We’ve all seen how multiple events around the world are causing constant variability in both supply and demand. Organizations are taking big steps ahead of their competitors, investing in new supply chain planning solutions to help them improve their operations and processes.
Moving supply chain planning to the cloud is a shift that every organization is either thinking about, or already doing. No matter how synchronized your supply chain planning is on-premises, having your supply chain planning solution in the cloud will provide many new benefits: from basic scalability, to supply chain network connectivity and, for mature supply chains, an ecosystem of integrated planning and execution processes—all under a single platform with common data structure.
If you’re thinking about moving supply chain planning to the cloud, let’s first consider some essential needs that your solution must have. Here are five key things to consider when selecting a supply chain planning cloud solution:
Make sure your cloud supply chain planning solution lets you divide your supply chain into segments based not only on customer needs, products channels, regions, and demand volatility, but also on agility, resilience, and operating characteristics. This allows you to plan segments with similar characteristics—helping you improve the speed, completeness, and quality of your plans across the supply chain network.
Look for a modern, configurable application that allows for seamless planning across demand, supply, and inventory. It’s critical that you can connect your integrated business planning with tactical planning processes that support collaboration across the supply chain. Review all the collaboration elements your solution offers to ensure they support each use case; these should include demand and supply collaboration, multi-tier manufacturing visibility, contract manufacturing, and vendor-managed inventory. You may not apply all use cases in the short-term—but as your supply chain planning process matures, you’ll be able to respond more quickly to supply and demand changes and minimize administration costs with your trading partners in the long-term.
Your new solution should have prebuilt analytics, guided problem resolution, and intelligent recommendations to help you increase productivity. Having a decision support platform helps you to simplify planning decisions; new users can plan effectively and quickly make a positive impact on your supply chain.
A cloud supply chain planning solution should help you solve problems faster. It should show you changes in the supply chain in real-time, so you can watch for deviations from the plan. You can then analyze alternative plans, immediately see their potential impact on business metrics, and resolve problems at the right level or granularity. You can pivot at a moment’s notice and communicate effectively to all parties involved—including trading partners.
With the right solution, you can turn machine learning predictions into supply chain planning decisions and automate those decisions with confidence. A pragmatic approach to machine learning can automatically prioritize actions based on business impact, helping to increase supply chain efficiency. Your solution should not only recommend actions but also immediately execute proposed actions. This will help you scale as your supply chain matures, and also free up your supply chain planning teams to focus on more strategic work.
Your company will realize the value once they see how much time they can save, with fewer resources, all while balancing supply with demand for the entire supply chain network. In turn, your team can free up time to focus on supply chain strategy. Your supply chain becomes a competitive advantage that fills the needs of your customers and trading partners. Selecting the right solution provider can help you realize value quickly while you transition to the cloud.
These are the key areas for you to consider when selecting your supply chain planning solution. Make sure your solution provider can help you achieve your business objectives and scale as your business grows.
Daniel Bachar leads Supply Chain Planning Product Marketing at Oracle. Daniel brings more than 10 years of experience in sales, marketing, supply chain planning, and advanced analytics. He provides a unique blend of business and industry knowledge, leading successful efforts to integrate new technologies into effective supply chain solutions. His experience includes development, design and go-to-market strategy of supply chain and advanced analytics products, helping clients with complex business problems to achieve complete visibility into their supply chain operations.