Supply Planning

Supply Planning

Supply chain planning is the process of accurately planning the journey of a material or a product right from the raw material stage to the final consumer. A detailed supply chain planning and supply chain forecasting mechanism can help organizations with critical elements for operational success including material management, waste elimination, and working capital optimization.

Source: Oracle NetSuite

The process involved in orchestrating supply chain planning

Supply chain planning itself involves multiple steps to achieve optimal manufacturing goals. The process involved is as follows:


The first step in supply chain planning is to manage the actual supply of goods or services.

Key questions answered with this:

  • How best can an organization create a fine balance between the inflow or supply of goods and the actual requirement or demand for these goods?

  • How can it ensure that it is able to meet its set financial objectives?

  • How can it facilitate the best possible manner in which the requirements can be met from the demand plan created?


The next step is demand management which is the process of forecasting or predicting the future demand to ensure goods and services can be accurately delivered based on the needs.

Key questions answered with this:

  • How can an accurate demand forecast help manufacturers directly obtain accurate revenue calculations?

  • How can it help match appropriate inventory stocks based on demand trends?

  • How can it help improve the overall bottom line for a particular line of product or service?


The next step is production planning which relates to the actual production and manufacturing processes and their dynamics.

Key questions answered with this:

  • How can the critical aspect of production capacity planning help determine the real on-ground operations on the factory floor?

  • How can manufacturers go about the appropriate resource allocation of workers?

  • How best can they schedule for materials along with allocating essential resources and determining the production capacity for a specific unit?


Operations planning is the step that addresses the need to develop specific operational processes for an effective supply chain function.

Key questions answered with this:

  • How can effective scheduling help outline the timeline and the resources that are necessary to perform and complete the operational analysis?

  • How can manufacturers go about information collection including various methods of data collection depending on the type of operations that the planners want to access?

  • How can an appropriate gap analysis be performed which involves performance reporting, identification, cost + benefit analysis and final comparison?


Sales planning is the next step which includes a periodic integrated operations and warehouse management process that can help the organization to focus on key supply chain drivers.

Key questions answered with this:

  • How can organizations accurately take into account critical aspects like actual sales, product/ service marketing, demand coordination, production planning, innovation, and new product introduction, overall inventory control, etc. into the final plan?

  • How can they ensure that final customer demand is effectively met by the organization’s production, distribution, and purchasing processes?

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