What is S&OP?

Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is an integrated business management process through which the executive/leadership team continually achieves focus, alignment and synchronization among all functions of the organization.

A successfully run S&OP process requires different functions to closely work with each other sharing inputs and closing feedback loops. It takes into account the plans across the business functions:

  • Sales plan
  • Production plan
  • Inventory plan
  • Customer lead time (backlog) plan
  • New product development plan
  • Strategic initiative plan
  • Financial plan.

Plan frequency and planning horizon varies across different industries. The industries facing short product life cycles and high demand volatility require a tighter S&OP than the others.

The S&OP process usually encompasses the following steps:

  • The Activity Review Meeting`s purpose is to capture promotions and assumptions across brands or categories of products
  • The Demand review meeting aims to capture promotions and assumptions across brands or categories
  • The Supply & Finance reviews aim to do the capacity & demand gap analysis
  • Country or category level meetings run reviews the scenarios built in for different assumptions & provides feedbacks
  • Board review meetings limits its role to work on top line numbers and on alignment

In our experience, the clients usually face challenges in the areas such as:

  1. Deriving & driving a consensus plan
  2. S&OP process efficiency
  3. KPI measurements
  4. Cross functional coordination
  5. Process adherence

How can we then ensure that we overcome these challenges and transform S&OP into a strategic tool?

There are 3 critical elements to achieve this target:

  1. Putting the right processes in place
  2. Selecting the right tool
  3. Putting in place the right team

Thoucentric, with its deep understanding of S&OP and the technology space can help in all 3 critical areas.

Below, we have presented the 5 ways in which Thoucentric is helping its clients realize maximum value out of S&OP. Incidentally, these also constitute the key levers to drive S&OP implementation (Tools/Processes):

  • Program Management You need someone with exceptional program management skills to drive this initiative. Someone who not only has an understanding of PMO but also of S&OP as a concept. He must be able to understand the business context and the key drivers for the S&OP as well. S/He should be able to  do the S&OP Requirements management and change management on top of program management
  • SME for S&OP process & best practices: Based on the scale of organization you need at least one SME who understands S&OP in its totality, its challenges, drivers etc. S/He should have significant experience and understanding of the industry best practices to be able to give a comprehensive view to the project team and also provide guidance to them
  • Business Consulting and Strategy design team to take care of planning and to see how S&OP fits into larger scheme of strategic initiatives across the organization.
  • Delivery & Deployment Management team for the overall process design & delivery of S&OP management, for deploying S&OP in agile/other methods as per business requirements, design/process review setup, and change management
  • Implementation Program Management (Functional): Overall tool deployment program management, process & program expertise in implementing S&OP & agile methodology in case the client`s requirements can be met by S&OP tool. We help our clients in tool evaluation and selection as well.

 

Apart from our functional expertise in S&OP, we also have an in depth experience in the related technology space. Our consulting and program management teams bring in a lot of experience of working on tools such as Anaplan, SAP IBP, and JDA, among others. We even have expertise of building it on excels.

Thoucentric advantage:

  1. Our Rich business & technology experience & expertise makes us effective ‘Business Liaisons’
  2. Through our relentless focus on successful execution along with relevant advisory, we have helped our clients maximize ROI in S&OP process and tools
  3. Our consulting team has worked in complex and multi matrixed environments and that helps us steer through the organization level complexities
  4. We have proven ourselves to be effective extension of client’s teams
  5. We are Nimble footed and hungry
  6. Highly experienced and qualified team of technology agnostic professionals