Getting Planning in the Supply Chain Right

David Schneider sees two major problems with planning in supply chains. One, the planning process insufficiently identifies risks, and two, the plan that results is too inflexible to account for disruptions. He writes for Supply Chain Digest about how to fix these issues.

A Better Plan for Planning Plans

A plan is really just the unlikely best case scenario of how a project might go. In order to find out how well-equipped a team really is, Schneider puts clients through the “binder test.” Instead of simply giving clients a prepared binder of documents at a workshop, he provides all the materials for putting together a binder instead. Clients are then left to figure it out themselves. Schneider gives them five minutes for the test, but he has only ever seen two groups complete the task in less than ten minutes. What it consistently demonstrates is a need for stronger leadership in planning.

One of the biggest oversights on the part of leadership is to not clearly define objectives. Schneider gives this example of improving vaguely defined objectives:

Instead of “Install Software Update”, we use:

Install the software between the hours of 2 AM and 4 AM, including all configuration settings, file pointers and user permission files. Test to assure that the application launches and that it opens and closes all production files across the network. The installation must be completed, tested, and the production system available for the operations to start using no later than 5:15 AM.

For further insights on how to rectify faulty planning, you can read the full article here: http://www.scdigest.com/assets/FirstThoughts/14-08-08.php?cid=8375

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