What is concurrent planning?

AlexaCheater

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article appeared in the eBook, Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning: The Case for Concurrency.

There are lots of organizations that claim to have reinvented supply chain planning. They say they simplify planning by aligning different supply chain processes or functions. There’s just one problem: None have truly reached their goal. None really do concurrent planning.

Slow, siloed techniques are no match for today’s fast-paced reality

While many companies claim to solve the sequential planning issues of the past, few have. They have brought parts of the planning process into the cloud, added algorithms and machine learning capabilities, or simplified reporting procedures.

But most still rely on parts of the same vicious, siloed cycle that’s been in use forever: wait for someone ahead of you to generate a plan, create your plan using their results, try to reconcile these plans with one another and eventually recognize that everyone’s plans have become meaningless in the time it’s taken to reach a consensus.

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. These barely connected techniques are no match for today’s fast-paced reality.

What makes concurrent planning unique

Concurrent planning is genuinely fast, connected and end-to-end. It bridges the gap between planning and execution by interweaving every aspect of your business – from strategic to tactical. Inputs from finance, sales and marketing help drive long-term plans. Data from customers, suppliers and partners feed into short-term plans and detailed execution. If one person makes a change, everyone else instantly understands the impact on themselves, their team and the organization as a whole.

For example, before Lippert Components switched to concurrent planning, functional teams didn’t share data. It took weeks for planners to understand how a small change to the business would impact the company’s bottom line. All because they had to gather and analyze information from each team, one after the other. Since adopting concurrent planning, Lippert’s supply chain is faster and more collaborative. When new tariffs were imposed in 2019, Lippert understood the impact on the business within minutes.

These results are typical, not remarkable. With concurrent planning, everyone shares information, works through issues on the spot and walks away confident they’re seeing the big picture. That results in a business that’s free of risk, waste and latency.

The future of planning is concurrent

Concurrent planning is revolutionizing the way companies plan because it works. Companies say it’s shortened their planning cycles, cut manufacturing lead times, trimmed finished-goods inventory and improved on-time deliveries.

Learn more about what’s possible. Check out our new guide “Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning: The Case for Concurrency.”

AlexaCheater

As the Product Marketing Manager at Kinaxis, Alexa helps develop and deliver informative, engaging and entertaining supply chain content that also works to promote how Kinaxis RapidResponse is revolutionizing supply chain planning. She joined Kinaxis in 2015 with more than a decade of communications experience. Alexa holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Honors) from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

More blog posts by Alexa Cheater