We recognize that, in the last 10 years, companies have made significant investments in implementing advanced planning solutions from best of breed vendors. Today, these solutions should be ready to play a critical decision support role. However, our experience shows that this is not always possible due to the following reasons:

  • Solution adaptability issues either emerge or resurface due to the changing business environment, and could lead to needs, like the following:
    • the consideration of inventory/storage constraints
    • the evolution from a rule-based to a cost minimization model
    • changes to customer order prioritization rules
    • new rules for make-or-buy decisions
    • re-tuning of planning rules and objectives
  • Technical issues may also constrain the ability of the solution to perform at maximum value, for example:
    • performance issues affecting planning or reporting run times
    • stability issues with planning engines or reports
    • issues with data quality and availability
    • outdated software versions requiring upgrades
    • integration workflows in need of streamlining

Companies need to address these issues quickly and efficiently while keeping the required budget under tight control.

The experts of OptimalCore have the necessary experience and are ready to help.

In the last 10 years, companies have made significant investments in implementing advanced planning solutions from best of breed vendors to improve their supply chain processes. Today, large parts of such implementations are finished and these solutions are in maintenance mode. This mode is allegedly more stable and less demanding in terms of resources. However, our experience shows that precisely in this mode a big share of implementations throughout the years suffer from instabilityperformance deterioration and questionable solution quality. The main reasons are summarized below:

  • In maintenance mode, support is typically provided by a dedicated team of customer’s employees. This team should be responsible for the operational stability of the solution and for analyzing all issues that users have with the plan. Also, it should test and implement functionality adjustments within the solution scope and install software upgrades. Finally, it should provide first line issue identification and investigation and coordinate with the vendor’s support services in order to find resolutions or workarounds. Unfortunately, operating and maintaining such a team is a problematic and costly exercise. This is because the inherent complexity of advanced planning solutions necessitates people with dedicated skills, training and experience. Even if a company took the challenge of creating such a task force, it would be wiser to liberate its people from their operational responsibilities in order to utilize their skills in more challenging initiatives.
  • On the other hand, the software vendor’s support services are rather reactive and focus on resolving technical issues that the customer has already identified in the software tools. However, a large number of potential issues lie outside of the actual software tools and can be resolved quickly and efficiently if proactive actions are taken regularly. Further issues, inherent to the nature of the vendor’s support services, reduce the value that the customer actually receives. These include the remote location (typically India), the different time zones, the cultural gap, the visa issues and the low employee retention rates.

In today’s challenging financial times the value received by a customer is scrutinized more than ever before and is associated directly with the cost of the services provided. Therefore, there is an enormous pressure to gain the most from any implementation while at the same time keep the maintenance cost at a minimum level. Therefore, customers need to re-evaluate the existing maintenance structure and look for more efficient and less costly alternatives.