Seeing Past The Nouns

What do battery operated lawnmowers, $1B of crop protection annual R&D and making chemical drum orders on your iPhone have in common? More than you would think, says Maria Simos, CEO of

All of these things have been used as examples of how the world's leading companies are working to improve their supply chain planning and forecasting process at this year's IBF Supply Chain Planning and Forecasting Best Practices Conference in Orlando Florida. All you have to do is see past the nouns and look to the processes, which are much more the same than you'd think.

During all of the sessions at the best practices conference, speakers and attendees have shared important takeaways from their company's attempts to improve their bottom line by bringing more efficiency and collaboration into their sales and operations planning (S&OP) and forecasting functions.

During the S&OP Workshop led by Andy Coldrick of, Rick Ling of Demand Technologies and Mike Wilson of Syngenta, the conversation started with this simple statement: Everybody agrees on a number for one hour a month.

That shouldn't be the case. There is a need to understand different views. Why are different functions coming up with different numbers? What are the assumptions they are using? It is important to understand the assumptions because they are the real story behind the number.

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