How do you become a scenario planning expert?

Plan A or Plan BWhat if:

You lost one of your biggest clients tomorrow?

A product launch had to be delayed?

One of your suppliers hit a bottleneck?

Would you know what to do?

A lot of people wouldn’t. A scenario planning expert would.

When Dr. Freek Aertsen co-hosted a Quintiq webinar with Dr. Michiel Jansen on scenario planning towards effective S&OP, he asked participants how often they conducted scenario planning. 24% of respondents did very little or none at all. 48% only conducted scenario planning when discussing changes in demand versus forecast.

These numbers are reflective of industry averages. Given how vital scenario planning is to a company’s stability and profitability, I’m always surprised at these results. Supply chains are complex. If, for example, one of your suppliers is suddenly unable to provide what you need, it is essential to have a plan in place so you don’t lose any revenue or customers. Most people agree with this, so what’s stopping them from including scenario planning in their sales and operations planning (S&OP) process?

Dr. Aertsen explained that it usually comes down to three things:

  • companies lack the correct tools,
  • they feel it’s too complex
  • and they think they don’t have the time.

I was even more surprised to hear that, because there are scenario planning tools out there. These tools are designed to both handle complexity and save time. No one is expected to conduct scenario planning with a pen and paper. We invented computers to make our lives easier. Let’s use them!

The good news is that if you are not an expert yet, you don’t need to go to Scenario Planning University to become one. Scenario planning is a logical, hands-on process. You learn by doing, so start now. Use the technology at your disposal to conduct scenario planning on a regular basis and you’ll soon become someone who can identify uncertainties, determine their impact, and then apply the appropriate actions. You’ll be an invaluable asset to your company and, best of all, easily answer questions posed in my blog posts.

Interested in learning more? Listen to forecasting and demand planning experts Dr. Freek Aertsen and Dr. Michiel Jansen as they share the latest insights on scenario planning towards effective S&OP.

Stay tuned for the next S&OP webinar: Closing the Loop on 25 September, 2014. More details coming soon!

Ilka Schulte

About Ilka Schulte

Why do I enjoy working at Quintiq? The global, open atmosphere and a diverse group of people to work with every day! Based in Düsseldorf, I’m passionate about Marketing and world travel (who isn’t?). I also embrace the challenge of increasing Quintiq’s awareness through professional marketing activities that leave a lasting impression: another reason why I love what I do!