Supply chain planning and management involve balancing the demand and supply of resources. Planning a supply chain has long relied on quantitative and analytical data, and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, the processes are about to get easier and more efficient.
What Does Supply Chain Management Constitute?
Supply chain planning and management is managing resources and optimizing their delivery throughout the various touchpoints of a production process. It involves devising ways to balance the manufacturing and sales volumes, as well as possible, to meet the demands of the end customers in the best possible way.
What is Synchronized Planning?
When developing supply chains, organizations rely on previous data to predict the demand in the future. Non-availability of information greatly impairs the ability of a supply chain to work efficiently and can cause a waste of resources.
The dynamic nature of supply and demand can lead to complications in a chain. Synchronized planning considers the dynamic nature of supply and demand and can function effectively even as they fluctuate–without affecting the end customer. It can coordinate and manage supply chain flows, including products, services, information, and financials, in a way that the entire chain functions as a singular entity.
What are the Necessary Elements for Synchronized Planning?
Synchronized planning is imperative for a successful supply chain. Its components differ according to the product or service in question. Some of the necessary elements for a synchronized planning chain are:
Fragmentation of Production - Production today is fast becoming interconnected, with touchpoints along a global supply chain. As such, fragmentation of production is an important characteristic that can set a business apart from the competition. It involves planners setting up inventory demands at multiple locations and having multiple sources of supply. To achieve this, organizations must set up manufacturing units and warehouses at multiple locations and develop a holistic understanding of what is being produced and how, when, and where it is being stored.
New Technology and Data Sources - Modern technologies are changing the way we work, and it is also revolutionizing supply chains across the globe. Emerging technologies allow organizations to link their data across various supply networks and analyze the information much more effectively. The wealth of data from connected systems and external data sources will allow companies to improve all aspects of their services and encourage growth.
What are the Technologies that can be Used in Synchronized Planning?
Artificial Intelligence - Artificial intelligence, or AI, is revolutionizing almost every other industry globally. So why should supply chains be any different? AI uses advanced learning systems to understand complex patterns, use tactical planning methods, and devise effective ways to execute them in digital supply networks.
AI is set to change supply chains from history-based forecast methods to modern predictive re-ordering behavior-based and effectively forecast demand. Through this modern technology, organizations can order the right product ahead of time and even shape customer demands by offering substitutions, incentives, etc.
Internet of Things (IoT) - The Internet of Things, or IoT, will allow connected systems and processes across a digital supply network to extract large amounts of diverse data. This can help capture a real-life picture of the physical world and visualize the vast network and inventory flow from end to end. Effectively capturing the various flows will help devise ways to tackle demands, identify redundancies, and make the network more superfluous.
Blockchain - Blockchain uses the vast internet and its immutability to create secure digital ledgers that record transactions. In combination with AI, blockchain can be used to place orders with vendors across the globe according to predefined criteria, while IoT can help provide precise on-time transport delivery.