Supply Chain Planning

The complex nature of managing supply chain activities, with its multitude of relationships and processes, requires planning—one of the key functional areas of supply chain management (SCM). Given these demands, supply chain planners must focus on finding the right balance in staffing and cost management, as well as optimize the supply chain strategy, staff development, data maturity, technology support, and the overall planning process. Plans to meet demand need to be driven by an organization’s business model and then customized for each element in the supply chain, be it by improving performance through technology or by planning for sustainability.

Improving Supply Chain Planning

Supply Chain Planning is one of the key functional areas of supply chain management. It is includes managing the demand for products and services, creating a materials plan, and scheduling production to meet actual demand. This collection of content focuses on best practices for supply chain planning and the implications of those practices on performance based on data collected in APQC's Open Standards Benchmarking in Supply Chain Planning.

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Learn more about supply chain planning research

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Use APQC's Supply Chain Planning Assessment to benchmark current state and pinpoint areas to improve

From a functional perspective, every supply chain planner needs to be able to report the impact that their initiatives have on improving supply chain efficiency. Many organizations have never taken a comprehensive look at how their supply chains are performing against competitors. In such cases supply chain benchmarking can unearth opportunities that could save a company millions or tens of millions of dollars.

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Upcoming Research Projects

Sourcing Business Models: Governance
This project will dive into the governance model of business-to-business sourcing relationships. Governance of supplier relationships is a hot topic where organizations are increasingly seeking help to resolve misunderstandings or conflicts between the parties. In a business-to-business sourcing situation, the governance model impacts multiple components of the relationship.

APQC has conducted previous research with Kate Vitasek, Bonnie Keith, and Emmanuel Cambresy on leveraging sourcing business models as the basis for Reinventing Supplier Relationship Management. This team of experts would again serve as external subject matter advisors for this project. On the sourcing continuum (as shown in Figure 1), a deeper level of diligence and governance is needed as you shift up the continuum from transactional to relational to investment types of models.

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