The journey to obtain a strong master data foundation comprises of several layers. In our previous blog post we outlined the first steps required to build solid master data accompanied with a planning parameter review process. We cannot stress enough that operationalizing the process, showing the day-to-day benefits to planners in the operation, and demonstrating the business benefit to management are an essential foundation to be ready for the next phase of digital transformation: smart automation.
The rapid evolution of advanced digital tools and data science techniques such as machine learning and digital twins have become a powerful means to driving planning parameter insights, predictions, and accuracy improvements. However, in practice, the typical tendency of a planner is to apply additional information or assumptions, not known to an algorithm, to come to a final implementation.
Smart automation – the best of both worlds
At EyeOn we believe that by creating smart-touch planning solutions you can combine the best of both worlds. We can automate the planning parameter review process for elements that are easy to predict, provide recommendations for the more challenging ones, and flag where human intervention is needed. We call this smart (planning parameter) automation.
As shown in the figure below smart automation means that:
- Your planners obtain a planning parameter alert / recommendation from a control tower solution
- They receive feedback on their enrichment behavior while interacting with the planning tool
- The algorithm picks up on the behavior trends to drive better proposals and facilitate integral process automation over time
The smart-touch connectivity between system and planner results in the optimal and most accepted parameter setting.
How to get started
- Create awareness: Use of advanced data science techniques and digital tools requires that you understand the ins and outs and the dynamics of your process. Create awareness in the organization that smart-touch combines the best of both worlds. No planner likes to hear that the system will take over.
- Alert driven: An important starting point is to create full visibility and enable an alert-based way of working. A control tower solution will enable users to get into a flow of parameter review and focus their time where it adds value.
- Assess previously performed adjustments: Understand why planners deviate from parameter proposals. It will help to identify process exceptions, outliers, and human intelligence. Make that an integral part of your process and digital infrastructure to develop even better algorithms.
- Activate planners in providing effective enrichments: It is key to find a good balance in planner behavior. Ensuing awareness, you must get the organization onboard to play an active role in executing the parameter review process. In addition, it is essential that there is organizational acceptance and support of applying a segmented approach.
- Automate predictable changes where possible: Apply automation – first in a defined scope – and learn from it before scaling too quickly. There inevitably will be flows, maybe even a considerable amount, where full automation is not the right fit. However, where possible, it will help drive efficiency and improve planner value add.
Want to know more?
Is your company experiencing significant deviations between plan and execution? Are you under the impression that you are keeping inefficient stock levels (either over or under stocking)? Your planning parameters probably need review, and we can help you do this in an efficient, controlled, and automated way.