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Category: S&OP

End spreadsheet chaos, bridge supply and demand silos, and achieve new levels of collaboration as we deliver advice and tactics on Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP).

Understanding the Goal of Executive Sales and Operations Planning Tools

Executive Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) has several moving parts, including data collection, demand planning, production (supply) planning, reconciliation, and executive meeting. Understanding the benefits of S&OP, and the software used to facilitate all those moving parts, will help companies [...]

Is Your Sales Department MIA?

After decades of S&OP, sales people still aren't involved in the S&OP process in most companies. They don't seem to show up to S&OP seminars or conferences, and you rarely see their names on the bi-lines of blogs or social [...]

The Difference Between S&OP and Budgeting & Why It Matters

The easiest analogy to understand the difference between sales and operations planning and budgeting is to think of your business as a football game. Before the start of a game, the coaches will devise a plan, comprised of various plays, [...]

Part 2: S&OP Kick Off Guide

Part 1 of this series talked about essential requirements for people and processes to ensure successful S&OP. Part 2 explores how S&OP leaders, and the teams who support them, must understand the business they are in. It's imperative to understand [...]

The purpose of S&OP for CEOs

S&OP has been around for decades, but is especially relevant today as a practical way to navigate today’s unpredictable global marketplace. As commerce becomes increasingly dependent on data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital technology, a S&OP process map not [...]

Best of the Best Conference Highlights: S&OP Maturity Brings Balance

Sales and operational planning (S&OP) is not a new concept. Organizations have been relying on this discipline for decades to balance forecasting, supply/demand planning, and operational delivery. What is happening now is people, processes, and tools have matured—and some are [...]

Tips for S&OP Implementation & Sustainability

These are the essential criteria for successful S&OP, that will both facilitate its implementation and sustainability. Did you know that only one third of sales and operation initiatives wind up adding true value? In this S&OP Kickoff Guide, you'll get [...]

From Excel Spreadsheets to Robust Cloud S&OP Software: Why CFOs Are Trading Up

You can almost hear a group of employees saying it: “But that’s the way we’ve always done things!” It’s the legacy thinking siren song, but spend any time at all doing a gap analysis on S&OP processes and you’ll see [...]

Chewy Supply Chain Demand Planning Conversations

Chewy. What exactly is a "chewy" supply chain conversation? This particular example from Patrick Bower, senior director of global supply chain planning and customer service for Combe, is specific to consumer packaged goods, but the lessons within apply to just [...]

How to Show Supply Chain Forecast Accuracy for Commercial Buy-in

There are several key ways to get Commercial’s buy-in into the S&OP process, not the least of which is to show sales and demand forecast accuracy as a cause-and-effect relationship. Calculations and formulas are sometimes off-putting to those who are [...]

Building Strategic S&OP Capabilities

Some of the failures of S&OP deployment happen in the early months of execution. However, engagement and support for the process also diminishes over time, slowly eroding its value to the point where it is no longer a key process [...]

K.I.S.S. Your Complicated S&OP Goodbye

Is your S&OP process too complicated? If so it’s time to KISS that headache good-bye. A sales and operations planning (S&OP) process should simplify and streamline the company, not add additional complications. If this is not your reality, it’s time [...]

Planning at a Crossroads

Planning took center stage at the Best of the Best S&OP conference in June 2017. Pamela Lindsey, director of global supply chain operations for Ciena, talked about the job of linking supply, demand and revenue. Pete Alle, VP of supply [...]

The 3 Pillars of Effective Sales and Operations Plans

If you’re like most companies, unpredictable demand is a big challenge. It affects nearly everything you do: promotions, pricing, inventory management, supplier management, production/distribution management, and profitability analysis. The problem is getting everyone on the same page, especially if that [...]

How to Minimize the Bullwhip Effect with Strategic S&OP

You are likely familiar with the “bullwhip effect,” which refers to increasing swings in inventory as you try to meet shifting customer demands the deeper you move into the supply chain. The largest “wave” of the whip hits the supplier [...]

Are Your Sales Forecasts as Effective as They Could Be?

You may think your sales and operations planning is fairly accurate. You have an idea about customer demand based on what has occurred over the past month and you’ve put the appropriate inventory in place to meet those demands. Unfortunately, [...]

3 Questions to Ask as you Prepare for an S&OP meeting

Have you ever figured out a problem on your own, just by asking yourself the right questions? Have you ever had that boss or mentor that guides you on the right path by asking questions rather than just giving you answers? [...]

Are Product Reviews part of your S&OP Process?

Do you review your product portfolio on a regular basis? Understanding the profitability or potential profit-loss, demand behaviors, life-cycle management, new product introduction, and different pricing strategies of your products is extremely important. The cross-functional collaboration between departments that the [...]

Sales Forecasting, Honesty is the best Policy?

Were you ever told as a child, "Honesty is the best policy?" My mother lived by this rule, "Always tell the truth! No exceptions!" she would say.  But of course, she had her exceptions, she once told me, "If I ask [...]

Unconstrained Forecast or Constrained Forecast? Why do they matter?

When it comes to Sales and Operations Planning,  stakeholders at all levels can sometimes find it hard to understand different concepts and the important underlying strategy involved. One of the most important topics I have found in the S&OP process [...]

Sales and Operations Planning versus Budgeting, is there a difference? Does it matter?

There is often confusion between the sales and operations planning and budgeting processes. The root cause of the confusion is that traditionally, budgeting is done annually and is rarely if ever changed throughout the year. We have seen this most often [...]
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