PlanBuilder was developed out of the needs of a
major equipment manufacturer that was adopting a
"Replenishment Pool" inventory model to
serve the needs of their retail partners. In the
evaluation of their needs, a system was designed
to serve almost any type of industry that works
in Replenishment Model of Supply Chain.
PlanBuilder is a multi part system. The PlanBuilder
client is a Windows application that is installed
on a Field Sales Representatives Laptop computer.
The database on the client synchronizes it's local
database with the PlanBuilder Server that we will
discuss shortly. The synchronization is a quick
"One Click" automated process the the
field rep would initialize whenever they are connected
to the Internet or the companies Intranet. It utilizes
standard FTP protocols or a dedicated TCP/IP protocol
if security is a concern. The downloaded data from
the server includes:
- Multi year Sales History for each retail partner
in the Field Rep's territory
- Revolving 12 month Sales History
- Two year previous and current Year to Data
Sales Data and overall Industry data, if it's
- Current revolving 12 month "Business Plan"
and "Inventory Plan" for each Partner
- Base Products available for planning with availability
dates and the ability to "Build" SKU's
from a database driven "Accessory List"
The workflow would be a Field rep would download
to his or her laptop, the current updates from the
PlanBuilder Server. They would then work with the
retail partner reviewing the product line, sales
history, industry trends and objectives to develop
an overall "Business Plan". This is a
rolling 12 month sales plan for the entire product
line. This "commitment" is then transferred
to the "Detail Inventory" Plan. This is
where the retail partner forecasts their desired
monthly inventory levels for each SKU, including
it's associated accessories or options. The agreed
plan is printed for the retail partner and the data
is saved. The next time the field representative
is connected to the Internet or Intranet, the Agreed
to Plan is transmitted to the PlanBuilder Server.
On the Server side, The system constantly monitors
for incoming Plan data. That data can be sent via
standard e-mail as attachments or using dedicated
TCP/IP Ports. When data is received the Retail Partners
Business and Detail Inventory Plans are updated.
On a scheduled basis, the Server generates a flexible
variety of reports, including the "Replenishment
Report". This data, which can be in electronic
form as well as a report, is used to "trigger"
replenishments to a Retail Partner. By monitoring
a partners current inventory level and comparing
it with the "Planned Inventory Level"
for the SKU, units can be shipped to maintain the
desired stocking level.
Additionally, The data contained in the PlanBuilder
Server can be used for production forecasting, Inventory
management of the Replenishment Pool. "Roll
ups" are provided for Field managers as well
as any other level of
organization you choose. From Zip code, to State
to East/West to National, all the way to Global,
PlanBuilder will accommodate it. It will show a
manager how a territory is performing, the level
of participation in the Replenishment Planning process.
Inventory Budgeting is also supported. A "Production
Budget" for a territory can be set which will
give a manager an overview of how accurately Production
Forecasting is predicting future demand.