Archive for the ‘Best practices’ Category

7 Life Sciences Supply Chain Processes That Require an Integrated Approach

Published April 7th, 2014 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 0 Comments

The emerging or intensifying industry dynamics that I discussed in an earlier blog post, along with significant shifts in strategy, are having a direct and material impact on the way Life Sciences supply chains must operate. The compounded effect of a host of complexity drivers is creating the need for supply chain transformation. By satisfying the following seven supply chain processes in an integrated manner, Life Sciences teams will be better equipped for success in today’s new, complex world.

  1. Collaborative launch management – clinical, regulatory and commercial
  2. Jurisdictional control to respect regulatory needs during planning
  3. Consensus demand planning across affiliates and countries
  4. Risk evaluation and recovery to deal with shortages and FDA shutdowns
  5. Shortage analysis and reporting for FDASIA compliance
  6. Supply and capacity planning to balance demand across regions
  7. Expiry management to balance long supply lead times and shifting demand

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Coordinated Launches

The effective launch of a new product is critically important in any industry, but it is of particular importance in the Life Sciences industry given the long time it takes to bring a new drug to market from discovery through clinical trials and commercialization, with regulatory oversight and conformance throughout the process. When the ‘long tail’ trend is coupled with shorter patent protection, the margin and market captured during the early launch period will be crucial to the recovery of the R&D investment, and thus the pressure to streamline and coordinate clinical trials and the regulatory process with the commercial launch has become intense.

Revenue Trends throughout the Product Life Cycle

phamacutical supply chain graph

Jurisdictional Control

In addition, mandates by regulatory bodies require jurisdictional control of demand satisfaction to account for third country sourcing, validation, and shelf life requirements, amongst others. This requires sophisticated attribute based planning to link demand characteristics to supply characteristics while simultaneously analyzing and reducing expiry risk, especially when inventory postponement strategies are used.

Consensus Demand Planning

For tax, legal, and regulatory reasons, many Life Sciences companies establish semi-independent sales affiliates or subsidiaries in some jurisdictions or sell through third parties. Creating a consensus demand plan across all the affiliates and subsidiaries is not a trivial task. Often, each demand region will forecast in different units (doses, standard packs, grams of API, etc.); almost always in different currencies; at a different cadence (quarterly, monthly, weekly); and over different time horizons. However, manufacturing needs to create a single forecast using a consistent unit of measure so that they can net the demand against available supply and determine future manufacturing capacity needs. To make matters worse, the affiliates are often less than fully transparent about their on-hand inventory.

Risk Evaluation and Recovery (including Shortage Analysis and Reporting)

Current technical architectures do not provide the capabilities needed to address new requirements under FDASIA ̶ reporting obligations for drug shortage issues and more active inspection of production facilities for instance. Information flow is typically limited to EDI exchanges with little or no ability to understand, for example, the impact of an API supply de-commit on future treatment —drug or device— availability in a regulatory region. To do this, Life Sciences companies will require much greater visibility and what-if scenario capabilities to both inspect and affect the global supply chain across Third Party Operators and into the supply base.

Tender Analysis and Management

Many manufacturers lack the required process standardization in manufacturing, inventory and expiry management, and other core business disciplines to make the required trade-offs during tender analysis between demand satisfaction, expiry risk, and constrained capacity utilization, ultimately leading to effective supply and capacity planning to balance demand across regions. Collaboration across the players in the supply chain is often insufficient and inefficient to achieve these tradeoffs. Given the harsh penalties imposed for non-conformance, being able to make the trade-offs to maintain profitability span the life cycle of the tender, not simply the tender acquisition phase.

Expiry Management

Streamlining manufacturing and distribution processes in order to satisfy demand while reducing unit cost is therefore becoming increasingly important in order to maintain profitability, reduce inventories and enhancing competitiveness within the industry. This is especially true given the long manufacturing lead times, often as long as 12-18 months in bio-pharmaceuticals, which lead to the need for expiry risk and stop sell analysis capabilities to balance effective demand satisfaction with efficient capacity utilization.

A New Technology Paradigm for a New World

phamacutical supply chain graph #5Legacy demand planning and supply chain planning systems were not designed for today’s complexities, and consequently don’t meet the many challenges that have emerged. As a result, Life Sciences companies are adopting process improvements and new technologies targeted at removing business “silos,” improving collaboration, and increasing productivity.

