Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations in the modern business environment. The next year will see new challenges for S&OP leaders, and they must be ready to confront them with the best business practices.
Incorporate financial controls into planning processes
According to a recent survey by the consulting company Oliver Wight Americas, 28% of S&OP professionals say they are not using financial controls during S&OP or IBP that completely align with their companies' overall financial objectives.
Standardize S&OP-related language across the organization
The main challenge of S&OP is not process or technology, it’s communication and behavior. Internal communications to implement S&OP often break down as key stakeholders and managers fail to reach an agreement on basic definitions.
Involve C-Suite executives from the start
In the most successful S&OP processes, chief executive officers (CEOs) and general managers (GMs) of business units are the driving force behind S&OP processes, making sure that the objectives are a priority for the company as a whole.
Mitigate against risks
Ensure that contingencies are in place to mitigate against exogenous shocks. S&OP leaders need to grasp what an event really means, its impact on the business, and how to steady the ship afterwards.
Look at forecasts and plans from every angle
Evaluating forecasts and plans from every essential to success. This will ensure long term goals are met such as high forecast accuracy and low volatility.