Considering S&OP Decisions—Make Sure You Keep Your Story Straight.

You’re Making Important Choices. How Do You Consistently Account for the Important Factors?

The whole point of S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning) is to keep business stakeholders on the same page as business conditions change. The process is meant to consider possibilities and risks in the marketplace, in the supply chain, and in product development, resulting in decisions each cycle that reflect consensus on the best path forward.

Information is often uncertain, and moreover the kinds of new insights or concerns that arise over time don’t fall into neat categories. Within each S&OP cycle, there may be several impactful questions to assess, and they may need to be considered both independently and jointly. Cycle over cycle, slowly-evolving scenarios may need to be revisited on an ongoing basis.

The questions for S&OP process quality and performance are:

  1. Can you put clear definitions and boundaries around the questions and scenarios you want to analyze?

  2. Are you able to compare what appear to be apples and oranges in a business-meaningful way?

  3. Can you repeat your results? If the same questions emerge next cycle under similar conditions, will your process deliver comparable outcomes?

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