Supply Chain Shaman

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Sales and Operations Planning: Putting the Pieces Together

Where has two years gone?  I have been working on a report on the evolution of S&OP technologies for the last two years.  Normally, a report is much quicker for me, but this one has been difficult, because of the many nuances.  There are three dynamics in play: the definitions of the basic process terms have changed, the technologies have improved, and the market is over-hyped by technology and consulting pundits. It has taken (even an old analyst gal like me) months to figure this out.
The report that I will publish next week is a guidebook on how to put the technologies together based on the process goal/maturity.  It has been reviewed by all the major technology providers and is designed to help line-of-business users architect their S&OP solution platforms.  There are many reasons why this is important, but the ones that came to the top in the research are listed below.
In qualitative interviews with 60 line of business supply chain leaders, when asked what is your focus for S&OP in 2011, the response was:

  • 90% of supply chains are grappling with skyrocketing costs and supply volatility.
  • 87% are struggling with the integration of business planning and supply chain planning technologies.
  • 85% of supply chains experienced a disruption.
  • 62% of companies have multiple S&OP processes.
  • Uniform frustration that industry progress on working capital has stalled.

There are several major shifts in the technologies:

  • Evolution of a S&OP Platform:  Recognition that there is a need for a S&OP platform for demand translation, mix analysis and analysis of differing units for volume (always amazed at how many different definitions of volume there are in an organization).  This also is evolving to connect the multiple S&OP processes together.
  • Change in how Planning is Done:  Movement from tight integration of demand and supply to the need for iterative analysis between demand, inventory, financial and supply modeling.
  • S&OP Execution:  Evolution of S&OP execution to tie planning to execution.
  • Better Analysis:  Deeper modeling and what-if capabilities.
  • Improved Visualization:  Better visualization of S&OP processes for the executive S&OP meetings.

To hear the webinar, click on the link  The slides are also available on slideshare at
What do you think?  I welcome your feedback.

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