That Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a critical business process is
no longer in doubt. Today, surveys after surveys indicate the rising adoption of S&OP across all industries, with almost 80% of companies reporting to have some version of an S&OP process[i]. That in itself is a good thing. As much as I fear piling onto something so over-played and over-exposed, a recent survey about S&OP technology motivated me to pick up my pen.
According to Supply Chain Trend – A S&OP-focused blogpost, more than 40% of companies responding to a recent survey cited the lack of technical / system capabilities and data accuracy/integrity as the primary roadblock to successfully implementing S&OP [ii]. This is despite companies on average spending over 70% of their S&OP budget on investments in technology according to Supply Chain Management Review [iii].
This mis-match between the continual investment in S&OP technology and the perennial technical problems in successfully implementing S&OP is dis-heartening. Consulting and software companies can sometimes market things too well leading to such performance gaps and their clients failing to meet their S&OP performance goals despite spending significant $$$s.
To help address this gap, my advice to anyone in the market for S&OP capability is: look for one platform to handle both the S side and the OP side of S&OP, focusing on both the data and the plan integrity. You need an integrated supply chain planning platform that can optimize the entire value chain of your business: from demand planning to inventory optimization, to production or procurement planning, and to fulfillment and transportation. At the risk of sounding like a Zen master, only by layering the S&OP process on top of a unified supply chain planning platform will you achieve “oneness” of data, visibility, plans and, therefore, the benefits of better supply chain decisions.
Consider these 3 points to help me make my case:
Solvoyo clients pay fraction of the integration and on-boarding costs of traditional S&OP implementations due to its unified data model, providing access to a single platform with all planning technology to support both the simplest and the most advanced S&OP processes: demand planning, supply planning, demand-supply reconciliation with multiple financial objectives, prioritized fulfillment, optimal transportation and tracking/reporting of supply chain KPIs that matter.
So, look for “oneness” in your S&OP technology, and don’t let your money fall through the gaps in data integration and S&OP platform functions.
[i] Putting Together the Pieces: The S&OP Technology Landscape in 2015 by Supply Chain Insight. http://supplychaininsights.com/putting-together-the-pieces-the-sop-technology-landscape-in-2015/
[ii] The S&OP Pulse Check 2015 By Supply Chain Trend. https://supplychaintrends.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/supply-chain-trend-sop-pulse-check-2015.pdf
[iii] S&OP: Power To The People By Bob Trebilcock. http://www.scmr.com/article/sop_power_to_the_people
[iv] Putting Together the Pieces: The S&OP Technology Landscape in 2015 by Supply Chain Insight. http://supplychaininsights.com/putting-together-the-pieces-the-sop-technology-landscape-in-2015/