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Planners Work Smarter, Not Harder with SCGenius

Updated: Sep 12

Planners play a critical role in creating competitive advantages for retailers, contributing directly to margin enhancement and customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, they routinely spend most of their time dealing with day-to-day management challenges instead of focusing on more strategic objectives and addressing root causes. Even planners with access to advanced BI and APS software frequently spend 40% to 60% of their time working with inefficient legacy excel models. That’s because APS systems help planners to create replenishment plans, and BI systems tell them how their organization is performing against plan. Nonetheless, neither APS nor BI systems provide clear guidance on how to overcome problems, manage exceptions, and get execution to match plan.


Planners therefore spend an outsized amount of time trying to bridge that gap and decide what actions to take. That’s where Supply Chain Genius comes in: Supply Chain Genius recommends actions based on custom criteria, real-time performance insight, and targeted business outcomes. Planners can use it to efficiently make educated, profitable decisions balancing trade-offs between cost, working capital, and service level. Supply Chain Genius even allows users to automate tasks, freeing planning teams to pursue higher value-add opportunities. Supply Chain Genius combines scenario modeling, advanced analytics, and decision intelligence to empower planners to focus on solutions instead of problems.


Context


Planners know better than anyone that effective supply chain management is a key success factor for retailers in today’s highly competitive market. Retailers must satisfy increasingly demanding consumers who expect variety, convenience, and sustainability. Planners must therefore manage unprecedented supply chain complexity as well as today’s rapid product cost inflation. Supply chain intelligence is at the center of customer satisfaction and cost control, and retailers who get smart about managing their supply chains can balance inventory cost, working capital, and service level, freeing up time to focus on business fundamentals. Nonetheless, most planners are trapped in a seemingly endless loop of daily firefights that prevents them from investing in meaningful improvement and achieving supply chain transformation.


Inventory issues are expensive and erode retailers' already thin margins. Stockouts alone cost retailers an estimated trillion dollars per year in missed revenue. However, the true cost to retailers of supply chain failures is much higher and more complex. Cart abandonment, damage to brand reputation, loss of market share, delayed cash flows, loss of productivity, and increased operational costs are all potential consequences of suboptimal supply chain management. As planners and their managers know all too well, supply chain dysfunction also impacts employee retention, since frustrated and exhausted team members are organizational flight risks.

Planners have the potential to drive significant margin enhancement via sustained optimization and strategic transformation. Planning teams that can escape the daily firefight / excel trap free up time to work with cross-functional internal partners and suppliers to achieve greater alignment and meaningfully improve the way they do business. They can increase their organizations’ supply chain maturity and create industry-leading teams. Supply Chain Genius empowers planners to reach new heights by making day-to-day management fast and easy.


Paradigm Shift: Towards Dynamic, Agile, and Automated


To understand how Supply Chain Genius enables a true paradigm shift, consider how typical planners operate: After creating and revising replenishment plans and validating orders based on those plans, they review detailed reports to monitor dozens of service level and inventory risks. They rely on multiple spreadsheets to prioritize issues, and they refer to other spreadsheets to identify and analyze potential solutions and determine which one to pursue. They face organizational silos that require cumbersome communication and make true analysis of enterprise trade-offs unnecessarily difficult and even impossible. The loop is all too familiar: Issue identification, prioritization, manual solution-seeking, phone calls, emails, and temporary resolution, usually with a significant and growing backlog resulting from the volume and complexity of issues requiring attention. Low priority issues get put off until they become critical, adding unnecessary difficulty to the planners’ workload that could be completely avoided if there were a way to work more efficiently.


Supply Chain Genius empowers planners to work faster and smarter. It eliminates the mind-numbing spreadsheet work thanks to a purpose-built intelligent engine designed specifically for the retail supply chain. It can consume data from relevant systems to recommend actions, and it can be configured to automatically take actions based on user-defined criteria. Planning teams maintain complete visibility into the details but now have time to see and work on the big picture: They can address root causes, communicate with suppliers about delays, collaborate with logistics on capacity constraints, and proactively and sustainably improve the way they do business.


The Supply Chain Genius Solution


The Supply Chain Genius platform will transform planners’ day-to-day experience by illuminating the path from challenges to concrete solutions. Supply Chain Genius users benefit from:

  • Real-time visibility on inventory and business performance

  • Prioritized list of actions to take based on configurable scoring

  • Recommendations with analysis of potential impacts and business trade-offs

  • Augmented replenishment planning capabilities including instant simulation of alternatives

  • Automated management of buy and inventory business rules

  • Automated master data and replenishment exceptions management


With its advanced capabilities in scenario analysis, agile decision-making, and automation, Supply Chain Genius enables retail planners to optimize their supply chains, reduce inventory, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. With Supply Chain Genius, planners can achieve more than ever before.

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