This means that you can never fully automate the S(I)&OP activity across the supply chain. The process cannot sustain itself without the know-how, judgement and creativity of the people managing it.
However, you can make the people running that process more effective.
Focused intervention where required
In a process driven by experience and creativity, it’s vital that those managing it build a proper understanding of the dynamics at play. Without that awareness, they aren’t able to use those human qualities to maximum effect.
The most effective S(I)&OP processes evolve when the people running them:
- Gain access to data as it emerges, rather than relying on an outdated snapshot
- Are freed from the rules-based decision making that requires no human creativity
- Can spend their time dealing with the exceptions that do require their intervention
- Are better equipped to collaborate, within the business as well as with suppliers and customers along the supply chain.
Technology to support planning
Does your team understand the dynamics of every stage of your supply chain? Do they have the skills and resources required to make the right decisions in the volatile conditions of the current, unpredictable market?
Using ‘what-if’ scenario planning capabilities to model the effect of potential disruptions provides a valuable advantage to your S(I)&OP activities. It also forces necessary learning and understanding amongst your team and provides them with insight into the impacts of change.
This sort of planning requires systems. The people process of S(I)&OP can only take you so far without the support of technology. Too many positive planning processes are held back by the web of spreadsheets used to manage them – the limitations of Excel creating error, delay and duplication of effort. And although technology cannot turn a bad planning process into a good one, it can make a good one great.
The right tools for the job
To be properly equipped, your team should have tools at their disposal capable of:
- Harnessing the vast quantities of data that exist across the length of the supply chain and turning it into actionable insight to drive improved results.
- Dealing with complex patterns of demand at a granular product level.
- Enabling the automation of simple, rules-based processes.
- Enabling all stakeholders in the process to collaborate and work to a single version of the truth.
- Allowing the team to consider alternative scenarios and recognise their potential impact on all aspects of the existing plan.
These tools look a lot like AGR Dynamics, which frees your team from gathering, analysing and interpreting the data and serves them with the information and time they need to manage their relationships with suppliers and clients. Having the tools to ensure the right people are in the right places, doing the right things at the right times improves inventory health.
To learn more about how the AGR software can equip your team to manage a more cohesive, efficient S(I)&OP process, get in touch today and discover just how much of a difference it could make to your supply chain.