Modernizing supply chain planning: do you build or buy?

By Roger Singh, Global VP of Supply Chain Solutions, Vuealta

Roger Singh Headshot
By Roger Singh
5 min
Published: 23 February 2022
As organizations digitalize their planning capabilities, often the first major question they face is: “Do we build our own applications or buy off-the-shelf?”.  Though it’s very tempting to build your own applications that reflect the nature of your business, there are some very good reasons for buying industry solutions instead.  This is particularly the case with supply chain planning (SCP).

In areas like financial planning and analysis (FP&A), sales forecasting, and talent planning, building your own is an accepted approach.  By reflecting the way your business works and presenting data the way employees need to see it, build-it-yourself applications may fit adequately into day-to-day business operations.

In the world of supply chain planning, that’s far harder.  Supply chains are more complex, varied and time sensitive than ever.  They stretch across multiple disciplines and are global in nature.  And, as we’ve learned in recent months, agility is becoming the new watchword, as supply chains fitfully return to life after the COVID-19 pandemic.  Therefore, the complexities of building your own SCP applications are enormous – and that’s before a single line of code has been written.

It’s also worth considering the burdens that come with build-it-yourself applications generally.  Apart from needing a team of internal IT/development resources, the end user is responsible for specifying how the finished product should operate and look, reviewing and validating each iteration, and supporting it once launched while doing their full-time jobs.  Even then, the job isn’t complete.  For the applications to remain up-to-date and relevant to the business, end users must become product managers, selecting which new features to launch and when.  Thus, the cycle of development and launch rolls on but in reality, never materializes.

For strictly “in-house” applications, these factors may be reasonable trade-offs for a product that genuinely reflects the needs of the business.  In the world of SCP, they are burdens which add complexity, time, and cost – none of which are ideal in the fast-evolving world of supply chains.

Vuealta’s suite of Supply Chain Planning as a Service solutions (SCPaaS) aim to fast-track organizations towards agile, connected supply chain planning, without any of the overheads and risks of build-it-yourself applications.  Built on the industry-leading Anaplan platform and validated by the UK’s Cranfield School of Management, Vuealta’s SCP solutions reflect the requirements of a wide range of industries as well as latest best practices.

Our Supply Chain Planning suite completely reimagines the assortment of manual processes, disparate systems, and spreadsheets that reflect the IT landscape today.  We replace them with a single, collaborative planning suite, available to all participants, everywhere, powered by Anaplan’s public cloud platform.  Spanning Collaborative Demand Planning, Supply Planning, and Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), our solutions help minimize the “whiplash effect” of demand fluctuations and supply uncertainty, increase forecast accuracy, and boost the bottom line. 

We manage and oversee the deployment across your enterprise and trading partners and provide support globally.  Our offerings are continually updated to reflect the current needs of the marketplace with thought leadership. 

Most importantly, we can deploy quickly.  Deploying our SCP solutions typically takes a few months from initial briefing to launch.  And, if you’re already using Anaplan in your organization, our solutions can easily integrate seamlessly with your applications. 

Contact us if you’re interested in finding out more about Vuealta’s Supply Chain Planning Solutions.

Learn more about our SCPaaS vision in my explainer blog.