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Are You Getting the Best From Your S&OP Program?

Let’s Solve Your Sales and Operations Planning Woes

While the majority of larger companies today have implemented, and currently maintain, some form of sales and operations planning (S&OP) program, less than half of those companies claim that they are achieving the success they expect from the process.

There is no doubting the value and effectiveness of S&OP when correctly established, yet it has long been a concept that presents challenges for supply chain managers. Is this an issue you can relate to?

If so, there’s still time to smarten up your S&OP process for improved results, but that doesn’t mean you should delay in doing so. Because until you act, your company could be wasting money and resources due to poor visibility, sub-optimal inventory levels, inaccurate forecasting, and other problems that successful S&OP will minimise or even eliminate.

Losing Sleep Over Dysfunctional S&OP? We Know Your Pain

If your supply chain management team is suffering from poor S&OP process management, a range of frustrating symptoms are likely to be dogging your operations. In fact, they may not be merely frustrating—in some cases, they can be harming your business and at the very least, giving you cause for professional concern.

We’re talking about symptoms like:

  • Continual firefighting
  • Slow decision-making
  • Persistence of seemingly unsolvable issues
  • Poor prioritisation and too much attention on completing the wrong tasks
  • Troublesome issues during promotional sales campaigns
  • Overstocks, stock-outs
  • Increase in backorders
  • Poor customer service
  • Disappointing performance against budget

That’s quite a long list isn’t it? But we’ve seen all these problems caused when companies take the wrong approach to S&OP, make mistakes in the process, or simply don’t implement sales and operations planning as a supply chain discipline.

So if you recognise any of these symptoms affecting your enterprise, and you don’t utilise S&OP, you should probably prioritise its implementation.

If you recognise any of the symptoms and do follow an S&OP regimen, you probably have some work to do to start getting the right results.

How to Take Control and Tame Your S&OP Cycle

If You Do it Yourself

The biggest challenge in achieving successful S&OP processes is…

Well, actually there are several challenges. Whether you are implementing S&OP from scratch, or trying to fix a cycle that’s not working well, a multitude of individual problems and mistakes must be avoided, or rectified.

You and your team will need to focus on the following causes of dysfunctional S&OP, to steer clear of them or eliminate them from an existing cycle:

  • Failure to execute plans: For some reason, companies often struggle to turn their S&OP results into actions. If the relevant business units are unable to execute on the plans, S&OP becomes a toothless process, so tying planning and execution together must be a non-negotiable priority for any implementation or improvement efforts.
  • Functional misalignment: business functions, such as sales and operations, are misaligned by definition, and conflicts naturally exist. But you must overcome those conflicts if your S&OP process is to bear fruit.
  • Executive apathy: Inadequate support and understanding from executives is a common barrier to successful S&OP adoption. Executive buy-in is critical in overcoming inertia relating to cross-functional alignment, so if your execs are not on board, S&OP implementation or improvement efforts may be doomed to failure.
  • Lack of balance: It’s all too easy for an S&OP process to become too sales focused, at the expense of the procurement, manufacturing, and logistics functions, or similarly, to concentrate too much on the operations side, and not enough on sales and marketing. If you want to get it right, you need to strike a horizontal balance of plans, with equal emphasis on sales/marketing and the operational functions

And these are just a few examples of the pitfalls and errors your team will need to be mindful of. It’s understandable, then, why so many companies fail to make a success of sales and operations planning. It’s an objective well worth pursuing, but not without some pain and resource hunger during the initial stages of establishment.

If you are starting afresh with S&OP, deciding on which model to choose can be a considerable challenge right off the bat, and from there, it doesn’t necessarily get any easier.

If You Do it With Us

Of course, you don’t have to take a DIY approach to S&OP implementation or improvement. At Logistics Bureau, we have a whole team of specialist consultants ready to support, guide, and help you throughout the journey, whether you are starting from scratch or wish to improve your current process.

  • We have the tools and the skills to ensure that you develop an S&OP process that will work.
  • We’ll assist you to make S&OP happen and demystify the entire concept for your stakeholders, so they understand the objectives that they are collectively working towards.
  • We’ll work with you to strengthen collaboration and create robust ties between planning and execution.
  • We’ll educate and coach your business teams in S&OP principles and practices, ensuring understanding at all levels.
  • We’ll coach your executive team to ensure they are equipped to provide effective leadership and embed S&OP into your business culture.

Our approach to the S&OP process will minimise disruption to your business and accelerate its implementation or improvement, ultimately delivering the following tangible benefits:

  • Reduced inventory investment
  • Improved customer service levels
  • Reduced inventory obsolescence
  • Increased inventory/asset turns
  • Increased supply chain flexibility
  • Improved forecasting accuracy
  • Improved inventory deployment

Companies that Trust Us


Why Choose Logistics Bureau for Solid S&OP?

We’re confident in our credentials relating to sales and operations planning and you can be too, with good reason. We’ve been working with S&OP since its early days as a concept, and with hundreds of related projects under their belts, our consultants are intimately familiar with its challenges and benefits.

That’s why, regardless of your organisation’s industry or scale, your S&OP objectives are closer at hand and will be easier to meet with the Logistics Bureau team on your side.

Here are a few more facts about our company that give our clients the confidence to engage us time after time to help them solve S&OP and other supply chain and logistics challenges:

  • Several of the world’s 500 largest corporations count among our portfolio of clients
  • Our engagements typically return a payback within six months.
  • We offer a 180-day, 100% money back guarantee in all our client service offerings
  • We regularly work with companies in the following industries:
    • Healthcare
    • FMCG
    • CPG
    • Retail
    • Energy
    • Mining
    • Construction
    • Third party logistics (3PL)
    • Government
    • IT & Telco

Of course, there’s no better way to learn more about our services than to have a chat with us, which is why we invite you to get in touch for a totally FREE consultation call.

Book Your Free S&OP Consultation Call

We can publish lots more information about S&OP implementation and improvement, and indeed, we have, over on our blog, but we can help you even more when we know something about your business.

To that end, we’d love to speak with you, and it costs nothing to spend 15 minutes or so in an online call with one of our consultants.

During that call, which can be scheduled at a day and time of your choosing, we will:

  1. Gather a little information about your business, and your S&OP concerns.
  2. Identify the most likely causes of any problems you may be experiencing.
  3. Develop a simple plan of action to start countering the issues.
  4. Discuss possible options for us to continue helping your team to implement or improve S&OP.

Discuss possible options for us to continue helping your team to implement or improve S&OP.

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Take the First Step to Improved S&OP – Talk to the LB Experts!

Whether you want assistance to launch an S&OP process, or to fix problems and improve your current sales and operations planning, our team is waiting to work with you.

But to hear more about what we can do for your business specifically, we recommend a quick chat with one of our supply chain consultants.

To arrange your FREE advisory call, please complete the form below. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us by phone at +61 (2) 8212 9775 or email [email protected].