The Digital Elevation of Planning and the Planning Executive

Today we have more data than ever before on all aspects of our business and tomorrow all indications are that there will only be even more.

At the same time we fortunately also now have access to more powerful and diverse tools than ever before to review, analyze and action these rising datalakes of countless zettabytes which surround us. Among these, my POV is that Cognitive or Artificial/Augmented Intelligence really stand out as the potential game changers.

Digital organizations will survive and thrive based on the ability to effectively harness and drive value from all of this data. And since Planning and Planning professionalshave always been the experts at gathering, analyzing, and actioning data, we are now very well positioned to ride this massive wave of data that will drive digital transformation.

Participating recently in this year’s IBF event has only reinforced my belief that both planning roles and the planning function today now have a clear path to leadership for those who aspire to lead themselves and their organizations to become the brain of tomorrow’s digital businesses.

For those of you who prefer video to the written word, below is a recent video interview where I wax poetic about the ‘Digital Elevation of Planning and the Planning Executive’ as well as ‘The SCM Company.’

In my humble view, the opportunity to do this is embodied in understanding, embracing and implementing the concept I call ‘The SCM Company’.

Supply Chain Management for most of the last 20+ years has been all about the flow of physical products and related systems information from raw materials sources, through into manufacturing and then storage, distribution, sale, delivery and then sometimes returns as appropriate. But are there not many more opportunities for the company to benefit from the application of SCM principles?

There have been a number of studies over the past several years aligning companies with high performing supply chains with their positive stock market performance, and that there is a direct correlation between supply chain and company results. So that in itself would suggest that most companies should look upon supply chain as a core business focus but what I’m suggesting here is much more and why we are creating the blueprint for ‘The SCM Company’.

There are many other flows within organizations which can be managed in the same way as the physical product supply chain and those firms which recognize and embrace this concept will no doubt take their business performance to an entirely different level. Are there any of you who’re not with me yet?

Specifically, the other flows in the firm I’m speaking of are cash, people, leads or potential sales, actual sales, capital, new products/revenue sources. And there are of course even ideas and innovation flows within organizations which can be planned, measured and monitored.

Once surfaced all of these flows can then be better managed through the application of supply chain management concepts and software with measurement, forecasting, metrics, visibility with full resource and performance planning and results to develop the ultimate high performance firm or what I’m calling ‘The SCM Company’ !

It was several years ago I coined the term ‘The SCM Company’ to describe this phenomena and methodology. Simply stated it’s all about applying the principles of Supply Chain Management to all of the functions and flows in an and around an organization to plan, monitor, measure and improve all types of performance.

The relevant key enabler to now be able to create ‘The SCM Company’ is the data rich digital environment we now find ourselves in, as well as new tools such as Tangentia’s Tplan cloud solution that can be configured and utilized to assist companies in making ‘The SCM Company’ vision a reality, acting as an enabling component in how you can now play a key role by effectively operationalizing digital transformation.

The time is now for all Planning and Supply Chain executives of the world to arise and stake your rightful places as the logical digital leaders within your corporations!

Jeff Ashcroft

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