UT White Paper: Strategic and Tactical Planning Vital to Supply Chain Success

April 18, 2019


In a world of increasingly complex supply chains, truly successful companies must learn to adhere to detailed planning that focuses on the integration of supply and demand plans both at strategic and tactical levels. A new white paper from the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, “End-to-End Supply Chain Planning Framework and Key Concepts,” advocates for the central role of planning in global supply chains.

“Supply chain complexity has increased exponentially over the past several decades, necessitating new approaches to effective planning,” says Mike Burnette, associate director of the Global Supply Chain Institute and an author of the study. “Planning math may be simple, but supply chain professionals face a significant challenge from the sheer volume of transactions that take place on any given day. Implementing continuous improvement throughout the system is critical, and our paper provides insight into the real-life methods of increasing speed and efficiency.”

The paper includes a supply chain planning framework and system model, as well as real-world examples, planning maxims, a case study and a review of emerging issues in the field. The paper’s supply chain planning framework is divided into five phases: design, strategic, business, operations and execution planning. These phases each address: materials, production, delivery, sales and consumption. Top leadership should set strategy based on this matrix to deliver long-term shareholder value, the paper contends.

The planning system model described in the paper is based on data collected by the GSCI about best-in-class companies and places the consumer at the top of the model. It demonstrates how companies can optimize end-to-end supply chain value.

“With issues emerging such as big data and artificial intelligence driving total value, web-based ERP systems, an increased speed of business, externally-based customer service metrics and international tariffs and politics, companies are well-advised to adopt these frameworks and key concepts for end-to-end planning,” says co-author Chad Autry, head of the Department of Supply Chain Management and FedEx Corporation Endowed Professor of Supply Chain.

“End-to-End Supply Chain Planning Framework and Key Concepts” is the third in the GSCI’s Supply Chain Strategy Series.  Bush Brothers and Company sponsored the paper.

Contributing editors include: Ted Stank, the Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business, Mary Holcomb, Gerald T. Niedert Professor of Supply Chain Management, Shay Scott, executive director of the GSCI, and Matt Burnette. Fallon Reeves provided research assistance.