For a true breakthrough, you need an integrated solution. People must be able to leverage a single system with one set of data, supported by comprehensive analysis and decision-making capabilities, no matter what the process or the problem.

To keep a finger on the pulse of the supply chain, today’s solutions must:

  • Embrace the reality that today’s supply chains are multi-enterprise in nature and, thus, must provide comprehensive visibility into the extended supply chain to regain an understanding of the manufacturing commitments and inventory positions throughout the supply network. Visibility is an essential pre-requisite for effective orchestration of the business.
  • Proactively bring to light major variances to plan, identifying not only specific events, but also identifying and quantifying the consequences to customer service, revenue, margin, and a number of other financial and operations metrics, and thereby flagging those that could do most harm to the business.
  • Arm decision-makers with scenario simulation capabilities for risk trade-off and response, to model and compare situations quickly and appropriately to ensure a profitable response is put into action. And it must facilitate and incorporate human judgment, since many of the decision requirements are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to capture in a mathematical model — the foundation of an optimization system.
  • Foster collaboration for team-based decisions that tap the collective insight of the right people in the organization — those that understand the potential impact of any event and proposed action alternatives.


Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Milesahead, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Supply chain management

Supply Chain Leadership Series: High Tech executive focused on global external manufacturing

Published April 3rd, 2014 by CJ Wehlage 0 Comments

I am starting a blog series called “Supply Chain Leadership”, where I hope to pose thought provoking, and forward looking questions to executives in my supply chain network.  Posted monthly, this series will provide insights into the most pressing challenges, innovative items in their budgets, and how these executives have handled talent, complexity, end-to-end S&OP, and technology.

First up is a high tech executive in the enterprise storage industry. He is leading the global external manufacturing group and based in Ireland. His deep experience in working with the complexity of outsourced manufacturing, to me, is the most extensive I have known.

1.       As we enter 2014, how would you describe the most pressing supply chain challenges?

Supply Chain challenges are coming at us from multiple fronts. The ones we know about are increases in regulations, e.g. BIS, and finding the right balance between cost and the ability to service our customers in the most efficient way from an availability and lead-time standpoint. The biggest challenge, however, is being prepared for the next major Supply Chain disruption. Over the past 3 years we have had many natural disasters including ash clouds, earthquakes, flooding & hurricanes. While these events have had a really terrible impact on people lives within the region where they have occurred, they have also had a significant impact on the supply of materials to many locations world-wide. From a Supply Chain standpoint, our challenge is to prepare as robust a supply chain as possible to deal with other natural disasters that will certainly happen in the future, but we just don’t know where or when.


And the data supports his concern:

  • Japan Quake/Tsunami – $210B cost
  • Thailand Floods – $30B cost
  • Volcano Ash Clouds – $5B impact to global GDP


Global Billion-Dollar Economic Loss Events by Region

2.       Looking back at the past few years, what parts of supply chain have improved and what have you seen as the contributing factors for that improvement?

Rather than specific processes, applications or techniques, I believe the biggest improvement over the past couple of years is the general acceptance that manufacturing in, or sourcing material from, the lowest cost region is not always the right option. Many manufacturing companies, particularly in the high-tech sector, are focusing on the concept of “Right-Shoring”, which is basically optimizing multiple locations to take advantage of total cost, time to market and other factors such as consumer’s pride in “Made in x” or concerns about worker’s conditions is certain regions.

This general acceptance or mind shift change has encouraged and facilitated a different type of thinking that has driven improvements in many supply chain related areas.


3.       In the creation or support of your Budget Plan, what are the new items you see for this year and beyond, things that haven’t been on prior year Budgets, or things that have seen the greatest increase in priority?

One item that is chewing up a larger portion of tightening budgets is the cost associated with complying with importation regulation is many countries. As supply chain professionals, we have an obligation to ensure that our products do not present any risk to humans or the environment. However, over the past few years more and more countries have implemented unique requirements that are costing a lot of money and increased difficulties in the supply chain.

I am not really seeing enough effort to eliminate these unique requirements and move to a global standard. This needs to be a priority for our industry over the next couple of years.  


