Supply Planning Assessment

supply chain planning assessmentSupply Planning Assessment

Consider supply chain planning as a hub within your business, a central point that is reliant upon a number of functions to feed quality data in a timely fashion. These functions must support a robust supply chain planning process that is managed centrally through a sales and operations planning model bringing together all core stakeholders to collaborate and work towards developing a fixed supply plan and demand plan.

Supply Planning Best Practice

Our aim is to create the best supply structure that satisfies sales demand efficiently and effectively through proper management of planning parameters (Leadtimes, MOQ's, Safety stock & service level) to adhere to stocking policies for your business. By collaborating closely with all suppliers and 3rd party manufacturers, the end game is to manage your planning system by exception and trust that established planning settings to control inventory investment.

This collaborative approach is the cornerstone of any successful business planning process as it creates a tactical plan that's converted to an operational plan with dates and quantities. Suppliers will either build or supply to plan, while the warehouse will pick, pack and despatch to plan. The demand plan defines your vendors requirements of what, when and how much to buy and becomes the baseline for managing down demand volatility. In an ideal world, we strive to integrate planning systems between ourselves and all vendors to provide greater visibility across the supply chain as this creates more effective response for inventory management.

To achieve optimum performance, the supply network must always be challenged by modifying the design of your supply network, developing its capability through software investment and refining processes that support and end to end supply planning function. Roadtest planning settings, manage demand by exception and only measure what is necssary to deliver maximum performance.

Supply Chain Planning Process

Bringing together materials management and lean operations to optimise supply chain working capital is the challenge. Businesses that have successfully implemented a robust supply chain planning process continue to manage all of the drivers that impact supply chain performance. By having an overall awareness of the supply chain planning process, personnel are supported with the right tool sets and education to ensure that it is a continuous improvement process. The structure of the supply chain planning process must be supported by senior management and woven in the culture of the business.

Sales and Operations Planning

Sales and operations planning is a centralised approach to managing all of the core business activities that form the entire planning and execution process for the organisation. It is an opportunity to review the actual versus plan for all functional areas from Sales, Finance, Inventory, Production and Supply Chain. The aim is to work on one set of numbers for the entire business.

Depending on the size of your organisation, the sales and operations planning meetings can be conducted monthly and weekly. The monthly team will focus on reviewing all performance areas of the business at a company, business unit to category level while the weekly meetings concentrate on operational aspects of the business as a SKU level. Following is a representation of the review areas by function:


  1. Forecast accuracy at company level, department, category or class.
  2. A review of all new launch plans to identify which were successful, on time, delayed and which needed further support.
  3. A review of promotional plans to determine their success rate or if further support is required.
  4. Marketing point of sale, collateral to support launch plans, store openings, timing, delays etc.
  5. Convert lost sales or under performing sales to days cover to better understand the impact on inventory investment. 


  1. Vendor performance to determine quality of supply, shipment delays, industrial action etc.
  2. Measure vendors historical performance to better understand areas of deficiency.
  3. Measure vendor cycle times and lead times for each consignment air or sea.
  4. Convert lost or late deliveries into lost sales to understand the financial impact.


  1. Evaluate production plan versus actual production to determine real effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. Production bottlenecks, delays due to equipment failure and remediation plans.
  3. Industrial disputes, planned or unplanned that impacted production.
  4. Lost days due to injury, LTI's.
  5. Over production impact on inventory holding costs translated to days.


  1. Service level performance reviewed by customer or region.
  2. Warehouse labour cost against plan.
  3. Warehouse pick productivity against planned target.
  4. External assembly provider supply.


  1. Inventory policy review at company level, department, category or class of actual versus plan.
  2. Review of inventory metrics, days cover, stock in transit.
  3. Value of Inventory in quarantine or hold pending release.
  4. Inventory write off, theft, aged inventory, obsolescence.
  5. Value of inventory at cost above or below plan against inventory policy settings.

The weekly meetings are primarily focussed on the operational performance of warehousing, manufacturing and supply. Changes are regularly made to supply plans plans due to the dynamic nature of daily issues caused by late deliveries, resources availability, equipment issues and lost time due to poor productivity. The key take out is that an organisation must have a fully integrated supply planning process from top down. Their ERP, WMS and CRM systems must be integrated to provide real time data and reports for decision making. As we have seen, even though it is a structured process with regular meetings each month and week, stakeholders are bound to actions and timeframes that will ensure more accurate outcomes are achieved.


Feel free to contact our office for advice or to discuss any specific project requirements.