Improving Supply Chain Flexibility: Introducing the Tactical Planning Module in SC Navigator

  • 16 February 2024
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In response to the increasing demand for agile scenario planning within shorter time frames, AIMMS has recently integrated the Tactical Planning module in SC Navigator. The addition of this module addresses the need for tactical decision-making in supply chain network design, focusing on shorter horizons and smaller time buckets, typically ranging from 3 to 24 months.

Tactical planning enables businesses to adapt to sudden changes and disruptions while maximizing existing resources. It empowers companies to flex their networks on a monthly basis, efficiently managing both planned events such as maintenance shutdowns and unexpected disruptions, without solely relying on large capital expenditures.

The primary objective of tactical planning is to optimize network utilization without significant capital investment. For instance, if demand spikes, companies can explore options like adding extra shifts at factories or sourcing products from secondary facilities with spare capacity. This proactive approach minimizes the need for extensive capital expenditure while ensuring operational continuity.

Furthermore, tactical planning enables businesses to anticipate and prepare for seasonal fluctuations in demand. By leveraging features like multi-period modeling and inventory stock build, companies can strategically allocate resources to meet peak seasonal demands, such as the holiday rush in the retail sector. This proactive approach improves customer satisfaction and enhances overall operational efficiency.

The integration of the Tactical Planning Module into SC Navigator offers a seamless transition between strategic and tactical decision-making processes.

Leveraging a common data structure, businesses can utilize existing data for both strategic and tactical purposes, while also creating specialized datasets to accommodate specific requirements, such as tax considerations.

Whether it’s strategic design involving future locations or tactical planning for existing facilities, the platform provides a comprehensive solution for optimizing supply chain operations.

SC Navigator with Tactical Planning vs. S&OP/IBP

Traditionally, in the third phase of the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) or Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process, where supply and demand balancing occurs, the emphasis is on achieving alignment rather than optimization. Due to time constraints and the cadence of the process, businesses often settle for plans that merely ensure supply and demand alignment, without maximizing margins or minimizing costs.

Recognizing this gap, SC Navigator steps in to enhance the S&OP/IBP process by offering robust scenario planning and optimization capabilities. By leveraging the same data used in the S&OP/IBP process, SC Navigator empowers analysts and planners to explore multiple scenarios and identify opportunities for optimization.

The strength of SC Navigator lies in its ability to enable users to go beyond mere alignment and strive for optimization in supply chain decision-making. Analysts and planners can utilize the platform to run simulations, analyze various scenarios, and identify strategies that optimize margins, enhance profitability, and minimize costs.

In essence, the AIMMS SC Navigator with Tactical Planning module serves as a catalyst for driving efficiency and competitiveness within existing S&OP/IBP implementations. By integrating scenario planning and optimization into the third phase of the process, businesses can elevate their tactical planning efforts and unlock untapped potential within their supply chains.

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