Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) Best Practice – Says Who?

Who defines and says what are best practices? The person speaking? The loudest voice? The person with the most expensive shoes? The person with the most impressive degree? Maybe it is the highest paid consultant?

We hired a consulting group and have implemented what we believe to be a best practice. In April 2009 we began the "Best Practice" S&OP process. At times, I felt like a small team attempting to lead our organization up a hill and when we turned around, no one was there.

Here are a few of the lessons we learned through it all:

  • Collaboration is one of the key components of S&OP.  We saw how having it paid big dividends, and without it we were stuck in the mud.
  • What does it mean to have an angel at the top?  We found out first hand.  You can't do without it.
  • Everyone speaks a different language.  It's extremely important to bridge the gaps to ensure everyone is on the same page and speaks the same language