In a dynamically changing market, sales & operations planning technology is a required basis for end-to-end planning in most companies. But in order to effectively launch and use this technology, you need to be well prepared. In this article, you will find some tips that may help you avoid common mistakes and save some of your time.
What technology to choose?
Today you can find plenty of solutions that can help improve sales & operations planning. For example, such platforms as Kinaxis RapidResponse, Blue Yonder Demand Planning, SAP Integrated Business Planning, Streamline, etc. Each of them has some strong unique features, but each of them have some drawbacks as well. For example, some of them have poor functionality, and others won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution.
In this regard, you need to opt for an advanced platform that offers a rich functionality. One of such platforms, Revenue Grid (Revenue Operations and Intelligence Platform) is a tool that incorporates a great number of useful features necessary for successful S&OP. The program gives a snapshot of the health of the pipeline, key metrics, and reasons behind scores or dropped sales. Leaders and reps alike can see where a deal stands in a matter of seconds, allowing for better judgment on where supply should be at for products.
Revenue Grid integrates directly with Salesforce, which makes it easy for teams to incorporate it into daily operations.
Taking it a step further than visibility, the product features interactive, contextual alerts that literally guide sellers toward the next best choice.
Why do you need Sales and Operations Planning?
Let’s see what it gives you:
- Improving the level of customer service
- Improving inventory management
- Ensuring that business goals are realistic
- Management in the context of quality criteria
- Synchronization of sales, supplies and product life cycle with business plans
- Analyzing of performance criteria for continuous improvement of business processes
- Customer service level
- Quality of communication and teamwork
- Stock level
- Time of order fulfilment
S&OP process: how it works
Sales and operations planning has different interpretations, but the overall purpose of its application is to establish communication between the sales and operations departments and to perfectly plan their future activities. That is, the plans of the departments must be aligned with each other and at the same time correlate with the business goals of the company. S&OP does not exist in isolation, it is one of the elements of the overall strategy. For the S&OP process contributed to the achievement of business goals, we recommend that you follow the Threefold Approach:
1. Strategy alignment (setting goals, formulating the concept of a good plan). This requires an individual approach that should be based on the strategy of a particular company and meet the requirements of the industry. A deep analysis of the company’s activities will tell you what kind of approach you need.
2. Evaluating the effectiveness of the supply chain Obtaining reliable data on the current degree of S&OP maturity, researching the potential for improvement.
3. Tools Use tools that are most suitable at a particular stage (visualization tools, applications for scheduling volumes of operations, performing probabilistic analysis, etc.).
Many companies from different industries, including famous brands, have already become convinced of the effectiveness of this kind of approach.
Today, many businesses are thinking about using cloud services in order to get more accurate results of analyzed data and to improve their S&OP. Using the right tool, you can make it ASAP, and enjoy the flawless business processes, focusing on the most important stuff.
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