Sense check your supply chain planning

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Two women in warehouse looking at a laptop screenAlbert Einstein is reported to have said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

You might try doing that same thing in a different way but the end result is still the same. Imagine you just got the latest smartphone but only used it to make calls!

Your shiny new toy might have all the bells and whistles but if you do things the way you always did them, it’s not going to help you.

When it comes to supply chain planning, many companies are stuck in the past, making ends meet with manual processes and spreadsheets. Sure, you have an ERP. And you likely have a whole bunch of point solutions for your core supply chain functions. But they all speak different languages. And Excel makes a poor translator.

Your data is either out of date or inaccurate or, more likely, both. One function is making great decisions to solve for a problem in their area. Unfortunately, those decisions turn out not to be so great for everyone.

In supply chains, a change in one area creates ripple effects far beyond a single function. Determining the best course of action relies on understanding the effects of a change on the end-to-end supply chain. But traditional planning processes work through the supply chain one piece at a time. It typically goes something like this:

1. Wait for the person ahead of you to generate a plan.
2. Create your plan using their results.
3. Realize once you're done you've affected someone else.
4. Argue over whose version of the data is right. 
5. Start all over again since everyone's misaligned. 

And that's just standard process. Throw in an unexpected change and the delays and frustration only grow. Supply and demand are never balanced because you're always out of sync.

Why your technique matters

It is this misalignment that leads many companies to start out on a digital supply chain transformation journey. In most cases, this involves a new technology investment. But–and it’s a big but–while technology is part of the solution, simply implementing a new supply chain planning software without also fundamentally changing how you do things won’t fix anything. Ultimately, it’s your technique, not your technology, that is broken.

Yesterday’s techniques are no match for today’s fast-paced reality. The speed of business is accelerating, and supply chains need to keep pace, whether it's the “Amazon Effect,” tariff 
negotiations, an unplanned equipment shutdown, a hurricane or a global pandemic. But traditional cascaded planning processes breed latency and misalignment – sworn enemies of speed and agility.

Kinaxis’ unique technique of concurrent planning, powered by our patented Cognitive Network Graph, delivers a supply chain that’s completely connected and always in sync. When a planner in one area makes a change, everyone else across the supply chain immediately sees the impact.

Concurrent planning is proven to drive breakthrough performance improvements resulting in happier customers, faster decision-making, better efficiency and improved operations. Kinaxis customers are proven to outperform their peers, not just at the supply chain level but across the entire business.
Concurrent planning represents a paradigm shift for supply chain planning, allowing you to respond to changes and disruptions in time to make a difference to your business. 

So go on, take the plunge. Do things differently. You know it makes sense!

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