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S&OP Made Good: The Importance of Investing in People

Many companies still struggle to get value out of their sales and operations planning processes. They invest heavily in technology and processes to reach for S&OP’s cross-functional potential, but end up with discouraging results. For companies that truly understand the role of people in an effective S&OP process, it’s a different story. Here’s what it takes to get the people dimension right.

By ·

Here’s an uncomfortable question: After 30 years of talking about sales and operations planning (S&OP), can we truly say it’s working?

S&OP is a terrific idea in principle. When it’s done right, it’s great in practice too. But the trouble is, it’s not often done right. Here’s how I know that.

Recently, my company, together with the trade organization Eye for Transport (EFT), surveyed 131 supply chain executives, mostly from large manufacturers, to explore their S&OP experiences. At first, the evidence was reassuring: 85 percent of respondents claimed to be following S&OP with discipline “somewhat to completely.” But answers to the follow-on questions weren’t so encouraging: Almost 40 percent said that they thought a monthly meeting was enough to qualify as S&OP, and a staggering 94 percent were making crucial supply chain decisions outside the process. (See Exhibit 1.) Not good.

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By ·
Download Article PDF

Here’s an uncomfortable question: After 30 years of talking about sales and operations planning (S&OP), can we truly say it’s working?

S&OP is a terrific idea in principle. When it’s done right, it’s great in practice too. But the trouble is, it’s not often done right. Here’s how I know that.

Recently, my company, together with the trade organization Eye for Transport (EFT), surveyed 131 supply chain executives, mostly from large manufacturers, to explore their S&OP experiences. At first, the evidence was reassuring: 85 percent of respondents claimed to be following S&OP with discipline “somewhat to completely.” But answers to the follow-on questions weren’t so encouraging: Almost 40 percent said that they thought a monthly meeting was enough to qualify as S&OP, and a staggering 94 percent were making crucial supply chain decisions outside the process. (See Exhibit 1.) Not good.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

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