The Impact of Global Events on Supply Chains: Strategies for Building Resilience

10/30/23 4:07 PM

Supply chain managers face an unprecedented challenge: ensuring the resilience of their operations in the face of global events. From natural disasters and political turmoil to pandemics, the past decade has shown that supply chains can be severely disrupted, affecting manufacturers worldwide.

This blog explores the impact of global events on supply chains and looks into how manufacturers are adapting to ensure resilience, with a specific focus on the integration of advanced planning and scheduling solutions like PlanetTogether with ERP, SCM, and MES systems from key players such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Kinaxis, and Aveva.

The Evolving Supply Chain Landscape

The traditional view of a supply chain as a linear, step-by-step process from raw materials to finished goods is no longer sufficient. Today's supply chains are complex, global networks with interconnected components. A disruption in one part of the world can trigger a domino effect that reverberates throughout the supply chain.

Global events such as natural disasters, trade wars, and public health crises can impact supply chains in several ways:

Supply Chain Disruption: Events like natural disasters can damage manufacturing facilities, disrupt transportation networks, and impact the availability of raw materials.

Fluctuating Demand: A sudden increase or decrease in demand, as seen during the pandemic, can strain supply chains. Manufacturers must be agile enough to adjust production accordingly.

Logistics Challenges: Political conflicts and trade disputes can result in border closures, customs delays, and transportation bottlenecks.

Supply Chain Transparency: The need for real-time visibility and transparency in the supply chain becomes critical to respond quickly to unforeseen events.

How Manufacturers Are Adapting

To build resilient supply chains, manufacturers are embracing several strategies:

Diversification of Suppliers: Relying on a single source for crucial materials is risky. Manufacturers are diversifying their supplier base to reduce dependency on a single entity or region.

Inventory Optimization: Maintaining excess inventory is costly and inefficient. Manufacturers are implementing advanced inventory optimization techniques to strike a balance between reducing inventory holding costs and ensuring adequate buffer stock.

Enhanced Visibility: Real-time data and analytics are becoming the backbone of supply chain resilience. Manufacturers are investing in solutions that offer end-to-end visibility into their supply chains, helping them to identify potential disruptions early.

Scenario Planning: Manufacturers are developing and testing various scenarios to understand the potential impacts of global events. This allows them to prepare and respond effectively.

Collaboration and Integration: Integration between supply chain planning systems like PlanetTogether and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems (e.g., SAP, Oracle, Microsoft) is crucial. It enables seamless communication between planning and execution, allowing manufacturers to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.

The Role of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solutions are playing a pivotal role in ensuring supply chain resilience. They offer several benefits:

Demand Forecasting: APS tools use advanced algorithms to predict demand more accurately. By understanding future demand patterns, manufacturers can adjust their production schedules proactively.

Optimized Production Planning: APS solutions like PlanetTogether create production schedules that consider capacity constraints, material availability, and customer demand. This results in more efficient and agile production processes.

Real-Time Adjustments: With real-time data integration between APS and ERP systems, manufacturers can quickly adapt to changes in demand, supply, or production capabilities. This agility is crucial in the face of unforeseen events.

Integration with ERP, SCM, and MES Systems

The integration of APS solutions like PlanetTogether with ERP, SCM, and MES systems is a game-changer for supply chain resilience. Let's explore how this integration enhances adaptability and responsiveness:

Seamless Data Flow: Integration ensures that data flows seamlessly between planning and execution systems. This means that as soon as a change is made in the planning phase, it's reflected in real-time in the ERP system. This enables instant responses to disruptions.

Better Decision-Making: With a unified view of data from different parts of the supply chain, decision-makers can make more informed choices. This includes adjusting production schedules, allocating resources, and optimizing inventory levels.

Reduced Lead Times: Integration enables manufacturers to reduce lead times significantly. This, in turn, allows them to fulfill orders faster and respond swiftly to unexpected changes in demand or supply.

Improved Customer Service: Shorter lead times and the ability to adapt quickly contribute to improved customer service. Satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal, even when disruptions occur.

Key Players in Integration

Several major players in the APS, ERP, SCM, and MES spaces offer integration capabilities. Here's a brief look at some of them:

SAP: SAP's Integrated Business Planning (IBP) solution offers advanced planning and scheduling features that can seamlessly integrate with other SAP systems, providing a unified view of the supply chain.

Oracle: Oracle's Cloud SCM and Advanced Supply Chain Planning solutions enable tight integration between planning and execution, helping manufacturers respond rapidly to changing conditions.

Microsoft: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management offers APS features and tight integration with other Microsoft solutions, empowering manufacturers with real-time insights.

Kinaxis: Kinaxis RapidResponse is a supply chain planning platform that supports advanced planning and scheduling, ensuring rapid response to disruptions.

Aveva: Aveva's Manufacturing Execution System (MES) integrates well with APS solutions and provides a comprehensive view of manufacturing operations.


The impact of global events on supply chains cannot be underestimated. Manufacturers must adapt and build resilience into their supply chain processes to remain competitive and deliver consistent value to their customers. Integration between advanced planning and scheduling solutions like PlanetTogether and ERP, SCM, and MES systems from industry leaders like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Kinaxis, and Aveva is a critical step in achieving this resilience.

With the right strategies, tools, and a commitment to continuous improvement, manufacturers can navigate the uncertainties of our interconnected world and thrive in the face of adversity.

Topics: Demand Forecasting, PlanetTogether Software, Reduced Lead Times, Real-time Adjustments, Better Decision-Making, Integrating PlanetTogether, Seamless Data Flow, Optimized Production Planning, Improved Customer Service


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