Today customers are ever more demanding, and the supply chain is ever more complex with omni-channel selling from multi-channel supply sources. Companies need to be ‘Demand Driven’. All distributors and manufacturers have to respond quickly to customers – with some allowing you to order up to midnight for delivery the following day. But the costs of doing so in terms of flexibility and inventory can be very high if you are not in control

In addition, you need to have systems which support instant decision-making to enable you to know what you can promise when. That means you need accurate data. Many of our clients suffer from inaccurate data, and end up using multiple spreadsheets based around multiple sets of numbers.

In this course we will show you how to get control, give customers what they want and when they want it with the optimum levels of inventory and cost. You will improve profitability and cash flow.


This course covers the whole supply chain planning and execution process from creating a demand plan to creating partnerships with suppliers based on clear visibility. It shows how to use the system to create stability and how to use it to solve problems. It shows the processes which should be followed to ensure optimum levels of service. It also shows the behaviours required from all functions to make sure that they focus on the customer.

The Need for a Demand Plan

All business must have a robust demand plan and we illustrate how a sales forecast should become a demand plan based on robust assumptions. More importantly, we show how the demand should be managed through techniques for recognising abnormal demand, to the development of a policy for managing abnormal demand.

Master Scheduling

Master Scheduling is the process which manages the supply plan to ensure the right amount of stability balanced against the optimum amount of flexibility. In a manufacturing environment it needs to be linked both to the Material Requirements Plan and the Capacity Plan to make sure it is valid. Capacity should be based on demonstrated capacity. If the Master Schedule is valid then customers can be given a reliable promise based on ‘Available to Promise’ calculations. The Master Schedule is a key role which is not understood or respected in many organisations and we illustrate the central role that this person plays in an organisation in balancing manufacturing requirements and sales and marketing needs.


With a valid plan, a business can spend more time on managing procurement strategically, ensuring the right balance between getting things at the lowest possible cost and ensuring that purchasing is carried out at lowest possible acquisition cost. A World Class organisation should maximise the use of vendor schedules to drive purchase requirements without the need for purchase orders. Fundamental to a world class supply chain is the establishment of strategic genuine partnerships where partners maximise their value-added contribution in the supply chain.

Lean and Six Sigma

No company is going to carry on being World Class unless it has a continuous improvement culture. We show how to get a picture of where value is added in the supply chain and how to eliminate waste using standard tools like Lean and Six Sigma.


We explore the tools and techniques which you can use to ensure that you hold minimum inventory while maximising service, with practical examples of how this has been achieved with other clients.

Who should attend?

CEOs, Managing Directors, Finance Directors, Operations Directors, Supply Chain directors, Supply Chain managers, Procurement directors and managers, project leaders and team members who are wanting to achieve world class levels of customer service without it costing the earth!

How will the company benefit?

The company will increase sales through a better reputation for service and reduce cost and inventory using well-tried proven techniques. Data will be more accurate leading to less firefighting and panics. This will lead to reduction of unnecessary expenditure.

As a result the company will gain a real improvement in customer service, which will lead to increased sales – normally around 2%. In addition, clients typically achieve 15 – 30% less inventory.

What will I learn?

  • Why your business needs a World Class Supply Chain
  • The steps required to set up a process that delivers optimum customer service
  • How to create and manage a valid plan with which to drive an accurate promise for customers
  • How to get accurate data
  • How to use tools and techniques like Lean and Six Sigma to drive down waste and cost
  • How to reduce inventory and save the company money
  • The organisational importance of the role of Master Scheduling.


Course Leaders

Richard Watkins

Managing Director

Richard was part of a team in ICI Agrochemicals [now Syngenta] which implemented ‘MRP II’ and achieved Class ‘A’ across the word. The team improved Customer Service to > 98% and reduced inventory by 27%. They implemented the first Global Sales and Operations Planning process. Syngenta still operates the same process today. Read More

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