How to avoid the pitfalls of the S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning) process

Recent advances in technology and information technology have greatly evolved S&OP processes, in which the key aspects have always been: visibility, collaboration and sharing of analyses. The new technologies, the greater quantity and quality of data available, together with the latest analysis tools, have allowed S&OP process managers to obtain them. However, there are some pitfalls to keep in mind when you are trying to implement the Sales & Operations Planning process in your organization.

The main difficulties of S&OP processes

Below you can find a list of some of the most frequent pitfalls of S&OP processes:


Poor management involvement

The main obstacle to a good output of an S&OP process is management’s understanding that supply chains are complex systems. Evolved S&OP processes and teams spend most of their time training and aligning manager teams. Before starting a challenging process such as S&OP, it is good to think about the best way to train and involve the management team. In addition, it is crucial to ensure that you do not involve these figures without first educating them about the implications and benefits of the process.


Forget the importance of agility and alignment

Typically, the greater the “maturity” of an S&OP system, the greater the agility and alignment it ensures, but this is only true if the system is built with objectives in mind. The organizational map must be created taking into account the impacts of the process and future technological evolutions, as well as possible future objectives. In fact, each step requires a redefinition of the process and technology.

Ignoring the complexity of supply chains

Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and highly transversal. It is important to ensure that you work across the board and with a set of consistent parameters, such as: accuracy of forecasts, customer service, inventory levels, profitability, and revenue/market share growth. In addition, it is important to focus on the benefits to the business and understanding of the systems.


Continue to use spreadsheets

Supply chain trade-offs cannot be modeled using a spreadsheet. One of the ideal candidates to take advantage of modern data analysis solutions (customized or not) is the S&OP process. It is therefore essential to create a competitive advantage, take advantage of the advances in technology and information technology and invest in a modern S&OP solution.

Continue to manage analytics in information silos

Among the great advantages of an effective S&OP process is the management of organizational trade-offs (or compromises). However, as team members are trained, they should also be made to understand the risks of not handling analytics or handling them as individual entities and not as a complete system. (Discover 3 ways to break down information silos in companies)

Failure to clearly define the governance structure

A robust process may have been defined and a reference S&OP solution implemented, however if the governance structure is not clearly defined, the chaos that the process should have eliminated will continue to prevail. It is necessary to ensure that all the people involved, in all business areas, clearly understand their roles within the process and know the areas of contact with the other functions involved in the S&OP process.


Are you ready to use a modern S&OP solution?

CyberPlan S&OP is the software solution for managing the Sales and Operations Planning process, enabling high-performance supply chain governance. Intuitive in use, fast in execution, highly configurable, allows you to integrate MPs, MRP/CRP, finite capacity scheduling and management of material constraints into a single solution, reducing the time needed to program the production process. Find out more by clicking here.

CyberPlan S&OP - LoRes

Subscribe to the newsletter to learn more about this article!