Sales and operations planning: What are your objectives?
Business Development Executive
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How can Slim4 support my sales and operations planning process?
An effective sales and operations planning process (S&OP) should pull teams from across the business to ensure a harmonious supply chain operation. However, the whole process can easily result in chaos without the right direction and insight! But how can Slim4 contribute to your sales and operations planning process?
We are often asked by our customers how they can refine and optimize their sales and operations planning process. In this article, we explore how Slim4 fits into the process and how our inventory solution can be used to help our customers realize their goals.
Why do you need a sales and operations planning process?
One of the key challenges that many companies face is maintaining good communication and ensuring all teams focus on the same priorities. With no effective means of communicating, organizational silos can develop, and departmental priorities could compromise any coordinated action required to satisfy customer requirements efficiently. Ultimately, working in this dysfunctional way will eventually lead to poor customer service and lost sales.
This is where sales and operations planning comes in!
Sales and operations planning is effective when it involves people working a coordinated process, enabled at various stages by technology to meet company goals rather than personal ones. Through establishing an effective process, your business will ultimately benefit from the formalization of a more structured supply and demand planning process which is underpinned by rules based on organizational accountability and financial performance goals.
One goal, one focus
An integrated financial perspective of supply and demand will facilitate strategic thinking about your business and help reconcile the operating plan across your teams. In addition, performance indicator reports will help validate the effectiveness of each team’s planning cycle and ensure continuous quality is a key expectation of your process. As the complete solution for inventory optimization, Slim4 can be utilized to provide the vision, insight, and control required to enhance your inventory processes.
Sales and operations planning: it’s a team sport
As part of the supply chain planning process, key stakeholders from various disciplines within the company reach a consensus about the corporate strategy. The output of the process is a realignment of tactical plans throughout all departments, ensuring that all activity supports the company’s business plan.
The S&OP planning process is an instrument for dealing with changing business conditions by enabling management to decide what the entire company should prioritize each month.
Some of the key perspectives in an integrated S&OP discussion include:
• Reflecting on past performance
• Reviewing upside risk and downside opportunities of demand plans
• Analyzing supply constraints and planning simulations
• Understanding the fiscal impact of tactical inventory decisions
Organizations that adopt sales and operations planning quickly discover that they can operate in a more synchronized way. They understand departmental decisions’ effect on other functional parts of the company, their customers, and the wider business. Operations that don’t apply these initiatives well usually fail to communicate effectively and often
struggle to meet business objectives and customer expectations.
What processes are supported by Slim4?
At its core capability, Slim4 helps organizations synchronize supply and demand planning initiatives. However, our inventory solution provides a “one true vision” of anticipated demand when it comes to planning. However, Slim4 can also be utilized to re-plan inventory based on new priorities, formulate scenarios around product life cycles, align safety stock strategies to your customer’s expectations, and clarify the potential impact of inventory decisions. Slim4’s functionality can support our customer’s sales and operations planning process in the following ways:
Product portfolio planning:
The first step in an effective sales and operations planning process is determining which products should be stocked and which should be ordered as and when required. Slim4 provides relevant insight to ensure successful decision-making around product introductions and products approaching the end of the product lifecycle. Providing such insights can help you decide which items should be stocked and which items should be better off as non-stocked. Ultimately, Slim4 ensures the correct decisions are made to support business goals and streamline cash flow.
Given that all inventory decisions are based upon forecasts, supply chain teams must be confident that the numbers are a reliable reflection of anticipated demand. Using sophisticated exception criteria, Slim4 identifies irregular demand characteristics that could impact your forecast. The solution automatically calculates accurate forecasts based on advanced statistics, considering seasonality and evolving trends. By providing more scientific forecasts, you can be confident all decisions made during the S&OP process are based on quality forecast data that you can trust!
Promotions require careful planning and coordination between different departments. Whether you’re launching a new product or promoting seasonal items to increase sales, the promotional planning capability within Slim4 is designed to close the gap between your upside potential and the current baseline forecast. As a result, your business becomes better positioned to anticipate promotional demand, determine the optimal order volumes, and align delivery schedules while maximizing the sales opportunity and maximizing the excess risk at the end of the promotion.
One of the main purpose of sales and operations planning is identifying and resolving inventory issues to achieve the optimal inventory situation. Slim4’s order planning functionality automatically determines time-phased inventory requirements that are economically adjusted. Slim4 also supports dynamic replenishment to help balance excess stock across locations and ensure the right amount of safety stock is on hand to meet even the most demanding customer needs without sacrificing your profits.
Optimize your sales and operations planning process with Slim4!
Slim4 provides the structure to help recognize and discover business exceptions that require review in support of your sales and operations planning process. All aspects of a sales and operations planning process concerning portfolio management, sales management, and supply management are supported by Slim4. Together they form ONE consensus plan.
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