Planning as part of Business Flows

On September 20th we have launched our latest Business Flows Release. One of the new features has been the End-to-End Domain of Forecast-to-Plan (F2Pl). The new release raised many registrations for the free trial of Business Flows. But is also raised a lot of questions with regards to Forecast-to-Plan. In response to these questions, I am writing this blog and we have updated the F2Pl domain profile on our website.

The nature of planning is less procedural and sequential as many other business domains. And supply chain planning is very industry, company, business unit and even plant or production line specific. In addition, the planning horizon of a planning task impacts detailed activities. These circumstances also influences the character of our Forecast-to-Plan domain. It emphasizes the necessity of integration, interaction and feedback loops to and from the other domains and planning disciplines.

Reference planning landscape - integration into operational domains

The domain is structured in a reference planning landscape for manufacturing industries, which perfectly ties into the existing Business Flows model as both are build on a SCOR-like foundation.

Five planning disciplines create the heart of our reference landscape and are considered as scenario clusters in the F2Pl domain. These disciplines are: Demand Planning, Distribution Planning, Production Planning, Procurement Planning and Master Planning. The orchestration of these disciplines is key and lies in the responsibility of the Sales and Operations Planning function (S&OP).

The planning disciplines are tightly integrated into the corresponding operational domains. Each domain has a different character which are described in the corresponding domain profiles on our website:

Due to the highly strategic nature of Strategic Network Planning (SNP) we currently do not elaborate on the interconnection with Forecast-to-Plan in more detail. And there are further interfaces that are of interest depending on your specific situation. Just to name some:

The orchestration of planning disciplines and integration into operational domains is covered on level 1 and level 2 of our reference process model. These integration points to SNP, A2R, L2O and P2D are considered in the advisory notes of the Business Flows reference model.

Impact of projects and business transformation

Planning is impacted by projects in a different way than by the operational domains. In addition, the effects depend on the kind of project. On the one hand, there are projects in engineer-to-order environments that need to be considered. On the other hand, there are more strategic projects that influence the supply capacities or demand generation and in effect the planning. Such are projects like construction of new production facilities, re-designing the supply setup during network optimization, M&A or carve-outs, R&D product development, launching a new brand or addressing new markets or sales channels.

In the end, all these kind of projects can be summarized as business transformation. And how do you consider ongoing transformation in planning? The answer to this cannot be provided in a reference model. But we are convinced that Planning needs to constantly adapt itself in order to cope with the changing environment. Exactly herein lies the motivation of our Resilient Planning approach. Besides comprehensive and consistent data, and integration into operational domains, the consideration of ongoing transformation is a key challenge in planning.

For more insights, please: