Once a company has the right assets in place and has them deployed in the right markets, the challenge becomes ensuring that the assets are actually used in the most profitable way to deliver the company’s products and services. Operations Planning drives the ultimate performance of the business by integrating demand-side and supply-side operating decisions:
The objective of Operations Planning is to deliver the right products or services at the right time to the right customers given the actual day-to-day market demand and the corresponding day-to-day availability of production and delivery capacity. Variability in market and competitive conditions can significantly impact the short-term demand for a company’s products. In addition, changes in production or service delivery capacity such as unplanned equipment outages or disruptions in supply can significantly impact the ability to effectively serve customers. Cascade explicitly integrates current knowledge of the market and of the production and delivery capacity to determine the most profitable execution.
- Demand-side - profitably managing the actual customer transactions for the company’s products or services.
- Supply-side - profitably producing and delivering the specific products or services that customers desire.
One particularly effective way to address Operations Planning in the context of unexpected, short-term events is to integrate it with a tactical plan. Using this approach, Cascade develops tools and business processes to help clients systematically respond as short-term business conditions inevitably vary from plan. The tactical plan ensures optimal asset deployment under “business as usual” conditions and provides a consistent starting point for Operations Planning. Using this baseline, the operational tools and processes provide the most profitable response to changes in either market demand or available capacity. This linkage ensures that such operational planning decisions ultimately keep our clients on track to meeting their longer term business goals.
Responding Profitably to Changing Business Conditions
Cascade worked with Polar Air Cargo to develop a revenue management system and supporting processes to help Polar select the most profitable mix of opportunities for its global network. The collaboration focused equally on developing appropriate forecasting and optimization tools and on improving the tactical decision process to apply the tools effectively and increase discipline and accountability. |