4.       The End-to-End supply chain strategy has been well documented. What capabilities does your company have that is better in class for integrating end-to-end?

A global footprint of fulfillment sources, both our own factories and CM facilities, which allows us to vertically integrate at the most competitive, cost to best service our customers. Selecting the most suitable partners who are as interested in growing a sustainable business as we are, has been one of the most important elements of our end-to-end supply chain strategy. Our supply chain partners provide us the world class service. They totally understand the direction that our business is going and what our future needs will be, sometimes before we do ourselves.


5.       How aligned and connected are you to the many supply chain nodes?  What are the reasons you would want to improve this alignment?

I believe we are very aligned and connected with our supply chain nodes. We are also very much aware of alternative supply chain nodes and how quickly we could turn them on if we needed to. Partnering with some of the world’s leading supply chain experts is an integral part of our supply chain strategy. However, we always need to keep improving this alignment. The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before and we need to stay at the leading edge. Technology is improving and the use of near real-time data can provide tremendous benefits. We must embrace these changes and continue to drive further alignment to reap the benefits.


I find his answers fascinating.  Would you agree?

When talking about outsourcing, he calls out the real challenge… global decisions.  Connecting trading partner data is a given. What you do with that data – Decision Making – is the heart of successful external manufacturing. When a disruption occurs, whether it’s a supply shortage or a natural disaster, the ability to structure the decisions is critical.  And what makes a decision? = policies.

Visibility into data gives you just a number. The difficult part is determining what that number means. What is needed is visibility into policy, because you can now determine the relevance of what’s impacted, and the insight as to what to do about it.

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Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP)

Next generation supply chain planner: How the role is changing

Published August 14th, 2013 by Lori Smith 1 Comment

TriQuint Semiconductor supply chain plannerWe try to keep the self-promotion to a minimum, but we have a great customer, TriQuint Semiconductor, that recently allowed us to update their case study  and I think their story has merit in sharing again.

The case study has lots of good bits on how they are using RapidResponse and the benefits they see (like realizing inventory reductions a month after the solution even went live). But the jewel of the story is where they say that, with RapidResponse, they “are changing the role of the supply chain planner to be more analytical rather than just the data hunter.”  A simple statement… with enormous implications.

From the corporate perspective, this means higher productivity, more value-added activity, and results-oriented decisions…all leading to better business results.   But equally important, from the supply chain professional perspective, think of the satisfaction that happens when someone feels equipped and able to actively and effectively contribute to the business.  It becomes not just about getting things done, but about making a difference.

JP Swanson of TriQuint said it best…

“Previously we spent so much time gathering the information that we weren’t able to spend enough time analyzing the information, understanding it and doing something about it…Our team likes the fact that they can use their minds more and they are getting to touch a different skill level because they have more time to do it and more information in front of them to do it with.”

Another worthy quote…

“It’s a great solution for many of our everyday problems. It is now our default when faced with an issue…”how can we model it in RapidResponse?”

A big thank you to TriQuint for letting us tell their supply chain story. We love what you are doing with the product!

In addition, here’s a snap shot of the TriQuint story from our techvalidate survey.
TriQuint Semiconductor supply chain

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Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Response Management, Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management, Supply chain risk management

So long Google Reader…but the 21st Century Supply Chain blog lives on!

Published August 12th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

Hey 21st Century Supply Chain readers,

If you were like me, you may have been a little surprised to realize that Google Reader went away last month, July 1st to be specific. John Westerveld had called this out in a previous post, but I hadn’t fully connected the dots… I thought, perhaps, some of our readers may need a reminder as well and also want to hear about a few alternatives.

I came across this image of Bart Simpspon on the Hubspot site and thought it was worth sharing :)

Google Reader 21st Century Supply Chain blog lives on!

As John Westerveld warned us… Many of us get our blogs aggregated through Google reader. I did have a moment of panic when I contemplated having to actually visit the various web pages for the blogs I read on a regular basis.

However a quick search later (yes, on Google) I discovered Feedly. I gave Feedly permission to access my Google reader information and in seconds I had it working in the same way Google reader worked for me. Further, Feedly has some very nice layout options that are actually an improvement on my traditional Google reader experience.

For more options, here are some articles talking about Google Reader alternatives:

Alternatively, you may want to receive our blogs directly to your inbox. Sign up here to get posts sent to your email address.

