COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption in supply chain planning. Both the operational and financial consequences are severe: planners are experiencing demand drops and surges by segment, supply shortages, inventory placement challenges and reduced productivity. Moreover, to manage the crisis, planners cannot rely on the steady-state models on which most existing planning systems are based. They need to make decisions using real-time information, acting as the “nerve center” of the flow of supply chain data.
Planners should look to further collaborate across the partner ecosystem and work with their supply chain function counterparts (manufacturing/supply and fulfillment) and other company functions (finance, sales and marketing) to ensure execution plans are aligned and meeting the most critical needs. They also need to more closely manage the data to achieve thoughtfully prioritized micro-segments, priority customers and demographics, products and geographies. This action step is essential to strategically moving inventory and repurposing supply capacity to manufacture high-demand products. Data-driven supply chain decisions help businesses and communities to better manage the disruption amid the crisis, resulting in a stronger foundation for future growth.