Planning is essential for business management, but by really embracing it and getting into a planning mindset you can figure out innovative, improved strategies across all segments of your company.

Developing a planning mindset can be invaluable to not only planners but also to any supply chain management employee/ leader. When I refer to planning, I mean planning from multiple perspectives: production planning, raw material planning, project planning, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning), financial planning and budgeting etc.

I find that developing a plan is more than half the battle. If you are part of a team, it provides a way for everyone to be on the same page. Who should do what and when? What sequence should we follow? Are there dependencies?

It also allows for the optimizing of several variables. For example, a production plan should minimize inventory levels, maximize service levels and provide the best opportunity for increased efficiencies and reduced cost. Most plans optimize resources, costs and risks.

Even if you are developing a plan for only you to follow, it can be vital to success. It requires putting thought in upfront. Do not overanalyze; however, put in appropriate thought for the criticality of the topic. Have you thought through potential roadblocks that could arise?

Have you heard of the PDCA model? (Plan, do, check, act) The most successful put time in upfront – it yields significant results.