While this is not really be supply chain related, we want to make sure that nothing comes between you and the 21st Century Supply Chain!



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Posted in Best practices, Supply chain management

Automotive supply chain success story: customer greatly improves on time delivery performance

Published July 26th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

Today, we want to feature a case study of one of our automotive customer’s supply chain. We know that despite the global economic situation, whether it is a sequester in the US or under-utilized capacity in Europe, the automotive supply chain continues to rapidly evolve driven by fundamental changes in operating models, product platforms and operating models. Increasingly, these automotive/transport companies are turning to third party operators at all levels of the supply chain to reduce costs, satisfy local demand, and enhance capacity flexibility.

We want to share the success of one global 500 automotive company and how they are facing these challenges head on and seeing breakthroughs in operations performance.


“RapidResponse has significantly reduced our inventory levels; the program has also greatly improved our delivery time and material consumption.”

Check out the case study of a global automotive supply chain


If you would like to check out other case studies similar to this one, visit our TechValidate page and you will find 28 cases studies, which you may browse by industry.  In addition, you may want to check out Aamer Rehman’s blog post on “5 Critical Supply Chain Competency Improvements Needed in the Automotive Sector“.

More about our supply chain survey

As you may have read in our first blog of the series, we completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

Take a look at past topics we have explored in this series:

Voice of the customer part 1: Supply Chain Flexibility

Voice of the customer part 2: Supply Chain Visibility

Voice of the customer part 3: Supply Chain Planning

Voice of the customer part 4: What-if Analysis

Voice of the customer Part 5: Response Management

Voice of the customer part 6: Alternative Technologies

Voice of the customer part 7: Competitive Advantage

Supply chain success story: Pharmaceutical customer significantly improves inventory management

If you are eager to check out all the results, simply go to our TechValidate page. If you wish to use or share any of the content we’ve published to-date, click on the asset you wish to use and then select the download button to save. You can also choose the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

Happy Friday!


Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain management

How to Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business Advantage: Complimentary Analyst Report Featured in Kinaxis Newsletter

Published July 24th, 2013 by Lori Smith 1 Comment

How to Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business AdvantageWe recently produced a newsletter which includes complimentary access to a Gartner research report titled “Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business Advantage” (Sinur J., Schulte R., Gartner Research, 20 March 2013).

In the report it states:

“Many business process directors are under pressure to help make the best possible process-related decisions to ensure desirable business outcomes, business differentiation and continuous innovation.”

One can argue that nowhere is this statement more true than in supply chain.

Again, quoting from the report,

“IBO is an emerging style of business behavior that leverages analytics embedded in processes to support better decision making and improved knowledge worker collaboration. IBO-based processes are “smart” about the context in which they run, which is influenced by events external to the process.”

It requires no stretch of the imagination to understand the applicability and potential of Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) within supply chain management.

We believe that IBO actually delivers the benefits as was originally promised by Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM). IBO incorporates many of the same concepts of SCEM but includes additional elements that address its shortcomings; namely, the distinct ability to determine an appropriate response to an event once notified of it.

This newsletter

  • provides an understanding of the broader IBO trends and practices;
  • presents a supply chain context to the concept of IBO and the process transformation opportunities that can be achieved; and
  • outlines the necessary supporting technology capabilities, which ultimately requires one to look beyond the concepts found in traditional advanced planning systems (APS) and which we believe sets the RapidResponse architecture apart from other supply chain solutions in the effective application of IBO.

Download the newsletter here (a limited time offer).

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Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management

Collaboration is not working, but it is the key to step function innovation

Published April 18th, 2013 by CJ Wehlage 2 Comments

In my last blog, I made the statement, “The traditional thinking of improving speed of transactions between systems was usurped by improving speed of knowledge between people.” Case in point from my own experience:

EMC end of quarter – it was more important to have finance, sales, supply chain and service collaborate in person, to share their knowledge.  Orders were prioritized, product was moved, and profit was optimized.  The system transactions were certainly needed, but took a back seat to the speed of inter-team collaboration.

Apple new product introduction – departments would restructure.  The entire team would have common goals & common compensation plans. This core team held the decision power to meet the announcement date.  When you are betting the company on a few SKU’s, the personal collaborative spirit usurped the system transactions.

