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The Spark Initiative advances to testing phase: pioneering outside-in supply chain planning

July 27, 2023


The Spark Initiative, a groundbreaking project aimed at exploring the business relevance and value proposition of outside-in concepts in supply chain planning, has officially entered the testing phase. OMP, a leading provider of supply chain planning solutions, will apply these concepts in real-world scenarios using actual data from industry leaders.

Guided by the Spark Advisory Board — composed of esteemed industry leaders, academics, and OMP experts — two promising use cases have been selected for testing. This significant milestone represents the initiative's progress toward the practical application of outside-in planning concepts.

Testing demand visibility and supply resilience

The first use case, in collaboration with one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, will examine demand visibility. By analyzing sources of demand latency, the bullwhip effect, and the value of early demand signals, this case aims to enhance decision-making for new product introductions and optimize the timing and volume of subsequent production runs.

The second use case involves partnering with a leading multinational consumer goods company to test raw material resilience. This initiative will address discrepancies between finished goods demand signals and raw materials market signals, with the goal of reducing latency and effectively managing supply and demand shocks. The ultimate objective is to enable the translation of demand flows and bi-directional orchestration for the procurement plan within the tactical planning horizon.


Joint project teams for practical application

Dedicated project teams, consisting of customer and OMP experts, have already started to plan the required testing steps for both use cases, analyzing the data, and considering how processes might have to change to improve collaboration. These teams will evaluate the practical application of these outside-in planning concepts and present their findings at the upcoming OMP Conference in Barcelona, September 27-28, 2023. During the conference, they will share valuable insights and best practices on how to incorporate outside-in planning concepts in supply chains.

“Through practical, real-life examples, the Spark use cases demonstrate to companies how they can bring outside-in planning concepts to life by making better use of available market data,” explains Bob Herzog, former P&G executive and member of the Spark Advisory Board. “This approach enables businesses to enhance their performance by reducing sensing time and minimizing the disruptive bullwhip effect in the supply chain. I'm eagerly anticipating the outcomes of these tests.”

"We’re thrilled to transition into the practical application of use cases for our valued customers,” says Jan Snoeckx, Associate Director of Innovation at OMP. “Grateful for the continuous support and enthusiasm of the advisory board, we look forward to collaborating with the customer teams to unlock the potential opportunities this initiative holds.” 

For more information about the Spark Initiative and its progress, visit the website.


Want to learn more about outside-in planning and its proven and potential benefits? Join the OMP Conference in Barcelona, September 27-28, 2023, where we’ll share with you the outcomes and conclusions of the Spark Initiative.


Paul Delbar, Senior Product Marketing Manager
Phone: +323 202 06 73
E-mail: pdelbar@omp.com

About OMP

OMP helps companies facing complex planning challenges to excel, grow and thrive by offering the best digitized supply chain planning solution on the market. Hundreds of customers in a wide range of industries - spanning consumer goods, life sciences, chemicals, metals, paper and packaging - benefit from using OMP’s unique Unison Planning™.