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Improving supply chain resiliency and responsiveness through continuous, touchless planning


Today’s global health emergency introduces the latest—but certainly not the last—round of disruption for consumer products organizations. However, unlike volatility related to new entrants, emerging business models or wildly changing consumer behaviors, responding to this challenge requires immediate, if not instantaneous, action.

In this environment, the ability to create, review and adapt plans in response to real-time changes in demand and supply is perhaps one of the biggest advantages to successfully managing this crisis. Continuous touchless planning, a self-governing, self-optimizing next-generation planning capability, is one way that organizations can improve the resiliency, responsiveness and agility of their supply value network.

Our recent whitepaper, Continuous Touchless Planning: How consumer products organizations can enable a modern supply value network through next generation demand and supply planning capabilities, provides an overview of the benefits and outcomes of continuous, touchless planning, as well as practical steps for building this capability. While every organization’s journey will be unique, below are some initial steps that will help guide the transformation of the planning function:

  1. Create a vision. Determine the program goals, timeline and budget for its continuous, touchless planning capability, as well as how this new capability will fit into the broader supply network strategy.
  2. Establish a solid data foundation. Enable robust data collection and analysis capabilities that will provide timely, relevant and sound information to the business.
  3. Focus on touchless demand forecasting. Leverage AI and ML to recognize historical patterns, select best-fit statistical models and draw on a variety of inputs and forward-looking variables, such as promotional grids, sell out data and environmental factors, to create more accurate demand forecasts with less manual effort.
  4. Optimize system parameters and instill trust in system generated plans. Measure system touches, track root causes and systematically eliminate underlying reasons for touches.
  5. Increase system generated recommendations. Gradually shift from human-made decisions to system guided decision making.
  6. Move to a more frequent planning cycle. Evaluate and adapt the planning processes and systems to allow for continuous updates, constant testing of plan validity and, when necessary, automatic re-planning. Develop and deploy new system capabilities such as rapid scenario modelling that alert the planning team only when a response is needed.

For more information on developing a continuous, touchless planning capability, please download our recent paper, Continuous Touchless Planning: How consumer products organizations can enable a modern supply value network through next generation demand and supply planning capabilities, or reach out to one of the authors.

Download Intelligent supply networks: Continuous touchless planning

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Hein Regeer

Hein Regeer is a highly motivated Supply Chain professional with over 20 years of experience in supply chain management. He combines his strong analytical skills with curiosity, creativity and a passion for applying innovative digital supply chain solutions. He can be reached at