Delivering on the S&OP Promise for the 21st Century—Effective, Efficient, Integrated
Given ever-mounting economic and business pressures, it's no surprise that many companies are turning to their sales and operations planning (S&OP) process to improve their financial and operations performance.
Today's reasons for needing S&OP are the very same reasons S&OP needs to evolve. While the end objective of operational and financial alignment remains the same, in an environment of volatility and complexity, how you achieve that alignment (and maintain it) is very different than before.
In a large enterprise with a complex supply chain, S&OP process improvement can be difficult to achieve using spreadsheets or a collection of disparate applications. The latency associated with data collection and deep "what-if" analysis is often the Achilles' heel of the S&OP process. Companies need their S&OP process to be natively integrated with their supply chain planning tools and processes—not simply loosely coupled. And the S&OP process must be dynamic, rather than simply existing as a recurring calendar event.
At the heart of a RapidResponse® control tower solution is S&OP. Our S&OP software facilitates mature S&OP processes for a fast-paced, multi-enterprise environment.
Using a single product, S&OP users achieve
- Tight integration of all planning layers and functions—combining demand and supply planning, and volume and mix planning
- Collaboration across functions (demand management, supply chain planning, finance, project management, HR)
- A means to accurately measure actions against financial targets and corporate objectives
- Acceleration of both the S&OP process and the frequency of mid-cycle adjustments
No other system in the world merges data, analytics, performance monitoring and reporting for both S&OP and supply chain planning within a single software product.
Customers are achieving a competitive advantage by realizing breakthrough performance across multiple operations performance metrics. Specific benefits include:
- Faster and more reliable plan development
- Clearer, quicker insight into the impact of changes as it relates to multiple functions of the business
- Increased consensus and fewer surprises
- An ability to scale and mature the S&OP process to maximize business opportunities and minimize risks
An agile sales and operations planning process requires a supporting technology solution that is equally as agile. Learn more about the technology behind RapidResponse.
Are you ready to take the next step in sales and operations planning?
S&OP has served companies well for many years as a way to balance demand and supply. But traditional S&OP processes were designed before globalization and the Internet completely changed how business is conducted. Demand uncertainty, supply volatility, and increasing customer expectations challenge companies as they seek to maximize business opportunities and mitigate supply chain risks.
Here is what we think S&OP should look like:
- Demand and supply in a single application. Use a single software solution to tie the highest level demand signals (e.g. product family forecast) to the very lowest level raw material component, while simultaneously supporting near term planning (days & weeks) and long range planning (months & years). Having all demand and supply data in one place (including data from contract manufacturers and suppliers) enables faster and more reliable plan development as well as clearer, quicker insight into the impact of changes. When the whole organization works from onedata source, there is increased consensus and fewer surprises.
- Alignment between volume and mix. Make changes to the plan at the volume level and disaggregate it to the mix level, ensuring that execution of the plan is feasible.
- Inclusion of related corporate functions into the S&OP process. Tie adjacent functions like project management, profitability management or workforce optimization to the sales and operations planning process to understand and manage the cross-functional implications of your actions.
- S&OP alignment with corporate and financial goals. Ensure that decisions are made in the context of corporate targets, so when changes happen at the operational level, their impact can be seen and understood at the corporate level.
- Rapid creation of "what-if" scenarios. What-if versions of the entire sales and operations plan can be created in seconds and can be revised as needed during S&OP review meetings, thus accelerating process times.
- Continuous monitoring of plan. Receive immediate alerts to events that will put the plan at risk, so you can respond quickly with corrective action.
- Parallel planning and collaboration. Fully integrate supply chain planning and operations personnel, so you can bring together people across the organization best able to contribute to the resolution of a particular issue into a collaborative environment. Not only does this greatly speed up the decision process, it also ensures consensus among all stake holders—internal or external to the organization.
Conducting sales and operations planning in RapidResponse
RapidResponse provides resources and functionality to support the stages commonly found in the S&OP process: S&OP cycle kick off, demand planning, supply planning, financial review, executive meeting, and S&OP plan publishing.
Although RapidResponse provides a roadmap that companies can follow for their S&OP process, usage of the solution is flexible and adaptable. With RapidResponse, you are not limited to a sequential process. Rather, various stages of the traditional S&OP process can occur simultaneously and all within one system. RapidResponse also enables continuous, event-driven S&OP, meaning that the state of the current plan is actively monitored, and the appropriate people are notified when the plan is at risk so they can take immediate action to course correct.
Key S&OP software resources include:
Dashboards and workbooks
S&OP edition dashboards provide a means to easily evaluate the S&OP at different stages of the process. The dashboard charts represent summarized views of worksheet data, from which users can drill to details to investigate the root cause of identified problem areas.
These role-based dashboards are completely configurable for a personalized and intuitive view. You may choose from several charting options. A particularly robust visualization chart, called a treemap, allows users to interpret large sets of data in one compact view to quickly locate outliers and areas of concern. This is a powerful tool when analyzing the gaps in sales and operations plan.
S&OP edition workbooks allow you to review or modify any data related to the S&OP process.
S&OP edition includes deep scenario simulation capabilities for managing the S&OP process. Scenarios enable companies to quickly create several versions of an S&OP plan. For example, when it comes to new product introductions, (NPIs), you can evaluate several dates for phasing out an old product and introducing a new one, so you can make the transition at the most beneficial time.
Each scenario version is a result of a collaborative effort between key parties, such as demand planners, engineering, and operations. Scenarios are evaluated against key metrics, and each party can review their results and commit their best scenario.
Most of the workbooks and dashboards for S&OP are viewed with a hierarchy so you can view data at a high, aggregate level, or at a lower, more detailed level. You may also, at any time, view the intersection of two or more hierarchies.