Plan is the macro process representing the processes associated with establishing an estimation of volumes and/or revenue for current and future periods (the plan) and determining the actions required to achieve 'the plan'. Planning is an iterative process, balancing supply and demand in order to position materials, products and/or capacity to achieve 'the plan'.
Balancing is a process of matching demand to supply. The output of balancing are three lists:
- Revenue or Volume estimation (supply and demand match)
- Demand shortage (no demand is found to match supply projection)
- Supply shortage (no supply is found to match demand projection)
The demand shortage and supply shortage lists typically drive initiatives to find additional volume/revenue opportunities (chasing supply or demand), allowing for the volume/revenue estimate to improve in subsequent iterations of the plan.
The scope and importance of Plan processes depends on the supply chain configuration. Make-to-Stock processes depend heavily on Plan processes; getting the mix of item numbers correct may make or break the ability to achieve the revenue goals. For non-Make-To-Stock processes (Make-to-Order, Engineer-to-Order, Reverse Logistics) getting capacity right is generally more important.
Plan processes differ from scheduling processes in that Plan processes generally focus on a longer period (window), less detail (level) and takes place less often (frequency). Scheduling generally involves additional location, time and/or product specific constraints. OpenReference recognizes scheduling as a subset of Execution processes (Source, Make and Deliver for supply chain operations).
Plan processes by themselves do not generate revenue, but a lack of planning generally significantly reduces the likelihood of achieving revenue and/or performance goals.
|SCO||Supply Chain Operations||0||SCO|
|P1||Plan Supply Chain Operations||2||P1|
|DRP||Distribution Requirements Planning||DRP|
|MRP||Material Requirements Planning||MRP|
|S&OP||Sales & Operations Planning||S&OP|
Note: Common inputs and outputs are listed in alphabetical order. Other inputs and outputs may be required to support varying use cases.