Are you keen to introduce Sales & Operations Planning within your organization? Or do you want to optimize S&OP within your organization in order to take your supply chain to the next level? At BLMC, we know just how to do that. Based on scientific insights and extensive practical experience, we have developed a method for implementing and managing Sales & Operations Planning both within and between organizations. The result: satisfied customers thanks to improved service at lower costs.

What is Sales & Operations Planning

It’s a familiar situation in every organization: the Sales department is focused on selling, and expects products to be in stock so that customers can be supplied quickly. However, the Production department wants to produce as efficiently as possible, which means long product runs to reduce changeover times and costs. On top of that, the Logistics department wants shipments that can be consolidated for transport, and to minimize the movements in the warehouse in order to keep costs down and achieve a high capacity utilization rate. And then there’s the Purchasing department with its own wants and needs. As a result, Sales & Operations Planning is an important part of supply chain management. It is the process which balances all the different interests within the chain. It is a method that streamlines the flows of goods, information and cash in the supply chain and that aligns the functional activities with one another.

S&OP is more than just a technique

Senior management support is essential in order to get Sales & Operations Planning off the ground within organizations, because the introduction and implementation of S&OP demands vision and courage: the vision that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the courage to demand collaboration from the professionals in the chain, with the ultimate goal being to optimally serve the customer. S&OP not only depends on good ICT support, but also requires a certain degree of commitment from the people. This means that they must be willing to get together on a regular basis and share information with one another, to discuss escalations, and to explore and find ways to resolve any apparent conflicting interests in the supply chain.

At BLMC, we have developed our own unique method for implementing/optimizing S&OP. It is based on Gartner’s Five-Stage Sales & Operations Planning Maturity Model. In the more mature phases of S&OP, it is necessary to utilize specialized tooling, and Solventure is our preferred supplier in that case. When implementing the chosen solution, we pay an above-average amount of attention to the human factor which results in an excellent S&OP process.