E-collaborative planning - Systematic Synergy.
By Robin Trehan, B.A, MIB, MBA electronic business.
Monday, 30th October 2006
E-collaborative planning is about joining the dots in a circle and bringing in systematic synergy - It is about visualization of the supply chain - Making sure 80/20 rule is upturned and companies are spending 80% of time and resources on optimizing results and focusing on things which actually creates value. It is about sharing and creating knowledge within the channels of supply chain.

E–collaborative planning is created in collaboration with suppliers, customers and channels partners through open sharing of relevant consumer sales data and material availability. In this scenario, one particular demand forecast is shared by all supply chain participants. It is about data mining and bringing in correlation with the dots and creating a rainbow. Information is shared at each and every step and product and services is customized in accordance with the changing needs of the final customer.

Web-based collaborative planning participates in strengthening strategic relationships with key-customers. This allows to exchange forecast and product status information on orders, shipments and promotions and to manage products through their entire life-cycle. The use of web-based collaborative planning results in substantial reductions in lead-time and forecast availability; improvement of inventory turns; increased customer satisfaction; more efficient supply chain operations, reduction of manufacturing and distribution cost.

E-collaborative planning allows corporations to gain a much clearer picture of their overall buying tactics, initiate aggregate purchasing across multiple channels. In addition, in case there is any demand alteration, the channel can act fast and adjust to the changing demand. It is about bringing in competitive advantage through flow of information sharing.

E-collaborative planning helps in adding value at each step of the supply chain. It helps about buying the accurate product or service from the correct supplier, at the right price, at the exact time, and with the defined and customized attributes. This results in reduction of resources in terms of time, capital and elimination of excess inventories. It is about creating transparency between manufacturers, intermediates, suppliers, importers and retailers.

E-collaborative planning enables companies to efficiently implement solutions that result in a reduction of "Bullwhip Effect". In other words, the collaboration enables the different participants of a supply chain to collectively decide of a demand forecast, so that there are not many surprises with the final result. It is all about the ability to work together which finally determines success.

Robin C. Trehan is an industry consultant in the field of mergers and acquisitions. He can be reached at robin@tafunds.com 

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