In today’s global marketplace, supply chain management has become increasingly complex and important for businesses to stay competitive and meet customer demands.    Advanced supply chain planning strategies, techniques, and tools are essential for optimising efficiency, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.   Depending on the key adopted advanced supply chain planning strategies, techniques and tools that businesses can implement we work with teams to enhance their supply chain operations.


Supply chain management is a critical function for businesses of all sizes, enabling them to efficiently manage the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers.  In today’s fast-paced and globalised business environment, organisations need robust supply chain management tools to optimise their operations, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.  Several leading software providers offer comprehensive supply chain management solutions with capabilities that encompass planning, scheduling, transportation and product lifecycle management.


One of the prominent players in the supply chain management software market is Oracle.  Oracle offers a range of solutions, including Oracle SCM Cloud, that help businesses streamline their supply chain processes.  Oracle’s planning tools enable organisations to forecast demand, optimise inventory levels and plan production schedules, while its transportation management software helps in managing shipments and optimising freight costs.  Oracle also provides product lifecycle management capabilities that allow businesses to track products from inception to end-of-life, ensuring compliance and quality control throughout the entire product lifecycle.


Another key player in the supply chain management software space is SAP.  SAP’s supply chain management solutions offer advanced planning and scheduling tools that help organisations optimise their supply chain operations.  SAP also provides transportation management software that enables businesses to manage shipments efficiently and reduce transportation costs.  With SAP’s product lifecycle management capabilities, businesses can track product data, collaborate with suppliers and ensure regulatory compliance throughout the product lifecycle.



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Supply Chain Management has evolved significantly in recent years with the introduction of advanced technologies, data analytics, and innovative strategies.  Current advanced supply chain planning trends focus on enhancing efficiency, agility and responsiveness to meet the demands of a rapidly changing business landscape.  By exploring the latest trends, challenges, benefits and focal points in advanced supply chain planning we can identify capabilities to be incorporated in ERP system. 


Supply chain management resilience has become an increasingly important trend in recent years as companies face growing challenges such as natural disasters, geopolitical uncertainties and global pandemics.  In order to effectively navigate these disruptions, companies are implementing strategies and technologies to build resilience into their supply chains. 


One key aspect of supply chain resilience is demand forecasting and planning, which is critical for ensuring that companies have the right amount of raw materials and finished products on hand.  Advanced supply chain planning (ASCP) tools utilise algorithms and data analytics to predict future demand and optimise inventory levels, helping companies to adapt quickly to changes in market conditions. 


Another important trend in supply chain resilience is scheduling, which involves coordinating the flow of materials and products through the supply chain to minimise disruptions. By using advanced scheduling tools, companies can optimise production schedules, reduce lead times and improve on-time delivery performance. 


Additionally, product lifecycle management (PLM) techniques are being used to improve supply chain resilience by enabling companies to collaborate more effectively with suppliers and customers throughout the product development process. PLM tools help companies to streamline communication, reduce errors and ensure that new products are brought to market on time and on budget. 


Transportation management is also a key component of supply chain resilience, as companies seek to reduce transportation costs, improve delivery times and mitigate risks such as delays and bottlenecks.  By utilising transportation management systems (TMS) and real-time tracking technologies, companies can optimise their logistics operations and respond quickly to changing market conditions.


Finally, warehousing plays a crucial role in supply chain resilience by ensuring that products are stored and distributed efficiently.   Companies are increasingly adopting automated warehousing systems and robotics to improve inventory accuracy, reduce lead times and optimise space utilisation in their warehouses.   


Overall, the trend towards supply chain resilience is driving companies to invest in advanced technologies and strategies to build more agile and adaptable supply chains.  By implementing ASCP planning, scheduling, PLM, transportation management and warehousing solutions, companies can better navigate disruptions and ensure the reliability and efficiency of their supply chains.


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Businesses that invest in advanced supply chain planning technologies and strategies can expect to achieve significant cost and time savings across various supply chain functions.   While the exact savings will vary based on the specific circumstances of each organisation, these estimates provide a general idea of the potential benefits that can be realised through advanced supply chain planning initiatives. 


Organisations implementing advanced supply chain planning (ASCP) solutions may face various challenges that can impact the effectiveness and success of their initiatives. 