I think back to these days, especially when I hear my old friends at AMR Research (now Gartner) reference High Tech as an industry to measure for supply chain leadership. There are a lot of reasons this reference makes sense.  High Tech has intense product innovation, forcing quick life cycles.  We embraced globalization, pushed the envelope of outsourcing, and fundamentally changed the “plan-by-make-deliver” model.

I recently read Supply Chain Insights’ A Focus on Consumer Electronics (Mayer, A., Supply Chain Insights LLC, 4/05/2013). I spoke to Abby Mayer about the industry, and agree with her finding, “the consumer electronics industry has outperformed most other industries in four significant areas: growth, profitability, cycle management, and complexity.”  Ah, there’s that word from my prior blog: complexity.  Once again, I will state that speed is the inverse function of complexity.  High Tech embraces, in fact builds, complexity.  It’s a differentiator, when you can control speed.

However, speed in your vertical supply network is not the end game.  I found this out when I was recently talking with a supply chain executive, a person I met back in 2008 in Suwon, South Korea.  Soon, most high tech supply chains will have speed.  It will be the norm to have vertical speed.  The new battle ground for supply chain leadership will be the ability to leverage that vertical speed against other supply chain networks.  ‘Faster supply chains’ will get the better opportunity for profitability.  How?  It’s classic for high tech to master a skill, in this case, vertical speed.  Then, take that skill and leverage it against the competition.  Soon, supply chain networks will compete on speed.   The faster ones will place profitability metrics to speed.  The South Korean supply chain executive said, “As a brand, I want to position our speed as a means of profitability to our partners.  If they can’t answer in hours, especially if they are waiting on slower brands, I will change their profitability targets.” That’s a wake-up call to high tech supply chains.  Imagine if your 1 hour response can get 25% better profit margin that your 1 day response.

So, building speed, then leveraging speed, is where High Tech is going.  But, if speed of transactions is being usurped by speed of knowledge between people, then what enables speed between people?  I posed this question to my South Korean friend, a supply chain CIO from a semiconductor company, as well as to my old Apple network.  They came up with two common answers:

  •  End-to-end visibility – raw material to end consumer
  •  Tight collaboration – in the form of personal interactions

And, I agree with their responses. These answers are what made my days at Apple and EMC work well.  But, all collaboration seems to resonate around a time fence.  At EMC, the best personal interactions came over the last two weeks of the quarter.  This core team acted as one unit, with common goals, and shared knowledge.  At Apple, the same interactions would occur extremely well during the 2 months before new product introduction.  Even at Bose, the common bond would happen during those few days called Black Friday.

Which brings me to my largest concern for high tech supply chain leadership: While end-to-end visibility is a gimme in high tech, most companies’ collaboration still isn’t healthy. And, if it’s not fixed, it will have a degrading impact on the future of high tech supply networks.  Look at scenario planning as an indicator.  Most high tech supply chains aspire to run effective scenario management models.  Most don’t do it effectively.  Why?  Here’s the secret. Effective people to people collaboration requires end–to-end modeling and common goals, and this isn’t happening in high tech.

As a practitioner, I’ll stand up in the high tech circle and say, “hello, my name is C.J. Wehlage, and I am a recovering collaborator.” When I was “collaborating”, I was always making sure my margin was maximized.  Let’s not confuse collaborating with fighting for margin.  Effective collaboration had not much to do with true end-to-end modeling, as much as it was about margin attainment at the expense of suppliers.  My common goals weren’t including Contract Manufacturers and suppliers all the time.  Take a second read of the Supply Chain Insight report.  Table 3 – while the Consumer Electronic operating margin was fantastic over the 2000-2011 time-frame, the Contract Manufacturers operating margin was low to even negative over the same time frame.  I’m not the first to whisper at the AMR Top 25 Supply Chain dinner, “they may be in the Top 10, but really it should be FoxConn/Jabil/Flextronics accepting that award….”

This is my concern, and it’s the game changer for High Tech supply chains.  Negative margin in a major node cannot be sustained.  Collaboration needs to consider true end-to-end modeling. The complete margin of the network needs to be the metric that drives success.  Then, cool terms like ‘total cost to serve’ will mature.  But don’t look to mathematical models to bring about this collaborative change. I expect it will be human judgment & ingenuity.

