Let’s face it. Current supply chain planning systems have plateaued. They’re not fast enough or agile enough to keep pace with today’s rapidly shifting digital landscape. Companies are struggling, unable to get ahead of increasing complexity and mounting risks.
But how did we get here? The truth is, we’ve been here for decades. We’re still using processes and capabilities developed in the 1960s, based on Materials Requirements Planning (MRP), MRP II and more recently advanced planning systems (APS). Excel hell is still common place – companies filling the gaps of their supply chain systems with workbook after workbook.
Yes, we’ve added optimization capabilities as technology advanced, enabling ever-more complex models. But those early processes remain in use. When it comes to supply chains, the times, they aren’t a changing.
We need a structural shift in how supply chain planning (SCP) is performed. We need a new paradigm. We need a supply chain revolution. As our most recent white paper, SCP 4.0: Planning Revolutionized, outlines, the business need is there. The advanced technologies are available. And the younger generation entering SCP have the talent, approach and drive to take us there.
This next leap in planning, the fourth generation, SCP 4.0, means new operating models. Ones that flatten data access so it’s visible across functional and organizational boundaries. Data will need to be threaded together from new sources like the Internet of Things (IoT) and social media, allowing new insights to be formed and acted upon. Decision-making power will need to be put in the hands of an organization’s front line.
A Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain will need to be developed. My colleague, Trevor Miles, recently explained the concept of this type of supply chain his blog. It requires the connecting of data, processes and people across the entire network. Competing metrics need to be visible and actionable insights easily accessible.
Changing an operation model is not a simple exercise, but it is a necessary step to revolutionize planning bring SCP into the future. Check out our white paper, SCP 4.0: Planning Revolutionized, to find out more about this new, emerging planning landscape and what your organization needs to do realize SCP 4.0.