In our post, “How to Get Your Planning and Execution on the Same Page,” we explored why connecting supply chain planning and execution is so critical and some of the initial steps you can take. Connecting supply chain planning and execution is a significant milestone for supply chain organizations, one that pays huge dividends by enabling them to take orders and execute delivery with a lot more visibility and efficiency.
We all know supply chain complexity will continue to grow. Analysts, thought leaders, and practitioners alike resoundingly agree that supply chains are only going to get more complex, challenging even the most advanced supply chain managers. According to Gartner’s “How to Reduce Supply Chain Complexity,” “more than 50% of supply chain leaders expect complexity to increase over the next five years in most aspects of the operating model (e.g., equipment, product design, business models, partners).”
Fortunately, there is a lot more opportunity to be mined from the integration of planning and execution, beyond basics such as better collaboration on orders and more informed transportation and container procurement.
The message is clear: When you get to integrated planning and execution, keep going!
Once you’re taking advantage of a single platform like to unify distribution and transportation activities and automate allocation, distribution, and delivery decisions, it’s time to start getting more granular.
Instead of just using basic information to make planning decisions, you can begin to consider additional constraints, such as the weight and volume of goods, the need for and availability of pallets, and warehouse capacity. You can also take into account today’s heightened challenges with availability of labor in warehousing and transportation.
Another set of variables you can start to consider at this level are things like finding the most efficient way to meet vendors’ minimum order requirements, or determining the optimal way to fill the container given all the characteristics of the shipment itself and the delivery location or series of locations where orders have to go.
A growing number of John Galt Solutions’ customers are taking more real-time data into account in their plans, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as data from daily POS and weather services. (Read more about Reddy Ice and Pinnacle Propane and how each of these companies utilizes IoT data to automate supply chain processes)
But it’s not just about dealing with limitations. The tight integration between distribution and transportation allows you to identify opportunities as well. For example, you may want your plan to prioritize your VIP customers when it comes to shipping out inventory to catch up with backorders, or to ship the highest margin or most critical products first. Some users at this level are using the software to optimize for ESG (environmental, sustainability and governance) goals such as minimizing C02 impact.
True End-to-End Orchestration
It doesn’t stop there. Once you gain mastery of these capabilities you can continue to refine the ways you take advantage of the tight integration of planning and execution to gain additional value. It’s not just about accommodating more constraints; it’s being able to account for more highly complex needs across your end-to-end network so you can achieve true end-to-end orchestration and visibility. It’s also about automating many rote processes so planners can attend to higher-level tasks.
You can start creating mixed containers by port across multiple suppliers, for example, and segment those goods by loads per truck, maximum number of containers, max purchase price, and so on. You can generate multi-level bills of materials to execute complex kitting and production orders in distribution centers.
But wait, there’s more! You can also better collaborate with your extended ecosystem of partners, to add new capabilities such as spotting and quickly mitigating unforeseen risks and events. And you can maximize customer service levels and optimize deliveries by automatically allocating inventory intelligently and tweaking order parameters for efficiency.
Continuous Supply Chain Enhancement
Today’s supply chain managers face an unprecedented array of simultaneous new pressures, from greater fluctuation in consumer demand, to expanding sales channels and delivery points, to ongoing shortages of materials, finished goods, containers, and labor. Succeeding in this complicated marketplace means finding a way to get full visibility into what’s going on and solutions that help you make good decisions and evolve as your capabilities mature.
Integrating planning and execution is a key step in that process, and that’s what Atlas Deliver does. Atlas Deliver from John Galt Solutions’ Atlas Planning Platform enables you to fulfill, move and deliver the products you have forecasted while optimizing your resources, addressing increased supply chain and demand variability, reducing waste and markdowns, and making your customers happy.