply chain design. Faced with rapid demand spikes and intense supply shortages, many businesses have continued to fulfill their customer orders, though the sentiment of uncertainty remains. About 50% of attendees of a recent supply chain webinar said that they are looking to invest in a supply chain planning solution in 2021. Business leaders are looking for ways to accurately predict changes and act quickly to resolve their issues.
On December 8th, Jeff Stiles, VP of SCM Product Marketing at Oracle, and Bob Bowman, Editor-in-Chief of SupplyChainBrain, discussed how businesses can plan more effectively across their supply chain. Featured guest videos from Simon Ellis, Program Vice President at IDC, Juniper Networks’ supply chain team, and Giovanni Schoordijk from Oracle’s enterprise server manufacturing division provided insights into how supply chain leaders can improve supply chain agility and visibility for increased resiliency. The broad range of perspectives from customers, analysts, and Oracle speakers helped to identify 3 key themes:
- The importance of demand planning – Simon Ellis shared that many businesses in 2020 over pivoted their supply chain strategy to address issues in supply. However, he believes that looking at demand is just as important. In the past companies forecasted based on historical data, but with new capabilities such as demand sensing, businesses can fine-tune their planning processes and anticipate those disruptions before they can occur.
- Supply chain visibility and insights – It is no longer good enough to have visibility into your supply chain, businesses need to know what to do with that data. AI can sort and manage data to extract useful information that allows planners to better anticipate future disruptions. For example, tools like Oracle’s planning advisor can help to predict resource downtime to minimize impact before it occurs.
- Integrated business planning and execution – It is more essential now to ensure companies are effectively managing cash and employing their working capital. Both Juniper Networks and Oracle have found incredible benefits from aligning financial and operational planning. With the increased collaboration, these companies can successfully meet customer demand while achieving their common business goals.