It’s summer. You’re planning a big road trip. You’ve consulted maps, charted a route, marked off places to refuel your car, grab a quick bite to eat, maybe use the restroom. You’ve maybe even planned a few alternate routes in case of road construction or other disruptions, and you’ve even simulated your route using GPS, Google Maps, or some other smart mapping platform. And in doing so, you’ve worked ahead of time to ensure the most pleasureable road trip experience and to troubleshoot any potential issues with getting from point A to point B.
You might be asking: What does planning a road trip have to do with manufacturing or global supply chain management? The answer is simple: The ability to successfully plan an undisrupted road trip is not entirely dissimilar to creating table and efficient planned production programs to meet customer demand in a timely manner. Especially in short and mid-term planning, manufacturing companies have to account for the ability to receive orders, allocate resources and production sites, ensure inventory, and meet delivery timetables, all based on a number of rules and restraints in the production cycle.