Increase the effectiveness of the executive S&OP meeting – Part 2

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Here's part 2 on increasing the effectiveness of your executive S&OP meeting. Check out part 1 . The effectiveness of the executive S&OP meeting is limited by the capabilities of the tool used to present the plan. Many companies use Excel to drive the S&OP meeting, but is that the best tool? Let's take a quick look at what is needed to effectively present the S&OP plan to the executive team. 1) If there is one thing to remember it's that the executive team is very busy and don't have the patience or the time to try to understand mounds of data. They need the issues and resolutions laid out clearly and visually, with supporting data at hand if necessary. As we've all seen, a picture is worth a thousand words (or a thousand columns of numbers) so make sure that the presentation software supports multiple charting modes. 2) When we change the demand plan, make supply changes, set constraint levels, we base these changes on a set of assumptions.These assumptions must be captured and presented to the executive S&OP team so that they understand the assumptions that these plans are based on. Hopefully, the executives will confirm the assumptions made, but it is possible that the executive team may disagree with an assumption (or simply have better information).It's much better to make this discovery before you execute the plan. 3) Often, an executive will need to look at the next level of detail in order to better understand an issue or opportunity. If the information isn't at hand, the team may not be able to make a decision, or if they do, may be making the decision based on incomplete data. Neither situation is good. Make sure that the tool you use to present the S&OP meeting includes the ability to drill down through multiple levels of detail, so that you have the answers when your executive team asks. 4) In many cases, the pre-S&OP team will present a recommended S&OP plan, but may have alternative resolutions for discussions. This means that the executive team needs to be able to clearly see the differences between the various resolution alternatives against the key corporate metrics so that they can make an informed decision. How successful has your Executive S&OP meetings been? What tool(s) do you use to present the S&OP plan? How do you keep the executive team engaged? Comment back and let us know!


Andrés Jans
- September 03, 2011 at 6:02pm
Adding to my comment on Part I: Powerpoint showed to be flexible enough to manage the information to be presented. There was an agreed template that had some updates (mainly to include more information in a standard manner). If needed some detail could be holded in excell if this helped to show the information.

To keep the executive engaged sounds strange, when they are the people who must keep the rest of the team engaged to the process. I am not saying that there can or has not be an issue with them attending meetings, but in that case there is a much harder issue to solve and that is them being engaged and understanding what the meeting is for. If there is something that doesnt make the meeting effective enough, the executives should make their teams deliver what is necessary to achieve the expected meeting agenda and deliverables.

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