Building a Home or Planning a Vacation: Think about S&OP and S&OE

I recently had the opportunity to contribute an article, S&OP Vacation, to the Winter 2017 edition of Supply Chain World magazine1 about the sales and operations planning process. In working with many customers over the years, I’ve discovered that the term means different things to different organizations, causing some to question the business value sales…

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Manufacturing Has a New Look – Focused on the Consumer!

For manufacturers, the age of “we’ll build it, and customers will just have to buy what we make” is long over. The consumer is driving the supply chain, both in retail and manufacturing, and it’s not always about leading the pack to be successful. Many retailers are changing their supply chain processes to reflect the consumer-centric evolution…

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Supply Chain Planning Basics: Planning to Execute

In our third blog we considered scheduling in the context of a manufacturing planning process; now, let’s explore how both planning and scheduling enable the execution of a plan, noting their respective roles and analyzing their interdependencies. We plan/schedule to help us execute: to do the right things at the right times in the right ways to efficiently achieve an objective. But in…

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Powering Your Digital Supply Chain: Attribute-Based Forecasting – Part 5

Today, across almost every category, products have more features and attributes than those available just a few years ago. For instance, a simple kitchen cleaner is not so simple anymore; there are countless combinations to choose from when you consider the brand, fragrance types, price bands and packaging sizes. The electronics industry has similar challenges…

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Supply Chain Planning Basics: Planning to Schedule

In our second blog we considered planning theory as a unique problem solving domain within contexts like supply chain planning, so now let’s compare and contrast planning and scheduling, to better understand how they work together. In most every plan, like a manufacturing plan, we’re following a series of steps, tasks following one after another, where the sequence is driven…

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Powering Your Digital Supply Chain: Forecasting Returns – Part 4

Have you ever ordered something online and then decided to return it? You’re not alone. While returns for in-store purchases average in the single digits, returns from e-commerce sales average 30%, with even higher rates in certain categories. This creates an interesting problem for both retailers and manufacturers that sell online: in addition to predicting…

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