In the complex and fast-paced world of supply chain management, time and cost savings are crucial factors that can significantly impact a company’s competitive advantage and profitability.  By adopting efficient strategies and technologies, companies can streamline their supply chain operations, reduce lead times, optimise costs and enhance overall resilience. Let’s explore how advanced practices in ASCP planning, scheduling, manufacturing to demand (M2D – ATO – CTO – ETO –  MTO – CPFR), product lifecycle management, transportation management and warehousing can contribute to time and cost savings in supply chain management:



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Strategies, Techniques and Planning Tools


Advanced supply chain planning strategies, techniques and tools are essential for businesses to achieve operational excellence, reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction.  By adopting advanced planning strategies such as demand forecasting, network design optimisation, inventory optimisation and supplier collaboration, businesses can improve supply chain efficiency and responsiveness. 


By implementing advanced planning techniques such as JIT manufacturing,  Lean Six Sigma, APS, and risk management, businesses can optimise production processes, reduce waste and mitigate risks.  By leveraging advanced planning tools such as advanced analytics, supply chain visibility platforms, collaborative planning tools and supply chain simulation software, businesses can gain deeper insights, improve decision-making and enhance supply chain performance.  Advanced supply chain planning is critical for businesses to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced and dynamic market environment.








Accurate demand forecasting is essential for efficient supply chain planning.  Advanced forecasting techniques such as time series analysis, machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics can help businesses predict future demand more accurately.   By leveraging historical data, market trends and customer insights, businesses can better plan their production, inventory management and distribution strategies.


Demand prediction is a critical aspect of supply chain management that involves anticipating customer demand for products or services.   Accurate demand forecasting is essential for optimising inventory levels, production schedules and resource allocation, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.  This impacts various functions in the supply chain, such as advanced supply chain planning, scheduling, product lifecycle management, transportation management and warehousing. Understanding the influence of demand prediction on planning, including bills of material and engineering change orders, is crucial for efficient supply chain operations.  By integrating demand prediction into supply chain planning processes, organisations can proactively respond to customer demand, optimise resource allocation and drive operational excellence across the supply chain enhancing supply chain efficiency and responsiveness.


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The design of the supply chain network plays a critical role in it’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  Advanced optimisation techniques such as network modelling, simulation and scenario analysis can help businesses  identify the most optimal network design that minimises transportation costs, reduces lead times and improves service levels.   By optimising the network design, businesses can enhance their competitiveness and responsiveness to market changes. 


Designing and optimising the supply chain network is a critical aspect of supply chain management that involves a strategic approach to enhance efficiency, reduce costs and improve overall performance. Strategies for optimising supply chain network design encompass advanced supply chain planning (ASCP), scheduling, product lifecycle management, transportation management and warehousing.


Understanding the impact of bills of material (BOM) and engineering change orders (ECO) on planning is essential to ensure a seamless integration of network design with these vital components.   Let’s delve into strategies for optimising supply chain network design and their impact on planning BOMs and ECOs.





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Inventory management is a key aspect of supply chain planning that can have a significant impact on operational costs and customer service.   Advanced inventory optimisation tools such as demand sensing, inventory segmentation and dynamic safety stock algorithms can help businesses balance inventory levels, reduce stockouts and minimise carrying costs.   By optimising inventory levels, businesses can improve service levels, reduce stock obsolescence and enhance cash flow. 


Efficient inventory management plays a pivotal role in supply chain optimisation by effectively controlling inventory levels, optimising costs and boosting operational effectiveness. Tactics for inventory optimisation span various domains such as advanced supply chain planning (ASCP), scheduling, product lifecycle management, transportation management and warehousing.  Recognising the significance of bills of material (BOM) and engineering change orders (ECO) in inventory planning is vital for organisations seeking to refine their inventory control mechanisms.  We can work together to  explore strategies for inventory optimisation and examine their implications on BOMs and ECOs configurations.


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Collaboration with suppliers is essential for building resilient and agile supply chains.  Advanced supplier collaboration tools such as supplier portals, real-time communication platforms and supplier scorecards can help businesses streamline communication, share information and collaborate on strategic initiatives.   By fostering closer relationships with suppliers, businesses can improve lead times, reduce quality issues and mitigate supply chain risks.


