Executive S&OP: Practical Thinking

Often the biggest obstacles to S&OP excellence stems from complexity: difficulty gathering data, too many meetings, a hard-to-govern process, or difficulty analyzing key data.

“The change in thought process has to be focused on the activity that provides the greatest impact toward reaching corporate goals and strategic alignment”, says Karin Bursa, Vice President at Logility, a provider of collaborative supply chain management solutions.

“Additionally, understanding the role of finance in S&OP and integrating it into the process is critical to fully understand the impact of forecasting sourcing, inventory, postponement, production, and other pivotal business strategies.”

So, while S&OP helps develop a plan and set priorities to maintain this focus, real success flows from practical thinking, guided by three principles: make it easy to implement, make it easy to execute, and make it easy to sustain.

“The monthly S&OP process aggregates results from connected and recurring planning processes. It allows executives to assess trade-offs between many interdependent business components: demand and market opportunities, customer service, inventory investments, production capabilities, supply availability, and distribution concerns.”

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