In order to align a company in an agile and efficient manner with the increasing fluctuations of the sales and procurement markets, there must be coordinated and transparent action by all relevant parts of the company. Consistent operational planning (Sales & Operations Planning) is a key lever for successfully controlling complex supply chain networks and for achieving overall alignment with financial targets.
Certain issues need to be clarified, such as the following:
- Which customers do I serve first in the event of restricted capacity?
- What measures do I use to cope with exceptionally high incoming orders?
- How much stock is absolutely necessary to meet customer demand?
- How do I use the information available in my company to achieve the best possible planning results?
- Can noticeable improvements be achieved in our particular case with the use of ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence)?
A coordinated forecast, a transparent data model and a store of scenarios, with coordinated processes from all departments involved, ensure that operations planning delivers real value both for the operational processing of customer orders and for efficient and transparent management of the company. Sales & Operations Planning is organised centrally and combines sales, production and financial planning with rapid, decentralised execution.
In many companies, however, operations planning – in contrast to the approach described above – is burdened by systemic and process-related weaknesses that are time-consuming and costly and can result in the company having much less clout:
- Inefficient support from IT systems
- Lack of system integration
- Poor cooperation across departmental and state borders
- Complex and opaque processes
- No uniform indicators
- Isolated decisions
- Lack of acceptance of planning suggestions
- Insufficient use of information that is actually available etc.
Our team of consultants has the necessary knowledge and practical experience to implement perfectly functioning S&OP processes. Our range of services includes the following:
- Providing an end-to-end evaluation of the existing S&OP processes and organisation
- Establishing a uniform and valid database as a basis for planning
- Setting up SLAs (service-level agreements)
- Working out suitable scenarios for achieving operational and financial performance targets
- Devising an organisational concept for cooperation across all interfaces within the framework of S&OP
- Optimising existing IT tools and their use in the planning process
- Selecting add-on tools, if appropriate
- Testing IT support using prototypes
- Recognising patterns and trends in market and customer behaviour through the use of Advanced Analytics and AI
- Introducing company-wide performance indicators to control process quality
- Providing comprehensive day-to-day support in the introductory phase