A digital transformation journey: the development of an integrated business planning process

How DS Smith remains years ahead with a end-to-end integrated business planning process.  

⏱️ 2-minute read

Due to rapidly changing business dynamics, the visibility of the end-to-end supply chain is becoming increasingly important. To improve visibility in the E2E supply chain, DS Smith has the ambition to (1) fully utilize the capabilities of their internal and external supply chain and (2) realize maximum OTIF for their downstream box plants. DS Smith has improved their mid-term planning to achieve this goal, called Sales and Operations Execution (S&OE). With S&OE, they can respond fast and agile to deviations in the supply chain. It allows them to have a process to execute the monthly IBP plan and have a clear view of supply or demand deviations. It will enable them to amend in an agile way. To make the S&OE process operational, they also needed to select a new planning tool. EyeOn provided support in the complete digital transformation journey and the development of an integrated business planning process of DS Smith.   

The deliverables for this digital transformation project were:  

  • Clear communication and better service to DS Smiths’ customers  
  • Robust management of the supply (both with internal resources and external suppliers)  
  • End-to-end paper inventory optimization  
  • Maximal margin retention when deviations occur  
  • Stability in production, supply, and delivery planning (fewer rush interruptions and less firefighting)  

The approach DS Smith took to achieving these deliverables is the following:  

Define Target Operating Model 

We started by defining the future Target Operating Model, which describes how to control your supply chain and support the execution of your business strategy (find more about our standard TOM approach here). The Target Operating Model opened the door for a detailed assessment of the current readiness of DS Smith from a process, organization, and tools point of view. We worked out further details by conducting a thorough readiness assessment of the as-is situation. 

Readiness check as-is process  

Based on the Target Operating Model, we performed a readiness check to define the improvement needs in the current planning setup and made a priority roadmap based on the gap assessment. We determined separate projects to close the gaps. The projects were executed in parallel with DS Smith project teams. These steps enabled the S&OE project implementation after the finalized tool selection.   

Detailed process design  

While conducting the readiness checks, we held workshops to detail the new S&OE process. The workshops involve discussions on the structure of the new planning process, planning of specific (external) locations, modeling of capacity, translation from IBP to S&OE, monitoring and escalation management, reporting, and KPIs. These aspects were all worked out in various workshops. The detailed design was a blueprint for defining the planning tool requirements.   

Definition of requirements (incl. tool selection)  

During the discussions on the tool requirements, we defined a list of functiona

integrated business planning process visual

l and non-functional requirements for each detailed design area. We indicated whether all of these requirements are a must-have or a nice-to-have. Next to the functional requirements, the IT organization of DS Smith provided technical requirements. These requirements cover information security and support structure for the new planning tool. 

Since the start of the project, the IT team was involved and was aware of the process design choices made. We considered these choices in the definition of the technical requirements. 

We prepared a vendor selection based on the requirements, approached multiple vendors, and planned demo sessions. A predefined evaluation template ensured a fact-based decision-making process based on various evaluation and demo sessions. Implementation has already started.   


EyeOn have supported our Digital Supply Chain Transformation journey since 2021 and their expertise in functional design and best practices as well as their industry knowledge have been invaluable for the success of the program. This not only includes the definition of high-level design principles but also translating them into detailed operational processes and aligning them in a cross-divisional, multi-stakeholder environment. Also, during the implementation where change management is a key task EyeOn are a great support.” (Hervé Colleaux, Delivery Lead DS Smith)


Curious about how EyeOn can help you develop an integrated business planning process? 

Contact our end-to-end transformation lead Bart Paridaen to learn how EyeOn can help you in your transformation journey and achieve next level planning capabilities. If you want further insights into the DS Smith case, contact Stijn Rutjes, the leading consultant on this project.   

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