We still have a global, complex network that crosses multiple nodes, not all under the same controls, not all driven by the same metrics, and not well trained to share benefits; Couple all this with economic reconfiguration (see China growth), cultures, language and levels of sophistication.

That’s why it’s so critical to begin with sharing knowledge, end-to-end, with the network.  Innovation breeds from this sharing.  I believe this innovation will create the step function in collaboration.

I’ll leave this blog with a shout out to an old AMR Research friend, David Aquino, now a SVP Supply Chain in Irvine, CA.  Dave and his colleague Lucie Draper wrote a great report on supply chain talent while at AMR.  The report described that the lack of talent is a great risk to seeing this step function in collaboration. From Figure 6 of the report, the section for Highest Level of Skills Sought & Lowest Skills Available is: Customer Management, Strategy and Change Management, Technology Enablement.


Within the report, the comment was made that leaders would like to see candidates that are better able to “connect the dots.” That sounds a lot like true end-to-end innovation – the kind of innovation that is created out of human ingenuity.  Something that gives me hopes that this will occur.  From my two years at AMR Research, I recognized that the Top 25 supply chains didn’t always have the best mathematical systems, but did have a desire for ingenuity.

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Posted in Best practices, Control tower, Demand management, Response Management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management

Kinaxis Receives Positive Rating in Gartner Stage 3 Sales and Operations Planning MarketScope Report

Published September 12th, 2012 by Lori Smith 0 Comments

Kinaxis Receives Positive Rating in Gartner Stage 3 Sales and Operations Planning MarketScope Report

A Gartner S&OP MarketScope was recently published (Payne, T., MarketScope for Stage 3 Sales and Operations Planning, Gartner Inc., 23 August 2012).

This report focuses on evaluating S&OP vendor solutions in terms of how well they would support a full deployed global Stage 3 maturity S&OP process. Per the report:

Increasingly, companies will look to establish well-designed and effective Stage 3 S&OP processes to help manage more-global and unpredictable operations, as well as revisiting existing, lower-level maturity S&OP processes in a bid to improve their effectiveness. As companies find that their operating environments become more complex and unpredictable, the need for superior supply chain performance increases.

We believe Gartner’s vendor ratings confirms our leadership position in the market for providing customers with a modern-day solution to their modern day S&OP challenges. Today’s reasons for needing S&OP are the very same reasons S&OP needs to evolve — while the end objective of operational and financial alignment remains the same, in an environment of volatility and complexity, how you achieve that alignment (and maintain it) is very different than ever before.

Here is what we think S&OP should look like:

  • Demand and supply in a single application. Use a single software solution to tie the highest level demand signals (e.g. product family forecast) to the very lowest level raw material component, while simultaneously supporting near term planning (days & weeks) and long range planning (months & years). Having all demand and supply data in one place (including data from contract manufacturers and suppliers) enables faster and more reliable plan development as well as clearer, quicker insight into the impact of changes. When the whole organization works from one data source, there is increased consensus and fewer surprises.
  • Alignment between volume and mix. Make changes to the plan at the volume level and disaggregate it to the mix level, ensuring that execution of the plan is feasible.
  • Inclusion of related corporate functions into the S&OP process. Tie adjacent functions like project management, profitability management or workforce optimization to the sales and operations planning process to understand and manage the cross-functional implications of your actions.
  • S&OP alignment with corporate and financial goals. Ensure that decisions are made in the context of corporate targets, so when changes happen at the operational level, their impact can be seen and understood at the corporate level.
  • Rapid creation of “what-if” scenarios. What-if versions of the entire sales and operations plan can be created in seconds and can be revised as needed during S&OP review meetings, thus accelerating process times. Simulations should be able to be made on any type of change — demand, supply, product, policies or assumptions.
  • Continuous S&OP. Continuously monitor plans and act on events that will put the plan at risk. Respond quickly with mid-cycle adjustments as required.
  • Parallel planning and collaboration. Fully integrate supply chain planning and operations personnel, so you can bring together people across the organization best able to contribute to the resolution of a particular issue into a collaborative environment. Not only does this greatly speed up the decision process, it also ensures consensus among all stake holders—internal or external to the organization.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Posted in Best practices, Control Tower Concepts, Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain risk management