What is your planning data telling you? If it’s not able to answer the following types of questions, you’re selling your business short:
- How is our sales funnel impacting our demand plan?
- What is the revenue risk if we are below plan?
- What is the inventory risk if we are above plan?
- Are our channels ready to back up our product launch goals?
This topic will be addressed by EJ Tavella, Vice President, Strategic Sales and Solutions, and Seema Phull, Principal, NorthFind Partners, at the SCOPE Fall conference, which will be held August 11-13, 2013 at the Arizona Biltmore in Scottsdale.
Tavella and Phull’s presentation “What is Your S&OP Data Telling You?” is scheduled for August 12 at 2:00 pm MST and will cover case studies, methodology and technology options to deliver critical data context:
- Identify the crux of your key business issues
- Isolate a consistent set of data for establishing a starting point
- Map the right context to the right initiatives and key stakeholders in your organization
The SCOPE conference is one of the leading executive-level supply chain conferences, hosting educational sessions, solution research and peer networking by global sales and operations planning (S&OP) and integrated business planning (IBP) experts. Steelwedge will also be exhibiting at the conference in Booth #505.
Will we see you there? Let us know in the comments!
The collaborative nature of sales and operations planning (S&OP) begs the question: Do we need a statistical forecast? Is the “best-fit” engine a dinosaur that ought to be relegated to the past? Many companies ask these questions as if there is just one answer—yes or no. Progressive companies understand that statistical forecasts add value if used in the right way.
Statistical forecasts serve as a starting point based upon non-biased historical patterns. Salespeople are great at adjusting forecasts based upon their market and customer knowledge. Asking a salesperson to create a forecast without a starting value builds in bias from the start and often creates frustration for the salesperson who wants to devote time to pursuing leads rather than creating sales projections. In an effective S&OP process, collaboration builds on the statistical foundation.
But not all statistical forecasts produce a great starting point. Stable historical demand patterns typically produce more reliable statistical forecasts. Conversely, highly volatile demand patterns may produce unreliable statistical forecasts. The key is to identify which will add value. Products can be grouped as being good or bad candidates for statistical forecasting based on volatility and importance. Planning strategies can be assigned based upon segmentation using volatility and importance criteria. Good candidates are statistically forecast while bad candidates use planning approaches such as like item curve fit modeling for new products and reorder point for low volume or erratic demand items.
Statistical forecasting still has a place. To learn more about when and how you should use statistical forecasting, check out our new videos:
How is your company using statistical forecasting? Let us know in the comments section.
The strength of a superior sales and operations planning (S&OP) infrastructure lies in its ability to empower a business to absorb and maneuver through the changes arising from external and internal sources. No one knows this better than Radisys, the leading wireless infrastructure solutions provider.
On July 16, 2013 at 8:30 am PDT/11:30 pm EDT, join Lisa Aleman, Director, Sales and Operations Planning and Control at Radisys, and Dan Gilmore, Editor of SupplyChainDigest, as they discuss how Radisys partnered with Steelwedge and icon-scm to manage everything from outsourced manufacturing and global volatility to mergers and acquisitions—and to ensure that the S&OP goals remained in line with overall business objectives.
Register today to learn how Radisys can now:
- Allow corporate strategy to align with daily execution
- Optimize decision support with one integrated and synchronized platform
- Deliver more current forecasts to its contract manufacturers to enable better
- Reduce its forecast cycle time from approximately 2.5 weeks to 1 to 1.5 weeks
- Lower CPM input cycle time from 5 days to 3 days
- Reduce operations cycle time from 4 days to 2 days
- Decrease finance review time from 3 days to 2 days
- Accommodate out-of-cycle changes more easilyl
We hope to “see” you online on July 16 for the latest installment of the Steelwedge 2013 Agility Webinar Series: “Building S&OP Shock Absorbers for your Business.”
On June 21st, Gartner’s lead supply chain technology analyst, Tim Payne, led a thought-provoking Steelwedge Agility Series Webinar on re-thinking technology selection criteria for supply chain planning. In this session, he advocated that the current top two criteria often used –ability to integrate with an ERP system, and general system functionality– are not giving companies enough of an agile, competitive advantage and long term value. Instead, Tim highlighted three criteria that manufacturing companies should re-prioritize:
- Technology Architecture
- Vendor Thought Leadership and Innovation
- Application Deployment Model
Interestingly, in polling the supply chain leaders participating in the live webinar, some interesting trends emerged:
- 72% said that technology architecture is very important
- 55% felt that the most crucial part of vendor thought leadership was to allow them to be able to innovate; 35% said a clear roadmap also mattered
- 38% said they were balancing a combination of cloud and on-premise technology for planning; 17% plan to change to the cloud and 12% are already ONLY in the cloud.
Following are a few top questions from the webinar that Tim provided additional perspective on:
Q: Historically, companies typically develop process first, then follow with technology. Can today’s advanced technology actually help advance the process development and testing, too?
A: Yes. With some of the newer solutions, the way in which the process is more explicitly mapped and managed within the context of the technology solution, you can test out the process changes. We increasingly see what Gartner calls process templates within planning applications that model different processes.
Take S&OP for example, that tends to look more like a cookie cutter process approach in the lower stages of maturity. Then we’ll morph and evolve into a more company specific process as it goes up through the maturity stages for various reasons. You’re looking for a newer technology–the planning platform—for the ability to help map out those new processes and chart the differences and changes to those.
Q: What are some of the best in class tools for analyzing the 2 year-5 year horizon?
A: Modeling scenarios is key to longer term planning so tools that are good at this are key. There are two dimensions to scenarios: the ability to socialize the scenarios with the right stakeholders; and to adequately model the realities of the value chain. You need both of these capabilities to successfully do the necessary scenario work. Also, the tools need to perform the financial impact analysis of the different scenarios adequately so that you can assess the impact of the different scenarios.
Finally, the plans/scenarios have to be reviewed/approved in the context of a suitable process – so some form of process management s going to be needed.
Q: How does technology drive forecasting?
A: A few ways:
- it helps to establish a common, standardized demand planning process;
- it helps to automate the number-crunching behind a forecasting process allowing planners to focus on value-add activities;
- it helps give visibility to demand across a disperse supply chain;
- increasingly, it will help to analyze ever-increasingly large data sets to help find patterns in the data to drive improvements in forecast accuracy;
- it helps to integrate demand and supply plans together to drive a balance between the two.
Q: What are the most important KPIs to track with an S&OP Technology?
A: The KPIs will be different at the different levels of the S&OP process – BUT they will be related and interconnected. At the lower levels of the S&OP process, you want to measure the health of the supporting processes such as demand and replenishment planning. At the higher levels of the S&OP process, you want to measure the financial health of the plans you are reviewing to make sure they marry up to the longer term goals of the company – so KPIs that support an assessment of profitability, cash flow, market share etc. – these types of measures that align with the goals of the corporation.
A huge thank you to Tim for sharing his perspective! Do your planning technology priorities align to this? We’d love to hear from you.