Ed. note: This is the second in our two part Q&A with Lora Cecere, founder of Supply Chain Insights and the Supply Chain Shaman blog. In our May webinar, Lora unveiled the results of a new study on supply chain agility and the role of S&OP in improving an organization’s response capabilities. Following the webinar, Lora took a few questions from the audience but we weren’t able to get through all of them during the session. We threw out a Short-Answer challenge…and boy did she respond! -R
- What are the main problems when using Excel spreadsheets to enable the S&OP process?
The models lack the depth to effectively model the trade-offs of the supply chain effective frontier.
- What is best collaboration and decision making model for a global sales and operations business?
It depends on your maturity, industry requirements and the scope of operations. We would need to know more.
- What is the best way for an organization to start an S&OP process?
Define a supply chain strategy and start by modeling your effective frontier. Implement APS tools to develop a feasible plan.
- What would be your biggest suggestion to someone new to this field?
Educate. Educate. Educate.
- Why do you need S&OP at all?
To align the organization for greater demand volatility and supply risk.
- For companies that have never had a S&OP experience, how should we approach the subject to reduce resistance from those who do not understand the process?
I would start by helping companies to understand it through simulation activities.
- How do current technology support Integrated Business Planning process?
The advanced modeling technologies better allow the modeling of financial plans.
- How is S&OP implemented differently in a job shop where a forecast is not feasible?
Who says that a forecast is not feasible in a machine shop? While companies in make-to-order businesses cannot effectively forecast specific products, they can usually forecast contract requirements based on pending contracts and the service obligations of current contracts. Is this not a forecast?