This document explains the top level in the iterative process of conducting supply chain planning. More in-depth descriptions are available in the process documents at lower levels.
Supply chain planning is a principal process in the Supply Chain Planning & Execution business process. Supply chain planning is conducted in M3 Supply Chain Planner (M3 SCP), which is a key component group in the business application M3.
The final outcome of supply chain planning is an accepted master supply plan where decisions have been taken towards solving problems related to not meeting the demand.
The accepted supply chain plan created in M3 SCP is used to update data in M3 Business Engine.
The supply chain plan is also used for subsequent distribution and production planning activities on an order/item level.
Some of the output data from M3 SCP can be transferred back to M3 Business Engine via an export program.
The processes that make up this principal process is described below.
Transfer – Import Data
The first task is to create the data foundation on which subsequent planning and analysis activities are based. You can create data in M3 SCP in one of the following ways:
M3 SCP creates a model database of the supply chain. This database is used to present data in various reports. It also forms the basis for simulations and in-depth analysis of the supply chain plan.
Stepwise planning pertains to most of supply chain planning and includes all activities related to the iterative process of plan analysis, decision-making and simulations.
The analysis of the supply chain plan is located primarily in the Scoreboard and the reports. These reports contain aggregated and detailed information on the performance measures shown in the user-defined Scoreboard records in the Scoreboard panel. The user controls what should be focused on during the planning process. The analysis activity creates the foundation for subsequent decision-making.
In this context, decision-making means making various changes to the conditions effecting the supply chain flow. The user can make changes to demand, start inventory, capacities, quantities, costs and penalties, etc. This is based on the decisions made in order to solve the problems uncovered in the plan analysis. The changes can be made in several ways, but usually the most obvious way is to use the reports and profiles in the Reports components.
The outcome of the analysis and decision-making activities brings about the need for a new plan simulation. Actually, a simulation will usually be conducted a number of times during the iterative process of stepwise planning. Simulations can be based on both predefined and user-defined optimization strategies that are defined by the user in the Optimizer component.
The process of simulating and evaluating the supply chain plan probably contains the most time consuming and in-depth activities in supply chain planning.
For more details, refer to Stepwise Planning.
Transfer – Export Data
The last process is to accept the plan. The user makes this decision most exclusively. The accepted plan can be transferred to M3 Business Engine, in the shape of time dynamic sourcing rules, MDS and inventory build-ups.