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Touchless supply chain planning – deployment


Frictionless planning models leverage a target operating model that takes advantage of the organization’s global resources and capabilities, connecting them to achieve a truly touchless process.

In the first two articles in this short series, I’ve looked at the challenges of present-day supply chain planning, at the benefits of a frictionless model, and at how it differs from current approaches. In this, the third and final article, we’re going to explore deploying frictionless planning across the extended enterprise.

Why focus on deployment? Because in this case, it’s likely to be particularly demanding: in a major enterprise, the links in a supply chain extend over many functional and geographical areas, and there are many stakeholders.

Why focus on deployment? Because in this case, it’s likely to be particularly demanding: in a major enterprise, the links in a supply chain extend over many functional and geographical areas, and there are many stakeholders.

What’s needed is a target operating model that can take advantage of the organization’s worldwide resources and capabilities, connecting them to achieve a truly frictionless process. It’s a model that has three building blocks.

#1: Plan

For an extended global enterprise, supply chain plans need to be dynamic, in order to respond to changing conditions while remaining cost-effective. A consolidated planning hub, built on an optimized and dynamic technology platform, can develop these plans from end to end, globally and touchlessly. The hub can ensure:

  • That plans are generated to a system that has regional or global scale
  • That the parameters in the system to generate those plans are optimal and fine-tuned
  • That the correct system technology is used and up to date.

#2: Connect

Also a key part of the model is a team within the market that is focused on business partnering, collaboration with stakeholders and plan adoption. Its members harness local and global knowledge and skills in order to create demand, to put plans into action, and to ensure there is flexibility in the response.

Working with vendors, partners and the wider supply chain and commercial organization, and providing feedback to the consolidated planning hub, they:

  • Provide inputs and feedback to the planning hub to improve plan accuracy
  • Ensure the market adopts the plans provided by the planning hub
  • Provide a seamless flow of information between different stakeholders, so they can collaborate to create and fulfil demand.

#3: Sustain

Making a success of supply chain planning isn’t a one-time fix. The third building block is the creation and maintenance of a culture of innovation, to drive continuous improvement. This includes rapid proofs-of-concept to test new ideas, the development of collaborative ideas with industry and academia, a strong governance structure to manage innovations, and establishing a principle of innovation-as-a-service.

Capgemini’s own Applied Innovation Exchange provides a robust framework in which the momentum behind innovation of this kind can be maintained. It comprises elements that enable organizations to:

  • Discover – discover sector pivots, explore new business models, immerse in emerging technology, and define action plans to drive change
  • Devise – rapidly build, test, and learn – experiment with emerging concepts to test value for the business
  • Deploy – scale innovation to deliver enterprise-grade business outcomes across the organization’s entire portfolio
  • Sustain – create structures for innovation (such as funding model and governance) or deliver innovation as a service.

Preparing the ground

By definition, target operating models are a destination – which means there is also a starting point. No global enterprise commits to a frictionless supply chain model from a clean sheet: there are legacy processes and technology platforms to consider and address.

Capgemini offers architectures and approaches that help with this transition. For example, our Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM) platform is a ready-to-deploy database of processes and operational best practices to fast-track the transformation journey, and our ESOAR methodology (eliminate, standardize, optimize, automate, robotize) streamlines current operations, redirecting resources from repetitive tasks towards higher-value business activities and establishing new levels of best practice.

Getting started

We saw in the previous article how all this delivers tangible results to major real-world enterprises. Here’s another example: an industrial company active in aerospace and home/building technologies had de-centralized planning processes, some of them automated, some manual. Multiple systems were being used for different aspects of planning.

By streamlining operations and bringing them together in a single, enterprise-wide process, the organization achieved on-time-to-customer request levels of over 90%; past-due customer orders of under 2%; a reduction in inventory levels of 40%; and improvements in asset cross utilization of 30%.

If the frictionless approach to supply chain planning that I’ve been discussing in these articles is of interest to you, please get in touch It can make a competitive difference to major businesses – a difference that isn’t just real and immediate, but one that will also scale and flex to meet new challenges, including those we can’t yet even imagine – because that, after all, is the way it’s always been in the supply chain.

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Touchless Supply Chain Planning can transform your organization to drive enhanced customer experience and reduced cost, contact: and

Sandip Sharma is a Senior Director and leads Capgemini’s Business Services end-to-end Touchless Supply Chain Planning capability. He also works with clients to create compelling transformation solutions and services to design, run, and evolve their supply chain operations.

Shaun Cheyne is a Director at Capgemini Invent and leads the UK’s Consumer Products Supply Chain capability. He works with clients to enhance business value through supply chain transformation from strategy to implementation.