Category Archives: Sales and Operations Planning

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E2open Acquires Steelwedge. Impact on Market?

By | Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain | 2 Comments

This morning E2open announced the acquisition of Steelwedge for an undisclosed sum of money. Founded in 2000, Steelwedge was an innovator in Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) and was an early provider of cloud solutions for supply chain. I estimate that the company had annual sales of 30M$. Clients include Canon, Pfizer, HP Inc, Jaguar Land Rover, Lenovo, Nissan and Monsanto. When E2open called to tell me of the acquisition, they…

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S&OP: Five Steps to Get Started

By | Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain, Supply chain excellence, Supply Chain Performance Index, Supply chain planning | One Comment

It is Sunday. Today I assume a familiar position. Now a ritual, with coffee in one hand and country music blaring, I sit in my faded green chair to write a blog post. I have done this for seven years. This afternoon I am writing my 334th blog post. I will also pen my 95th report for this week’s Supply Chain Insights newsletter. We now reach 23,000 supply chain leaders…

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Integrated Planning: Is It Rubbish? Be Careful What You Ask For.

By | Big data supply chains, customer-centric supply chains, Demand, Inventory Management, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain | 4 Comments

On Sunday I spent the day at the Barnes Foundation with an old friend Karen. I love art museums, and connections with old friends are great for the soul. The Barnes Foundation is an incredible exposition of some of my favorite artists–Matisse, Modigliani, and Picasso. It was a good day. As Karen and I set out on foot, my legs, tired from ballet classes, and my body weary from a…

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S&OP Effectiveness: Recommendations to Make the Leap

By | Demand, Demand driven, Inventory Management, Sales and Operations Planning | No Comments

It is a beautiful fall day in Philadelphia. This afternoon I put the finishing touches on a new report, “What Is the Value Proposition for Sales and Operations Planning?”  I think it is the most complete assessment of the S&OP value proposition I have seen in the industry. It is always fun to write great research. I am so excited about it that I thought I would repurpose some of the…

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Trying to Throw a Light on Supply Chain Excellence

By | Demand, Sales and Operations Planning | 2 Comments

Yesterday morning I was sick. In the early morning, in a hotel room in Antwerp, I crawled to the bathroom and groaned as my body expelled what I think was food poisoning. The body is amazingly efficient in getting rid of what is making you sick. Feeling very green, I stumbled through the airport and found my way to my seat on the plane from Brussels to Philadelphia. <The joys of…

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Five Insights on Effective S&OP

By | Demand, Sales and Operations Planning | No Comments

An effective S&OP plan is the goal of many, but there is no clear industry definition of an effectiveness. While there are many maturity models, most are not research based. To better understand the characteristics of an effective S&OP plan, we just completed a study of 73 companies. In the quantitative survey completed this summer, 30 respondents rate their processes as effective and 43 rate the their S&OP processes as less effective on a…

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Eight Myths of S&OP Technology Selection

By | Demand, Market-Driven, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain | 2 Comments

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is in a renaissance. The reason? With growth slowing and complexity rising, S&OP is more important than ever. It is not sexy, and it requires hard work; but the greatest value of S&OP is profitable growth. The technology market is rife with unsubstantiated claims and myths.  Like a hammer looking for a nail, it seems like every vendor I meet now has an S&OP solution. It is…

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Planning Software: Insights on User Satisfaction

By | Demand, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain | One Comment

As a research analyst I am studying things which are incredibly difficult to measure. The topics may sound easy, but they are not. In my research I answer questions like: Which technology systems drive the greatest satisfaction? How satisfied are users with supply chain planning technologies? What drives the highest level of satisfaction? The answer to these questions requires the analysis of many factors. As a student of the social sciences,…

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Seven Mistakes to Avoid in Sales and Operations Planning

By | Demand, Sales and Operations Planning, Uncategorized | One Comment

Definition of a Mistake: An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong. Synonyms: Error, fault, blunder, oversight, miscalculation or a misunderstanding. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is important to building value chain agility and improving enterprise performance. (Agility is the ability to have the same performance in cost, quality, and customer service given a level of demand and supply volatility.) Most processes are over 15 years old; yet, only…

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S&OP: A Tough Nut to Crack

By | Market-Driven, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain Excellence | 3 Comments

Idiom – A Tough Nut to Crack: A problem that is very difficult to solve. Cambridge Dictionary Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is over 30 years old. I have been studying it as a researcher for 15 years. With the rise of the global multinational, S&OP increased in importance as a way to align and drive organizational balance. In parallel, as shown in the attached infographic, challenges to do it well increased. Companies…

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