By: Richie Barter
I last wrote to you in April, 2022, to announce the launch of Replan – as an innovative supply chain planning solution designed to streamline complex production planning. In case you missed it, you can read my blog post HERE.
At that time, I had written about why (supply chain) planning must be redefined. In short, the world and supply chains have become more complex and volatile. Planning processes and systems, despite having been around for decades, have not been able to keep pace. Planners and executives, seasoned and emerging, were lamenting the Herculean manual effort needed to plan and adapt to changes.
Well 12 months on and to be honest these challenges haven’t really gone away for planners. They were, and still are, looking for intelligent technology solutions to take on more of the burden, and empower them to focus on the critical decisions needed to battle the ever growing complexity and volatility.
The goal of Replan is twofold – to drive better business outcomes for our manufacturing customers and make supply planners’ lives easier.
We can only do that if the production plans generated by Replan deliver value without compromise. Replan must easily capture the operational realities of every single line we plan – get the planning situations right, give a better plan, drive a better outcome!
The last twelve months have been an intense and exciting journey for us at Replan: listening, learning, innovating and releasing solutions that can make a difference. The supply chain community continues to be fantastically generous with their time and insights. As part of this community, we’ve been working at a frenetic pace to deliver solutions to the growing supply chain complexity of our times.
Sometimes it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees (and bushes and shrubs), so here’s a summary of all the capabilities we’ve delivered in recent months.
Helping you deal with supply chain complexity
- Multi-level planning
Multi-level planning is crucial for accurately modeling and capturing constraints in production planning, no matter how many levels exist in your production chain. This includes raw materials and intermediate goods that generate bottlenecks, which can be difficult to manage manually. Replan was developed to address these challenges and enable planners to create an optimal plan that minimizes stock holdings and reduces waste at every level of the supply chain. Our current customer record is 9 levels for a global F&B manufacturer. Get in touch if you’ve got something deeper, we’d love to break our record!
- Multi-resource planning
Multi-resource planning involves understanding the impact of various resources, including labor, warehouse, and natural resources such as water, energy, and emissions, on production planning. Quick understanding of labor availability is crucial in light of inflation and volume fluctuations. The product team was proud to have delivered this capability to help planners model energy bottlenecks swiftly during the energy crisis in the EU last winter. Understanding how energy constraints or cost limits affect customer availability is valuable and many are predicting another tight EU energy market for the winter ahead.
- Raw material availability
Although some of the raw material shortages have eased since the Covid crisis has abated, material supply planners are still struggling with some key ingredients. Glass prices, for instance, continue to rise for drinks manufacturers due to the increasing gas costs, which is expected to continue as government energy support schemes end this year. To help planners address this issue, Replan now includes scheduled key raw material inputs as a constraint to plan around and enables planners to adjust plans when deliveries of key raw materials are delayed. This feature is especially relevant to APIs in Pharma or concentrates for drinks manufacturers.
- Solve for highly complex, large supply chains
As we expand into the US, we are engaging with larger manufacturers with increasingly complex supply chains. Recently, we solved a highly complex planning situation for 50 product groups with 5 levels of recipes and bills-of-materials, a dense changeover matrix, and a 26-week horizon. We are committed to handling the planning needs of the largest manufacturers on the planet with speed and scale. How do we achieve this, where others cannot? It’s all down to the combination of modeling approach and algorithm selection.
- Group priority / tiering
Group Priority / Tiering is when manufacturers allocate production capacity by grouping customers based on their importance. Replan allows manufacturers to make intelligent decisions by grouping and tiering customers, which is coupled with our existing scenario modeling capabilities. Manufacturers can move allocation decisions back into the tactical and S&OP horizon or have better constrained tactical planning visibility. The earlier planners can engage with their commercial colleagues the better, especially where difficult service allocation decisions have to be made across specific customers or different sales regions.
- Lost sales or delayed sales coverage
From our conversations with customers we realised that capacity constrained manufacturers plan for lost sales in 2 ways – either they try to make up that loss in later production periods (delayed sales), or they accept they’ve missed that opportunity with the customer and the sale is truly lost. We extended the capabilities within Replan to allow manufacturers to choose their approach for each individual SKU, product group and resource that they are planning against.
- Helping you get to your answers faster – Improved solver performance
As part of our mission to infuse more agility (and intelligence) into planning, we continue to focus on speed. Planners have a lot on their plate and don’t enjoy waiting hours for answers. Our improvements have yielded up to 8x speed improvements in some cases.
As we face into the second year of Replan we are committed to investing further in the brand and the capabilities of the product. We have a vast backlog of features, innovations and ideas that we can’t wait to bring to market.
For our existing customers, please connect directly with me or your relevant Replan contact for early access to our upcoming product roadmap. We want to maximize available capabilities and always welcome feedback and suggestions to make Replan more effective for your organisation.
If you’re not a customer yet, schedule a call with an industry expert to explore Replan.
Follow us on Linkedin to get the latest updates on our continued expansion and product innovation.
Watch videos on customer insights, features, and capabilities by following the links.
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