Supplier collaboration is a key component of supply chain management that involves working closely with suppliers to enhance efficiency, minimise risks and drive innovation in the supply chain.  Effective strategies for supplier collaboration encompass advanced supply chain planning (ASCP), scheduling, product lifecycle management, transportation management and warehousing.  Understanding the impact of bills of material (BOM) and engineering change orders (ECO) on planning is crucial for organisations to optimise collaboration with suppliers.  Depending on  your goals, we can work with your SCM team to review options to refine supplier collaboration strategies to identify optimisation opportunities.



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The importance of aligning ASCP implementation with business objectives, best practices and industry standards to achieve supply chain excellence, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction through the strategic use of ASCP tools, technologies, strategies and services.


ASCP implementation services play a critical role in guiding organisations through the deployment of advanced planning tools, processes and technologies to optimise supply chain operations, improve efficiency and drive competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace. 


By aligning supply chain planning processes with business objectives, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and implementing best practices for successful implementation, organisations can streamline supply chain processes, enhance visibility and achieve cost savings, operational excellence and customer satisfaction through the strategic use of ASCP solutions and services. 


Adopting a holistic approach to ASCP implementation, addressing challenges and leveraging the benefits of ASCP solutions can help organisations transform their supply chains, optimise operations and thrive in a rapidly changing and competitive business environment.



Just-in-Time (JIT) Manufacturing


JIT manufacturing is a lean production technique that aims to minimise waste and optimise production flow.  By synchronising production with demand, businesses can reduce inventory levels, improve production efficiency and enhance responsiveness to customer orders.  JIT manufacturing requires close coordination between suppliers, production facilities and distribution channels to ensure smooth operations.



Lean Six Sigma


Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that combines lean principles with Six Sigma techniques to optimise processes, reduce defects and improve quality.  By applying Lean Six Sigma principles such as value stream mapping, kaizen events and statistical process control, businesses can identify waste, streamline operations and enhance product quality.  Lean Six Sigma techniques can help businesses achieve operational excellence and reduce costs throughout the supply chain.



Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)


APS systems are advanced software tools that help businesses plan, schedule and optimise production operations.  By integrating demand forecasting, inventory management and production scheduling,  APS systems can help businesses improve production efficiency, reduce lead times and enhance on-time delivery performance.  APS systems enable businesses to optimise production schedules, allocate resources effectively and minimise production bottlenecks.



Risk Management


Risk management is a critical aspect of supply chain planning that businesses need to address proactively.  Advanced risk management techniques such as scenario planning, risk assessment and supply chain mapping can help businesses identify, assess and mitigate supply chain risks.  By developing contingency plans, diversifying suppliers and monitoring key performance indicators, businesses can enhance their resilience to disruptions and improve supply chain performance.


ERP Solutions Supply Chain Planning functionality 



Oracle E-Business Suite:  Oracle E-Business Suite offers robust functionalities across supply chain planning, scheduling, order promising, transportation management and product lifecycle management within its Supply Chain Management (SCM) module.  The system features advanced capabilities such as demand planning to forecast customer demand and align inventory levels, production planning for efficient manufacturing operations and material requirements planning (MRP) to optimise procurement and production schedules.  Organisations can leverage these modules in conjunction with other business functions such as finance, sales, and procurement to create a holistic view of their supply chain operations.  This integrated approach enables seamless coordination and visibility across the entire supply chain network.


Oracle Fusion Cloud:  Oracle Fusion Cloud provides advanced supply chain planning capabilities that encompass demand planning, inventory optimisation, supply planning and sales and operations planning.  This cloud-based solution offers real-time visibility into supply chain performance, enabling organisations to optimise inventory levels, enhance forecast accuracy, and reduce lead times. The platform also enables collaboration and agility in responding to dynamic market conditions. 


J D Edwards:  J D Edwards provides supply chain planning capabilities that include demand forecasting, inventory optimisation, and production planning.  These tools seamlessly integrate with other J D Edwards modules, such as finance, sales, and procurement, facilitating data flow and process alignment across the supply chain.  Organisations can leverage J D Edwards’ suite of solutions to optimise inventory levels, minimise stockouts, and enhance overall supply chain performance.


NetSuite:  NetSuite’s supply chain planning capabilities include demand planning, inventory optimisation, and supply chain collaboration.  Organisations can leverage NetSuite’s CRM and finance modules in conjunction with its supply chain solutions to create a unified view of supply chain operations.  The platform offers real-time visibility into inventory levels, demand trends and supply chain performance, empowering organisations to make informed decisions and enhance operational efficiency.


