Now that the world’s most sophisticated companies have started to leverage the big data created by maturing S&OP processes to make better decisions, is S&OP (Sales and Operations Planning) finally coming of age?
A global high tech equipment manufacturer leverages the huge repository of data built on a year of S and OP plan archives to identify subtle emerging customer buying trends. A European consumer products giant taps into its giant S and OP data set to quickly adapt to weather driven supply disruptions.
Simply stated, the law of convergence is at work—in this case the convergence of advances in information technology, planning process maturity, and increasingly complex, dynamic global supply chains that require a new level of sophistication. Doing analysis on S&OP data is not the same as analyzing historical data in a data warehouse. S&OP data is not just historical archives but also forward looking intelligent plans and scenarios. By merging the forward looking visibility that the S&OP plan provides and the power of analytics, we are providing customers with unprecedented opportunities to prepare for their future whether it is for upside opportunities or downside disruptions.
Organizing the Data
The Steelwedge cloud S&OP solution leverages the processing power of cloud computing and the foundation of information coming from ERP systems to enable the creation of supply and demand scenarios and simulations. A purpose built S&OP platform leveraging the powerful elastic processing capabilities of the cloud is the foundational building block. After a year of successive planning cycles, an enormous data repository exists and can be mined in context with monthly scenario analysis.
The second key building block is the capability to manage real time mirroring of the Sales and Operations Planning database to create near real time OLAP views integral to planning processes. This, in turn drives predictive analytic and analysis capabilities on top of planning data.
Having established a systematic technology-enabled S&OP process, the third and final building block is harnessing strong analytical talent within the organization. The analytics team must be capable of stepping outside of monthly fire drill and operational challenges and drilling into data to identify patterns, trends, scenarios, and opportunities as part of an overall integrated business planning approach utilizing both historical as well as forward looking data.
In response to customer requests for us to support this exciting revolution in analytics, I am very pleased to announce that Steelwedge will soon be releasing a next generation advanced analytics module incorporating new technologies and capabilities to support highly scalable, big data driven S&OP analytics. Stay tuned for more information on how you can harness big data to power your planning processes.