Push planning

In retail distribution supply chains it is pretty common to have occasional supply available that needs to be pushed in the stores, even in the absence of any forecast demand. Typical examples are 1) a special seasonal promotion gadget to be distributed across the stores, or 2) a container with a one-of special item has arrived and its content needs to be put on display in the shops as soon as possible.

The traditional approach of planning forecasted demand across the supply chain doesn’t apply for this specific items. No reliable forecast can be generated for the items, and we just want to distribute the available supply in the network.

The activate the push planning mode in frePPLe you need:

  • The parameter plan.solver needs to be set to ‘distribution’.
  • The field push property on the item distributions needs to be populated with the proportional weight of each possible destination where excess supply is pushed towards.
  • The inventory planning parameter push mode needs to be set to ‘true’ for the applicable item+location combinations. This can be edited directly in the inventory planning parameters table or through a business rule

Example

Excel spreadsheet push-planning

This example where inventory is pushed two levels down the network:

  • First, the inventory and a confirmed purchase order are pushed from the main DC to DC 1 (66%) and DC 2 (33%).
  • The supply arriving in DC 1 is immediately distributed equally across stores 1A and 1B.
  • The supply arriving in DC 2 is immediately distributed equally across stores 2A and 2B.

The inventory report is a convenient place to get an overview of the results. In the screenshot below you can see how both the inventory of 200 pieces in the main distribution centre and a confirmed purchase order of 1000 pieces are all ending up on the shelves in the stores.

Notice the absence of any sales order or forecast in this example.

Push planning results