We all grew up with frameworks and mantras like Plan-Source-Make-Deliver, Upstream-Downstream and the Planning Hierarchy. This gave us the possibility to structure our lives. And more importantly, it gave us the ability to plot very clearly how information was flowing throughout the network.
Well, these days are over. This nicely structured and comprehensive scheme is becoming less and less relevant as data and information is flowing everywhere. We must break data silos and embrace the concept of ‘company data’ across different functions and divisions including finance, commercial, operations and many more.
Connectivity is stepping beyond the borders of a single company. We have to think further and start looking into what is sometimes called “the network of networks”, or in other words the interoperability between networks. In more simple words – what if we could integrate the end-to-end supply chain of your customer, your own network and your suppliers.
The way we handle data is changing drastically. We are starting to combine more and more data from different sources and in different formats. This goes beyond traditional Data Warehouses, Lakes or Grids. It is about bringing different types of data together and making new combinations that we can truly find new insights that will drive a stepchange in our ways of working and performance.
Until today we all probably have the feeling that we have a lot of knowledge & experience which we put into technology. And that is the only reason technology can work. For example by designing certain processes or procedures.
Tomorrow it will start going the other way. Smarter and smarter algorithms will bring us insights that with our own minds we would not have been able to see. Oh yes, we are reversing the way technology is being used drastically.
Sometimes you hear people say that the future looks worse, with all these new technologies coming in to disrupt their planning functions. Well, probably the most important element of this evolution … is you.
Because today, most of the time spent by planning departments on a daily basis is geared at just keeping the lights on. It is about continuous (master) data errors, disconnected planning, fixed parameter assumptions, missing financial optimization, a functional instead of E2E focus, difficult scenario capabilities.
Tomorrow, planning technology will be taking over most of this so that you can focus on what you are good at. Being creative, and thinking about how to create value for your company!