S&OP—Has the Time Finally Come?

Function-specific and company objectives are neither well-defined, nor properly aligned, negatively impacting overall performance


Some of these solutions integrate well with transaction systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, advanced supply chain planning systems (APS) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Further, to get the best results and return on investment from S&OP tools, the organization must be sufficiently mature in which S&OP acts as a tactical tool to drive profitability, achieved by utilizing key functionalities of S&OP tools like supply chain modeling, financial impact analysis, scenario management and what-if analysis.

S&OP Best Practices—The Keys to Success

In addition to the factors listed above, there are a few best practices that are fundamental to S&OP success. These include:

  • Orchestrate and manage S&OP processes with a defined cadence for various process steps and activities, and ensure process rigor in executing consistently.
  • Persistently manage data because the data requirement for S&OP can be enormous, especially when done for all product families, and manual data entry takes significant time. In order to sustain S&OP processes in an organization, it is important to automatically feed data from different sources, including ERP, to ensure that the S&OP tool acts as a single source of S&OP data for the organization.
  • Identify and implement the right S&OP tool to provide the desired process automation support for the organization.
  • Measure S&OP performance and qualify the success of an S&OP process investment.

L. N. Balaji is the president of ITC Infotech.

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