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Best Practices

Tailoring Your Transformation for Global Market Success

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Published: Reading time: 3 minStijn-Pieter van Houten VP of Industry Solutions
Stijn-Pieter van HoutenVP of Industry Solutions

Rolling out a planning transformation across different markets presents a complex challenge, primarily due to the diverse needs and varying levels of maturity across regions. This blog explores strategies for managing these differences effectively, drawing inspiration from o9's approach and the analogy of building a winning sports team.

The challenge of diverse market needs

The task of implementing a supply chain planning platform or any transformation initiative across multiple markets is daunting. Each market has its unique characteristics, driven by specific requirements, consumer behaviors, regulatory environments, and levels of digital maturity. Acknowledging this diversity is the first step toward developing an approach that accommodates the varied landscape.

o9's 3-step approach

We tackle the challenge of diverse market needs through a methodical and structured approach, akin to assembling a sports team with players who possess a broad range of skills and expertise. This strategy ensures the team is well-equipped to handle any challenge it faces, mirroring how a business needs a flexible and adaptable supply chain planning solution.

  • 1.

    Creating market archetypes
    One effective strategy is the creation of market archetypes - categorizing markets as mature versus developing, for example. This categorization helps in understanding and mapping the business characteristics across different geographies and product categories to identify common denominators. For instance, determining which markets require a build-to-stock approach, have sell-in versus sell-out data, require Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), or have campaign planning needs.
  • 2.

    Incremental rollout based on common capabilities
    With a clear understanding of market-specific needs, o9 focuses on deploying common capabilities rapidly, while introducing specific capabilities incrementally. This approach allows for a more tailored implementation that respects the unique aspects of each market while leveraging efficiencies where possible.
  • 3.

    Governance model and template repository
    Supporting this strategy is a robust governance model and the development of a company-specific template repository. This repository, seeded from the relevant o9’s industry template, is then configured to meet specific market needs. It ensures a standard and secure rollout, offering local flexibility as required and allowing for adjustments based on market feedback and evolving needs.

Building a winning team

Just as a coach selects players with a variety of skills to address different challenges on the field, businesses need a strategy that can adapt to and address the myriad requirements across markets. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of versatility, strategic planning, and the ability to execute a game plan that accounts for the strengths and weaknesses of the team (or, in this case, the organization and its markets).


Successfully managing different needs across markets during a transformation is about recognizing diversity, understanding specific requirements, and adopting a flexible, tailored approach to implementation. o9's strategy - characterized by the creation of market archetypes, an incremental rollout plan, and the use of a template repository - offers a blueprint for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of global market variations. By viewing the challenge through the lens of building a winning sports team, organizations can appreciate the value of diversity, strategic planning, and the right mix of capabilities to achieve success across all markets.

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About the author

Stijn-Pieter van Houten VP of Industry Solutions

Stijn-Pieter van Houten

VP of Industry Solutions

Stijn-Pieter is VP of Industry Solutions at o9 Solutions. He has over 13-year consulting career in Supply Chain Strategy and Transformation and a keen interest in Planning and Control Tower topics.


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