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What is Supply Chain Planning? – Definition

What is Supply Chain Planning? – Definition

Supply chain planning is an important component of any business’s success. In this highly competitive market, businesses must have a comprehensive plan for their supply chain in order to remain competitive and to ensure that customer needs are met. But what is supply chain planning? How does it work? What does it involve? Read on to learn more about the definition of supply chain planning and how it can benefit your business.

What is Supply Chain Planning?

Supply chain planning (SCP) is the process of coordinating and optimizing the activities required to deliver goods or services to customers. It involves the planning and management of all aspects of the supply chain, from raw materials procurement to finished product delivery.

The goal of SCP is to ensure that goods or services are produced and delivered in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner. To achieve this, organizations must carefully plan and manage their supply chains, taking into account all of the resources and constraints involved. This can be a complex task, as supply chains are often global in scope and involve many different partners.

There are various software solutions available to help organizations with their SCP activities. These solutions can provide visibility into the entire supply chain, help with forecasting and demand planning, and enable collaboration between different parties.

The Importance of Supply Chain Planning

As the pace of business continues to quicken, having a well-run supply chain is critical to success. In fact, effective supply chain management has become one of the key differentiators for companies in today’s global marketplace. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, two-thirds of respondents said that their company’s supply chain will be a significant source of competitive advantage in the next three to five years.

The term “supply chain planning” (SCP) covers a wide range of activities, from forecasting demand and managing inventory to planning production and logistics. The goal of SCP is to manage the flow of materials, information, and finances as efficiently as possible.

There are many benefits of having an effective SCP system in place. Perhaps most importantly, it can help you avoid stockouts and shortages that can damage your reputation and bottom line. A good SCP system can also help you optimize your inventory levels, which can lead to significant cost savings. Additionally, SCP can help you better understand and respond to your customers’ needs, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

In short, an effective SCP system is essential for any company that wants to stay ahead of the competition in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

The Benefits of Supply Chain Planning

When it comes to business, supply chain planning is critical to success. Here are some of the benefits of having a good supply chain plan in place:

1. Better forecasting and control of inventory levels: With a good supply chain plan in place, businesses can more accurately forecast demand and control inventory levels accordingly. This helps to avoid stockouts and excess inventory, both of which can be costly.

2. Improved supplier relations: A well-planned supply chain can help to improve relations with suppliers. This is because a good plan will ensure that orders are placed on time and that communication is clear throughout the process. This can help to build trust and mutual respect between the two parties involved.

3. Greater flexibility: A good supply chain plan will give a business the flexibility it needs to respond to changes in demand or market conditions. This could involve anything from changing production schedules to altering the source of raw materials. Having this flexibility can be vital for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition.

4. Cost savings: By streamlining the supply chain and removing unnecessary steps, businesses can save money on their overall costs. This could free up resources that could be used elsewhere within the business, or it could simply result in lower prices for customers. Either way, cost savings are always welcomed by businesses!

The Different Types of Supply Chain Plans

There are a few different types of supply chain plans that companies can use to manage their operations. The most common types are production plans, inventory plans, and transportation plans.

Production plans cover the creation and assembly of products. This includes the materials needed, manufacturing processes, and workers required. Inventory plans track inventory levels and help prevent stockouts. Transportation plans optimize the routes and schedules for shipments to ensure goods arrive on time and undamaged.

Creating a Supply Chain Plan

Assuming you have a product or service that you want to bring to market, the first step is understanding your supply chain. A supply chain is the network of all the resources it takes to create and deliver your product or service. This includes suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, logistics providers, and retailers. Once you understand your supply chain, you can start to develop a plan for how to manage it.

Creating a supply chain plan starts with understanding your customer’s needs. You need to know who your customers are and what they need from your product or service. This will help you determine what kind of resources you need and where they need to be located. Once you have this information, you can start to develop a plan for how to procure and manage these resources.

A good supply chain plan will take into account all the different variables that can impact your business. This includes things like lead times, demand volatility, supplier reliability, and transportation costs. By taking all of these factors into account, you can develop a plan that will help you avoid disruptions and ensure that your customers always have the products or services they need.

Creating a supply chain plan can seem daunting, but it is essential for any business that wants to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace. By taking the time to understand your customer’s needs and developing a comprehensive plan, you can ensure that your business has the resources it needs to thrive.

Implementing a Supply Chain Plan

Assuming that you have already defined your supply chain goals and objectives, it is now time to implement a plan that will help you achieve these targets. The first step is to develop a comprehensive strategy that takes into account all aspects of your supply chain, including sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution. Once you have a clear idea of where you want your supply chain to be, you can start putting together a plan of action.

Your implementation plan should take into account the current state of your supply chain and identify the specific steps that need to be taken in order to reach your desired state. Every business is different, so there is no single blueprint for implementing a successful supply chain plan. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you get started:

1. Define Your Processes: The first step is to map out all of the processes that make up your supply chain, from raw materials procurement all the way to delivery to the customer. For each process, identify the key players involved and document the steps involved. This will give you a clear picture of how your supply chain currently operates and where there are opportunities for improvement.

2. Analyze Your Data: A crucial part of any successful supply chain planning process is data analysis. You need to understand what data you have available, how accurate it is, and what insights can be gleaned from it. This data will be used to inform your decisions about where to focus your efforts in order to improve your supply

Monitoring and Adjusting a Supply Chain Plan

Supply chain planning is the process of coordinating and aligning all the resources and activities needed to meet customer demand. The goal of supply chain planning is to create a smooth, efficient flow of materials, information, and money.

To be effective, supply chain planning must take into account the company’s overall business strategy. For example, if a company is trying to increase market share, its supply chain strategy might be to produce products at a lower cost than its competitors. On the other hand, if a company is trying to differentiate itself from its competitors, its supply chain strategy might be to provide faster delivery or better customer service.

Once the company’s overall business strategy has been established, specific goals for the supply chain can be set. These goals might include reducing inventory levels, increasing fill rates, or reducing lead times.

To achieve these goals, various actions must be taken throughout the supply chain. For example, suppliers might need to be located closer to the manufacturing plant or new technology might need to be adopted to speed up production. In addition, changes might need to be made in the way raw materials are procured or in how finished products are distributed.

Monitoring the performance of the supply chain is essential to ensure that it is functioning as efficiently as possible. Key indicators such as inventory levels, fill rates, and lead times should be closely monitored. Adjustments to the supply chain plan should then be made as necessary to keep it aligned with the company’s overall


In conclusion, supply chain planning is an important business process for companies to manage their resources most efficiently and effectively. It helps optimize inventory levels, monitor customer demand, streamline operations, and plan for contingencies in order to achieve a successful result. With careful consideration and strategic implementation of the steps involved in supply chain planning, companies can ensure that they are well-prepared to meet any challenges along the way.

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