The current industrial context, the evolution of technological equipment, the acceleration of product life-cycle dynamics, the request for agility and decisional responsiveness have led many manufacturing organisations to implement some form of Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). Although this evolution in the way that organisations align demand and their ability to satisfy it is a competitive advantage for many of these companies, many decision makers and planners are still unable to predict the real impact of their decisions on their supply chains and believe that current technologies do not suitably respond to questions such as:
- How can my company quickly perform simulations, comparisons and what-if scenarios to drive proactive decision-making in S&OP?
- When capacity is limited, should demand be reduced? If demand must be reduced, which demand? Which products, areas, and customers will be affected?
- What if inventory policies were relaxed to enable more forward looking planning?
- With the number and frequency of product launches on the rise, what are the assessment timing, the impact and the risk of new product introductions?
- What’s the true profitability of each SKU?
- Where should funds and capacity be allocated to drive additional growth or profit?
The integration and optimization of decision-making actions along the entire supply chain, based on a performance-based driven analysis, allows users to compare and choose among tactical options and configurations of S&OP processes.
A key differentiator of an integrated architecture is the capability to centralize skills related the S&OP processes by structuring the decision-making and guiding staff toward the correct implementation.
To this end, the orchestration of all users, processes, and technologies significantly improves the responsiveness, moving from functional business decision making to working collaboration within a group. Moreover, the formal process structure and the mentoring of users helps to shape optimal organisation structure, increasing the timely interaction between users.
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