had an interesting article this morning; “Five things Manufacturers should be able to do with S&OP data”. I don’t necessarily agree with the focus on data. Companies that have a robust S&OP process have a number of factors that make them successful;
- Excellent data (I agree this is critical, but doesn’t provide for successful S&OP on its own);
- Excellent, repeatable processes;
- Executive commitment and buy-in;
- Communication of the plan to those that must execute.
Now that I have that off my chest, I do agree with the core part of the article which basically outlines the benefits of a successful S&OP process (see the article for an explanation of these points);
- Minimize surprises
- Optimally manage inventories
- Improve margins
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Better resource utilization
In addition to these benefits, a robust S&OP process will also allow you to respond quicker to the macro events that impact your business. Worldwide material shortages, changing demand trends (who would have predicted the success of the iPad besides Apple? ), major world events all can be detected and responded to faster with S&OP. Those companies that recognize the event first and respond fastest often end up benefiting from the event while their competitors lose business. What benefits have you seen from S&OP? Respond back and let us know!