Optimize Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) with Slimstock

Successful sales and operations planning (S&OP) requires the right information to align your team across departments and map out your company’s future. A well instituted S&OP process works to balance the ever-changing rise and fall of supply and demand. By knowing how product availability, projected sales and your company’s financial and production capacity to meet them interact you can nimbly adapt with the market while executing your core mission.

Find the balance between supply and demand through Sales and Operations Planning with Slim4 from Slimstock

Slim4 makes your S&OP meetings easier by providing information on product introductions, promotional strategies, trends and seasonality. It considers supply and demand uncertainty, logistics constraints, demand volatility, inventory transitions, and excess product.

Slim4 and S&OP

By providing “one true vision” of anticipated demand, Slim4 has been specifically designed to underpin effective S&OP processes. The software’s advanced functionality allows you to re-plan inventory around your business priorities, formulate scenarios around evolving product lifecycles, and align safety stock strategies to your customer’s expectations.

Slim4 helps you prioritize the data you need for each step of the S&OP process, providing specifics on thousands or hundreds of thousands of SKUs.

Stage 1: Product Review

What products do you currently have on the market, and how are they selling? In stage one, your product planning and development teams examine your current offerings and make decisions around new production or sunsetting to inform project priorities and allocate resources.

Slim4’s Predecessor / Successor views show what SKUs you’re currently selling and how long they’ve been on the market. It also gives you the ability see when you’re going to start and stop forecasting an SKU, giving you valuable insights on future resource allocation.

Slim4 gives you the data to easily perform and S&OP product review

Stage 2: Demand Review

The Demand Review requires identifying the factors that drive your independent and dependent demand, with the goal of developing an unconstrained forecast. Independent and dependent demand are influenced by consumer trends, marketing, interplant part demand, new product introduction and product hierarchy. Your unconstrained demand plan should also take into account sales, marketing, and product plans.

Slim4 provides you with the data to inform your report. In the constant balance of supply and demand, there are multiple factors that influence your forecast including hard statistics as well as the opinions of the sales and finance teams. Slim4 provides with you with accurate, forecast demand data that you can use to factor in your decisions alongside these other inputs.

Slim4 equips S&OP teams with easy to use info on throusands of SKUs

Stage 3: Supply Review

Performing a Supply Review requires your teams to develop a supply plan that integrates with the demand plan you made in Stage 2. Using your previously identified company objectives as guidance, you can find your ideal balance between customer service and inventory while minimizing operating costs. Along with generating basic production plans and capacity plans, it’s best practice to devise alternate supply plans that take in to account variations in capacity and demand.

It’s essential to have optimization software that can generate What If scenarios using real-time data in order to devise alternate supply plans. Done well, these What If scenarios allow companies to reduce risk by understanding the possibility of market variability.

Slim4’s robust What If Scenario tools take into account multiple factors and supplies specific supply data to help you carry out your plans once they have been made.

Robust What If Analysis makes Slim4 crucial to your S&OP efforts

Stage 4: Finance Review

Any wholistic plan for your company must necessarily take into account you finance team, and chances are they haven’t let you forget this either. In Stage 4 you must create basic guidelines that will inform adjustments to product, demand, and supply review, along with data and ideas to be used in pre-S&OP and executive S&OP reviews. Stage 4 compares actual costs with budgets and forecasts to analyze forecast accuracy over a rolling time frame and uses the previous month’s financial performance to provide inputs for analyzing the current month’s S&OP cycle.

Slim4 outputs useful data to inform finance reports and drive the entire process. Slim4 gives you the ability to see each SKUs historical demand and projected demand for specific promotions, seasons and other custom time-frames to ensure that you’re making the best decisions based on accurate data.

Successful S&OP means uniting your team including finance and executives

Stage 5: Pre-Executive S&OP

Pre-Executive S&OP are meetings held with leaders from product, demand, supply, and finance departments. This is done to identify areas of disconnect and find ways to navigate them. Data on inventory, revenue and profit are analyzed at the corporate level and the product-line level to get an understanding of the outcomes from the financial and operational decisions.

Stage 6: Executive S&OP

Executive S&OP meetings are a distillation of all previous steps. “What-if” scenarios and the associated risks and decision points are highlighted for leadership to be aware of their schedule. Key decisions that remained unresolved up until Stage 6 are addressed in Executive S&OP and the reasons for escalation are examined. and decision deadlines are set.

Decisions made in Executive S&OP will become the data provided for the start of the next meeting, and Slim4 is able to provide data points to benchmark outcomes that help determine whether or not decisions are successful and to help right the course when needed.

Everyone involved in your S&OP process - from warehouse managers to executives - needs to have the right information to make the best decisions. Inventory, ordering and sales data provided by Slim4 equips your key decision makers with the information they need to conduct your S&OP meetings with confidence.