54% of Supply Chain Professionals Believe Their Planning Process is Only Somewhat Effective

New research by AIMMS shows 54% of professionals in the industry believe their supply chain planning process is only “somewhat effective.”


New research by AIMMS shows 54% of professionals in the industry believe their supply chain planning process is only “somewhat effective. The survey, which was launched in February this year, coincided with the spread of COVID-19, offering insight into organizations’ preparedness to respond to ongoing disruption. More than 300 professionals participated in the research. Respondents work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, logistics, food and beverages, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and business services. Most have supply chain, purchasing and demand planning functions. Regions represented in the research include North and South America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.  

Perceptions of planning effectiveness 

More than half of survey respondents said their planning process was “somewhat effective,” regardless of the technology used. A combined 28% stated that their planning process was “very effective” or “extremely effective.” 15% said their process was “not so effective,” and 2% said it was “not at all effective.” 


When it comes to accuracy in long-term planning, 52% are looking to attain enough accuracy to make a resilient decision, while 22% don’t have enough time for long-term planning. 26% are looking to attain the same level of accuracy for short and long-term planning. However, accuracy in long-term planning is increasingly difficult to attain. 

Accuracy in the short-term and resilience in the long run is key to uphold service levels. Yet, for 31% of respondents, upholding service levels is a constant challenge given the chaos they face day-to-day. 

There is a clear need to advance planning capabilities  

The research shows that there are several factors hindering teams’ ability to advance their planning capabilities. Besides lacking a formal commitment to this purpose, many are still using spreadsheets, which are error-prone and difficult to collaborate on. Only 17% make use of scenarios in real-time, during meetings, to agree on a course of action.  

Organizations that have incorporated scenario planning into their process may be better prepared to cope with today’s scope of disruption and growing uncertainty. For those who have not advanced their planning capabilities, weathering the storm of events like the coronavirus pandemic, and preparing for the next disruption, may not be as easy. 

Our purpose was to discover how supply chain professionals rate their planning process’ maturity and what percentage of them are familiar with scenario-based planning,” says Chris Gordon, VP & Product Lead for SC Navigator at AIMMS. In these troubling times, we hope the insights in our research will provide key improvement points for supply chain teams that want to recover quickly and prepare for a resilient future.”