Taking the consumer products supply chain from concurrent to Connected Planning


Reggie Twigg

Supply Chain Solutions Manager

Balance shifting consumer demand with your revenue goals while mitigating supply chain risk with integrated business planning.

In the dynamic world of the consumer products industry, the only constant is change. The ability to anticipate market shifts and adapt supply chain strategies accordingly is not just an advantage — it's a necessity for survival and growth.  

An integrated business planning (IBP) approach to supply chain management is pivotal for consumer goods companies aiming to thrive in a landscape marked by constant disruption. There are different approaches to IBP, some with loosely coupled applications, while others chain together processes in parallel or concurrently, but a Connected Planning approach to IBP delivers unique benefits over other approaches.   

Specifically, connected IBP aligns your planning processes, data, and core decision-making and scales them across the enterprise. This enables you to meet changing consumer demand, remove risk from your supply chain, and gain market advantage. Consider this blog as your starting point for actualizing IBP by transitioning from obsolete methods of concurrent planning (via silos and spreadsheets or coupled applications) to the future-ready strategy of Connected Planning.

The shortcomings of legacy approaches

Today's supply chain environment is an intricate web of unpredictability and opportunity. Over 60% of supply chain leaders attest to the escalating costs and complexities they face, underscoring a profound need for a new direction. The traditional, disjointed approaches to supply chain management — which add layers of complexity that can take months to adjudicate — are no longer viable amid the economic uncertainties, shifting consumer behaviors, and relentless disruptions that characterize our current consumer landscape.

Legacy supply chain strategies, characterized by siloed data and concurrent planning processes, are proving to be increasingly ineffective. Such disjointed processes, plagued by data fragmentation and a lack of real-time visibility, hinder the ability to make informed, agile decisions. This inefficiency is costly, leading to significant issues like stockouts and surplus inventory — a challenge highlighted by a staggering surge in retailer inventories to $740 billion in 2022, a clear indicator of overbuying and misaligned consumer demand predictions.

The answer: Connected Planning for IBP

Connected Planning is the antidote to these challenges. It transcends traditional barriers, enabling real-time, integrated collaboration across all business domains, from finance and sales to HR and marketing. Unlike siloed or concurrent planning approaches, which operate in isolated parallel or serial fashion, Connected Planning ensures seamless collaboration across all functional areas of the consumer products business — finance, sales, marketing, and workforce — delivered in real time by a unified enterprise cloud platform.

This approach is a comprehensive evolution toward the resilience and agility of IBP. It enables the orchestration of both historical and external data through probabilistic scenarios, offering a comprehensive view across the supply chain and beyond. The result is a dynamic, agile supply chain capable of not just withstanding disruptions but leveraging them for competitive advantage.

Immediate actions for a transformative future

By adopting Connected Planning, consumer products organizations can transform their supply chain management and turn disruptions into opportunities, ensuring long-term success and sustainability. In addition, businesses find that adopting Connected Planning means they are better able to:

1. Foster integration and collaboration

Break away from the confines of siloed operations. Connected Planning encourages seamless cooperation across all departments, ensuring swift, unified responses to market changes.

2. Leverage data for strategic insights

In an era where adaptability defines success, utilizing advanced analytics and embracing a decision-centric approach empowers companies to navigate disruptions proactively. We passionately believe in the power of data to transform visions into reality.

3. Ensure strategic and operational alignment

The disconnect between strategy and execution ends with Connected Planning. Every action is aligned with overarching business goals, facilitating a cohesive, agile approach to market dynamics.

Connect your plans, data, and decisions at the speed of demand

The future of supply chain management in the consumer products industry lies in embracing IBP. This approach not only addresses the inefficiencies of legacy systems but also aligns supply chain operations with the broader business strategy, ensuring resilience and agility in the face of uncertainty.

As we look ahead, the message is clear: consumer goods companies must transition from concurrent to Connected Planning to navigate the complexities of today's global market. By doing so, they can transform supply chain disruptions from challenges into sources of innovation and growth with IBP.

For consumer industry leaders seeking to revolutionize their supply chain strategies, our new IBP for consumer products eBook provides a comprehensive roadmap for leveraging Connected Planning to build a resilient, agile supply chain that is well-equipped to turn the tides of disruption into a competitive advantage with IBP.

Discover how you can navigate supply chain challenges with integrated business planning, ensuring agility and sustained growth in the competitive consumer goods landscape.