Aparna is a recognized thought leader in sales operations, supply chain, finance and transformational change. She leads a team that performs as catalyst leaders in transforming business decisions and processes for Google Cloud. Focusing in ways to optimize the business, Aparna’s team builds consistent, scalable and comprehensive processes while applying best-practice change leadership. Aparna also manages the vendor strategy, data and systems strategy, and functional budget including planning, forecasting and reporting. Aparna’s remarkable reputation as a strategic cross-functional partner has earned her a high degree of confidence among her peers and associates. Aparna’s goals in life and work will always involve seeking new experiences, challenges, and growth.
We sat down with her ahead of her presentation at the S&OP Innovation Summit, taking place in Las Vegas January 25-26 2017.
How did you get started in your career?
I got started in my career by working in a rotation program that allowed me to work in 4 different disciplines over 2 years. This taught me the importance of seeing many areas of an organization and how they are all dependent on each other. Most teams work mainly in their silos with their own objectives, but we need them to plan with joint objectives.
S&OP has undergone something of a resurgence in recent years, what do you think has been behind it?
I believe the resurgence is due to companies having more of a focus on costs and the impact the G&A functions have on the bottom line. S&OP's role in the ability to prioritize resources and funds to allow for greater customer success is more understood.
Is IBP a progression of S&OP, or is it just an issue of semantics?
IBP to me is an extension of S&OP. It is somewhat of a natural progression but leads to more holistic planning.
What do you think are the main benefits of S&OP? Where do think some companies fall down?
The main benefits is the end to end view. Companies can make strategic decisions while considering the supply chain as well versus only the product features or sales cycle. Companies fall down when they don't implement a long term planning process and try to force fit short term needs. This occurs mainly when they lose the discipline.
What do you consider the most important aspects of an effective S&OP strategy?
To me, the most important aspects of an effective S&OP strategy is the connection between engineering, sales, finance and operations. It allows for the ability to hold teams accountable and be aligned to common goals.
Which technologies do you see as having a major impact on S&OP in the future?
In a way there are too many technologies that try to solve S&OP for organizations. Since the way each company is run has so many of its own nuances, a standard off the shelf technology may not meet the goals of that organization. There is also data and data refresh that can impact decision making. The more we can have integrated planning tools across organizations that show revenue objectives all the way to customer support, the higher the success.
What will you be discussing in your presentation?
In my presentation, I will discuss how data quality is critical to the impact and success of your S&OP process and the concept of master data management in your S&OP process.