For a Fortune 100 Wholesale & Retail Company, shipment planning presented a significant opportunity. The existing process for planning inbound shipments was inconsistent and relied on Excel-based solutions with frequent ad hoc adjustments and fragmented data. Additionally, there was a lack of a comprehensive approach to align functional stakeholders and customers. The complexity of coordinating planning across 15 countries introduced unique business, resource, and process challenges. This environment led to disconnects in planning between different planning teams and business units.
The approach taken for this project involved several key steps. Initially, we conducted facilitated sessions with leaders and stakeholders to gain insights into the current state, identifying opportunities, pain points, and desired outcomes. Subsequently, we worked to align everyone on the desired future state, outlining anticipated benefits and value delivery. A gap analysis was performed, leading to comprehensive remediation planning. To ensure success, we implemented a multi-step activation approach, complemented by after-action reviews, ongoing performance assessments, and necessary project adjustments. Finally, the program concluded with an exit strategy and stabilization phase, guided by aligned criteria and metrics.
The results achieved from our efforts were substantial. There was a noticeable increase in cross-functional alignment concerning timing, process, and expected outcomes. Stakeholders gained greater exposure to planning data, including key drivers and assumptions, enhancing overall understanding. Consistency in planning submissions became a norm, and dedicated meeting forums were established to review additional risks and opportunities collaboratively.
The introduction of standard planning templates across all countries streamlined the process and ensured uniformity. Furthermore, we documented essential requirements for a technology planning solution to support future endeavors. To enhance the planning process further, a retrospective approach was introduced, enabling continuous improvement and a more holistic planning process with each cycle.