Advanced Operating Models
Sep 23, 2015

Integrated planning in high tech - The call for action

September 23, 2015 - This is the final part in our three-part series about integrated planning in high tech. In the first part, we focused on integrated planning challenges in high tech industry. In the second part, we provided our point of view on leading practices in integrated planning. This part of the blog series provides our point of view on the key trends and opportunities for high tech companies to explore in the integrated planning space.

Some of the key trends that will shape up planning in the high tech industry include:

  • Real-time and closed-loop planning, in which the speed of planning becomes critical in order to respond quickly to downstream changes in demand.
  • Globalization of planning function
  • Greater use of social media and big data in planning

Yet opportunities remain for high tech companies to leverage technology in order to become more agile. For instance, in Supply Chain Digest's "2014 Supply Chain Planning Benchmark Study," only 21% of respondents from the high tech industry reported adopting technologies to integrate top-down and bottom-up planning. The same study outlines some of the challenges facing high tech companies with packaged supply chain planning technology, including:

  • An inability to sufficiently model process data — Because every sector and company has unique process, these processes are hard to map with packaged solutions
  • Approximately 45% of respondents reported not fully using all capabilities of existing software
  • More than 40% of respondents reported the belief that they need additional modules in order to get the job done
  • Users require more training to improve results

To address these concerns, high tech companies are looking to partner with a Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) solution provider who can customize and configure their platform to a specific process requirement, in addition to offering managed services, including on-going support (such as analytical services, e.g., periodic demand planning, insight management, supply planning and performance reporting), data management services (e.g., master data management and maintenance), business services (e.g., user training, query management, issue resolution), and infrastructure services (e.g., hardware, software).

The benefits of BPaaS include:

  • Effective change management — Managing change is easy, as the tool can be customized to meet specific process requirement, and further enhancements can be implemented as needed
  • Improved planning G&A — Reduced planning cycle time
  • Increased agility — More frequent planning to respond faster to business changes on the demand and supply side
  • Scalable and value-driven solution — Configurable and scalable platform, bundled with managed services to deliver outcomes that clients want while reducing operating costs

The time has come for high tech companies to reassess their supply chain planning strategies.

Author: Mani Iyer - Assistant Vice President, Supply Chain Planning Practice & Solutioning