Last week, I attended IBF’s Executive S&OP workshop with Tom Wallace and companies such as LG, Celegene, Integra Life Sciences, UGG Boots, and more. Some folks flew in to New Jersey from beautiful Southern California just for the S&OP education. Bless them for coming to the North East. If that doesn’t show dedication to the field, I think it certainly comes close.
I am often amazed how demand planning, forecasting, and S&OP always initiate great discussion. This program was no different. We’ve been covering S&OP for some time and I truly enjoy when a program provides nuggets of new thought to take back.
Here are some thoughts, questions, and/ or takeaways from the workshop:
1) There is still confusion between what is demand planning software and S&OP software. Of course, any S&OP software does need input from demand planning & forecasting. But, is it ok to call a demand planning application a S&OP application?
2) Some companies call the S&OP meeting the compromise meeting. This certainly resonates well with me when I think of shopping with my wife on a budget :).
3) What are the steps that need to be taken during and after a company acquisition? Tom says, S&OP should be leading the discussions prior to acquisition.
4) How do you change behaviors and thinking when a company has been extremely successful with double digit growth? How can we be proactive during this time to ensure we have a process in place to handle anything which might arise in the future?
5) Is one number planning truly one number or one set of numbers that drives planning?
6) There are many companies that have successfully implemented a S&OP process without a consultant. This, of course, depends on the knowledge of the person driving the new process. If completely new, it may be in the best interest of a company to hire an S&OP consultant to save time and resources in order to reach the benefits of the process much faster.
7) Tom always says the S&OP process is balancing Supply with Demand, not the other way around. However, for example, Ugg shoes uses supply to drive demand?! I will talk more about this in a later post.
If you have any further thoughts on the above, or have an answer to these questions, we would love to hear from you.
Thanks for listening.
Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning – IBF