Sales & Operations Planning: Steps for Robust Implementation with Advanced Planning Solution

September 16, 2023

Mastering Sales & Operations Planning: Steps for Robust Implementation with Advanced Planning Solutions

Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) stands as a linchpin, harmoniously linking a company's sales strategy with its operational prowess. A well-executed S&OP can uplift efficiency, cut down costs, and amplify revenue. For Australianbusinesses poised to either initiate a new S&OP or refine an existing one, this comprehensive guide has your back.

Grasping the Gravity of S&OP

It's vital first to understand the transformative essence of S&OP. This integrated business management process harmonises divergent company facets, ensuring sales and operations cohorts move in unison. The results? Spot-on forecast precision, streamlined inventory oversight, and profit maximisation tailored for the Australian market.

Steps to Implement or Update Your S&OP Process:

  1. Evaluation of the Current Situation:
  2. For New Implementations: Delve into your company's prevailing sales tactics, operational capabilities, and any extant planning strategies.
  3. For Refinements: Scrutinise your current S&OP framework, pinpointing gaps, redundancies, or inefficacies.
  4. Assemble a Multi-disciplinary Team:Muster a squad encapsulating reps from sales, operations, finance, and other pivotal sectors. This promotes a rich tapestry of insights.
  5. Set Crystal Clear Aims:What's the endgame with your S&OP? Whether it revolves around honed demand prognostication, top-notch inventory stewardship, or bolstered inter-department collaboration, defined objectives will shepherd your rollout.
  6. Embrace Suitable Tech - The Power of Advanced Planning Solutions:The technological backbone of your S&OP is non-negotiable. Investing in an Advanced Planning Solution, tailored for the Australian market, can revolutionise your process.
  7. Draft & Chronicle the Process:Clearly chart each S&OP phase, from intel gathering to the appraisal stage. Documenting offers a roadmap for all, ensuring Australian industry compliance and best practices.
  8. Training:Arm your crew with requisite know-how. This might encompass structured training bouts, workshops, or even roping in a local Aussie S&OP expert.
  9. Pilot Tests:Trial your approach on a micro scale prior to a full-blown deployment. It’s your litmus test for efficiency.
  10. Consistent Reviews:The dynamic Australian business terrain mandates that you regularly recalibrate your S&OP in line with evolving goals and market conditions.
  11. Iterative Refinement:Champion a culture of incessant refinement. Foster feedback streams from all S&OP-involved departments, and be agile in making iterative course corrections.

Example Technologies

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solutions are designed to manage and optimise key aspects of manufacturing operations and supply chain management. They range from demand forecasting to inventory planning, resource allocation, and production scheduling. Here are some notable APS solutions:

  1. SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP): SAP's offering combines sales and operations planning (S&OP), forecasting and demand, response and supply, demand-driven replenishment, and inventory processes.
  2. Kinaxis RapidResponse: This cloud-based solution allows enterprises to concurrently plan, monitor, and respond across multiple areas of their supply chain, from sourcing to delivery.
  3. Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning (ASCP): A comprehensive solution from Oracle that covers a vast range of supply chain planning processes, including demand forecasting, inventory planning, and distribution requirements.
  4. Infor CloudSuite SCM: Infor's solution offers a suite of tools that encompass demand and supply management, sales and operations planning, and production scheduling.
  5. AspenTech aspenONE: Predominantly used in the process industries, it offers advanced process control, simulation, and optimisation for supply chain and manufacturing operations.
  6. JDA Manufacturing Planning: Before transitioning to Blue Yonder, this APS provided a suite of capabilities from demand to delivery, including planning, production scheduling, and procurement.
  7. o9 Solutions: o9 Solutions' platform offers an integrated planning experience, covering demand, supply, and financial planning. Their AI-powered platform aids in decision-making and predictive analytics.
  8. Blue Yonder: After acquiring JDA, Blue Yonder has further cemented its position in the APS landscape. With a broad suite of end-to-end supply chain and retail solutions, it aids in forecasting, planning, scheduling, and execution.

If you're considering adopting an APS solution, it's essential to evaluate each based on the specific requirements of your industry, the size of your business, existing IT infrastructure, and your long-term planning goals.

Common Hurdles & Their Avoidance:

  • Operational Silos:At the heart of S&OP lies integration. Sidestep the allure of compartmentalised department operation.
  • Overelaboration:While thoroughness is key, a convoluted S&OP can alienate team members. Aim for lucidity and succinctness.
  • Change Aversion:Your S&OP will inevitably morph. Cultivate an adaptable team spirit, especially in the ever-evolving Australian market context.

Wrapping Up

A fine-tuned S&OP can catapult your business into the Australian market limelight, synchronising your sales and operational stratagems. But remember, the efficacy of your S&OP isn't rooted merely in its inaugural deployment but in an enduring allegiance to assessment and refinement.

Keen on a deeper plunge into the Australian S&OP universe or seeking expert counsel? Our adept team is primed to assist, ensuring your sales & operations planning framework is nothing short of spectacular.

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