There’s never been a more important time to transform your S&OP approach

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S&OP is perfectly positioned to bring cross functional stakeholders together

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There’s never been a more important time to transform your S&OP approach

At a time of constantly fluctuating consumer demand, ongoing business disruptions and increasingly volatile raw material prices, connected planning is rapidly becoming a must-have capability

To unleash maximum value from planning operations, organisations will need to embark on a comprehensive transformation. To bring benefits across the whole business and increase performance through better decision-making, focus on creating a connected, collaborative supply chain. With an eye on financial and business impact, the goal of S&OP is to enable executives to make better-informed decisions through a dynamic connection of plans and strategies across the business.

S&OP enables effective supply chain management and focuses the resources of an organisation on delivering what their customers need while staying profitable. It’s time to create new goals for S&OP, reinvent your S&OP processes, and invest in connected planning capabilities to drive business agility and growth.

  1. Realise the time is now for transformation: Today’s organisations should look very closely at what those companies did in recent times and learn from their best practices how to win in the turns. Maximise machine-learning forecasting algorithms using internal and external data sources, as well as the ability to ‘learn’ from historic demand patterns, to continually improve forecast accuracy and minimise manual planning.

  2. Laser focus planning to business outcomes: Planners must use forecasts to find pathways that guide the business to where it wants to go, not only plotting the best route, but also foreseeing potential blockers and how to navigate them. They should include real-time visibility and the early identification and rapid resolution of exceptions (ideally before they have an impact on customers or finances).

  3. Be the orchestrator of success: S&OP is perfectly positioned to bring cross-functional stakeholders together. They should align the different functions behind a common plan. Planning activities have traditionally been a supply chain topic. However, digital and advanced analytics are now unlocking the ability to make complex trade-offs among functions such as sales, production, and the supply chain that will become more critical in the coming years.

The new focus on resilience and sustainability is going to present S&OP managers with fresh choices and challenges as they reorient their production footprints to ones that will be more flexible and potentially even become regional. With so many moving parts, leaders cannot rely on spreadsheets alone to support agile decisions.

For further information, including practical tips for S&OP, download our guide


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