SAP:  SAP offers a comprehensive suite of supply chain planning solutions that cover demand planning, supply planning, production planning and inventory management.  Organisations can seamlessly integrate these solutions with other SAP modules, such as finance, sales and procurement, to streamline supply chain processes, improve operational efficiency and enhance decision-making capabilities.  SAP’s supply chain planning tools enable organisations to strategically align supply chain operations with business objectives.


Ariba:  Ariba offers supply chain planning capabilities that encompass demand management, procurement and inventory optimisation.  By integrating these capabilities with Ariba’s sourcing and supplier management modules, organisations can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their supply chain operations.  Ariba’s platform enables organisations to maximise cost savings, improve supplier relationships and drive procurement excellence through data-driven insights and collaboration.


SuccessFactors:  SuccessFactors offers supply chain planning capabilities that include workforce planning, talent management and performance management.  By integrating these capabilities with SuccessFactors’ HR and finance modules, organisations can align workforce strategies with supply chain objectives and drive operational excellence.  SuccessFactors enables organisations to optimise workforce productivity, enhance employee engagement and ensure alignment between human capital and supply chain operations.


Microsoft Dynamics:  Microsoft Dynamics provides supply chain planning capabilities that encompass demand forecasting, inventory management and production planning.  Organisations can seamlessly integrate these capabilities with other Microsoft Dynamics modules, such as finance and sales, to optimise supply chain operations and drive business growth.  Microsoft Dynamics’ supply chain planning tools enable organisations to maximise resource utilisation, reduce lead times and improve customer satisfaction through timely delivery and efficient order fulfilment.


These supply chain planning capabilities offered by Oracle E-Business Suite, Fusion Cloud, SAP, J D Edwards, Ariba, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics and SuccessFactors empower organisations to optimise their supply chain operations, increase efficiency; and drive strategic decision-making across the entire supply chain network.


Overall, these supply chain planning capabilities offered by these software solutions enable organisations to optimise their supply chain operations, reduce costs, improve customer service and gain a competitive advantage in the market.




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Advanced analytics tools such as predictive modelling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can help businesses analyse large volumes of data, identify trends, and make informed decisions.  By leveraging advanced analytics, businesses can gain deeper insights into customer preferences, market dynamics and supply chain performance.  Advanced analytics tools can help businesses improve demand forecasting accuracy, optimise inventory levels, and enhance decision-making processes.



Collaborative planning tools enable businesses to collaborate with internal teams, suppliers and customers on supply chain planning activities.  By sharing information, coordinating activities and aligning objectives, businesses can improve coordination, reduce lead times and enhance communication across the supply chain.  Collaborative planning tools enable businesses to develop joint forecasts, streamline order processing and improve supply chain visibility.



Supply chain visibility platforms provide real-time visibility into supply chain operations, enabling businesses to track products, shipments and inventory levels across the entire supply chain.  By integrating data from suppliers, manufacturers and logistics providers, businesses can monitor the status of orders, identify potential bottlenecks and proactively address supply chain issues.  Supply chain visibility platforms enable businesses to reduce lead times, improve on-time delivery performance, and enhance customer satisfaction.


Supply chain simulation software allows businesses to model different scenarios, test decisions and optimise supply chain operations before implementation. By simulating production processes, inventory levels and transportation routes, businesses can identify potential bottlenecks, quantify risks and evaluate the impact of changes on supply chain performance.  Supply chain simulation software enables businesses to make more informed decisions, improve operational efficiency and enhance supply chain resilience.


Supply Chain Management and AI 


Advanced supply chain planning is undergoing a transformation with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to enhance efficiency, accuracy and agility in supply chain operations. Leveraging AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing and predictive analytics, businesses can optimise planning processes, automate decision-making and improve overall supply chain performance.  Here are 11 AI capabilities that are shaping the future of advanced supply chain planning:

  1. Demand Forecasting
  2. Predictive Maintenance
  3. Supply Chain Visibility
  4. Dynamic Inventory Optimisation
  5. Production Planning and Scheduling
  6. Supplier Risk Management
  7. Autonomous Logistics
  8. Cognitive Procurement
  9. Predictive Analytics
  10. Sentient Analysis
  11. Autonomous Decision-Making



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