Survey Uncovers Critical Gaps, Dissatisfaction with S&OP

80 percent of respondents to Interlace survey indicate current S&OP processes and tools do not deliver what is needed


80 percent of respondents to Interlace survey indicate current S&OP processes and tools do not deliver what is needed

San Mateo, CA — June 30, 2006 — Supply chain executives indicate current sales and operations planning (S&OP) tools aren't delivering what their company needs, according to a survey conducted by integrated business planning software firm Interlace Systems.

The survey, which articulates critical, problematic issues that S&OP professionals face on a daily basis, targeted senior level S&OP planners in consumer goods, industrial manufacturing and high-technology equipment companies. The results indicate several trends: A majority of respondents are dissatisfied with their existing S&OP and are making investments in both process and software tools to address critical gaps.

The results of this survey reflect that, while S&OP is well understood and in place at many companies, there is still a high degree of dissatisfaction among S&OP practitioners, stated Jim Lodestro president and CEO, Interlace Systems. The good news is that companies across many industries are re-focusing on improving their S&OP efforts. In fact, 60 percent of the companies surveyed indicate they have funded initiatives to improve both processes and tools in 2006.

The survey assessed the relative satisfaction respondents have with their existing S&OP processes and tools and profiled specific areas where improvements are sought. Highlights include:
* 80 percent said S&OP is not working as well as they would like;
* 60 percent said S&OP is not effective in aligning operations with their companies financial plans;
* 60 percent of the survey respondents said they have funded new S&OP initiatives for 2006.

Respondents stated improvements are needed in executive reporting and visibility, integration with company financials, what-if scenario modeling and analysis and access to data.

The top three issues respondents indicate they have with Executive Reporting are:
* The time spent developing and maintaining the Executive S&OP reporting package
* Having consistent data for creating accurate views across functions
* Managing and tracking actions items from the Executive S&OP meeting

The top two issues respondents indicated they have with their S&OP software were that it is difficult to do what-if scenario planning in a timely manner, and it is difficult to model the financial impact of plan changes.

Results from this survey were gathered from 147 respondents from corporations across a variety of manufacturing industries. Eighty-one percent of the responses came from representatives in the consumer goods, industrial manufacturing and high technology equipment industries. All companies surveyed had annual revenues in excess of $200 million.

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