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-Aug. 14, 2009


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week: Airplanes and Integrated Supply Chain Planning and Execution


Key is How Often Environmental Signals are Used to Effect Course Correction


By SCDigest Editorial Staff


Perhaps surprisingly, an airplane flight is a good analogy for the growing trend towards more integrated supply chain planning and execution.

The graphic below is from the recent groundbreaking report on integrated planning and execution from Chief Supply Chain Officer Insights, and well illustrates how planning and execution must be better integrated at virtually every company.

From the report:

The captain and flight crew have a “flight plan” that includes the destination and how long the trip should take (the objective) and the basic path (the plan). However, as the plane moves towards its destination, wind, weight, and other factors will cause the airplane to veer off course.

The captain knows he is getting off course in real-time, because of the aircraft’s instrumentation systems (execution results). The plane is put back on course, and the system confirms that the correct path has been regained (plan adjusted).

Key to optimizing the trip and achieving the objectives is making frequent course corrections, rather than only correcting occasionally, meaning the plane could get way off course and as a result add significantly to the time and cost of the trip.

The full report is available here: Next Generation Supply Chain Management: Integrated Planning and Execution.


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