Effective sales and operations planning involves linking together business and master planning within a company. This type of planning is an important business process aimed at balancing a company’s demand and supply.
What is actually involved in successful sales and operations planning? A recent article from B2B Source explains some of the aspects of sales and operations planning (S&OP) and suggests some great suppliers should you wish to get a professional to take a look at your internal activities.
The article covers:
- Product Review
- Demand Review
- Supply Chain Review
- Management evaluation
For the full article visit B2B source here. For more information about sales and operations planning, visit Gideon Hillman consulting.
No matter what industry a business is in, its aim has to be to continually increase sales for any hope of longevity. Sales of a product or service is where profits are made, driving a business to perform well and ultimately be successful. Although it is very simple to look at the ‘rules’ of business in this way, actually achieving this goal is no easy feat and requires a little more than a sales plan. Understanding the link between operations – with the likes of manufacturing, distributions, customer services all playing key roles – and sales and putting plans in place to compliment the business goals could pay dividends when think of sales potential and business success.
Sales and operations planning (S&OP planning as it is more commonly referred to), is a vital planning tool when considering business targets. This method of planning is based around business objectives in terms of sales projections as well as how these can be achieved. For a successful S&OP plan, business executives must look at the ways in which the business can perform to compliment trading. For example, if a business’ target is to improve its sales by 5% year on year, an S&OP plan must look to the long term requirements for this to happen. This could include where a product is manufactured and the cost implications of this or how quickly the product can reach the end consumer – in order for sales to grow there must be a high level of customer satisfaction without which a business cannot hope to be successful.
Sales and Operations Planning encompasses all the different areas within a business to, hopefully, create a strategy for success. Although an annual plan is likely to be put together, this may need to be tweaked on a monthly basis to meet supply demands and financial considerations.
For S&OP planning to be successful, there must be a high level of understanding of the business right down to the finer details such as the time taken to package a product. All of these things will ultimately affect the larger business processes which have a knock on effect to the planning strategy. It is also necessary to put in contingency plans as part of the sales and operations tools, taking into account external environmental factors which could affect any area of the business. Sometimes, worst case scenario planning could help with this. For example what would a business do in the case of a sudden unavailability of raw material from a supplier? Perhaps a secondary supplier could be used but with this comes risk of varying products which do not meet customer expectations; or perhaps a stock pile of raw material should be considered – but where then can it be stored safely? Planning ahead could reduce the impact of such a disaster on the ultimate business objectives.
Sales and operations planning is not an easy task and, as said, required extensive knowledge of the business as well as the external industry. Some companies may look to business consultants such as Gideon Hillman, to help identify areas which need improvements and areas of strength as part of managing demand within a business.
Not quite as simple as more sales = more profit!
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Did you know that on average supply chain accounts for 80 per cent of total business costs and driving working capital performance? You may have already realised this and are looking for supply chain consultants. Perhaps you have worked with consultants before or you are looking for a new supplier. If you need some supply chain expertise but you are not too sure where to start, B2B source has collated a list of things to look for when sourcing a supply chain consultant. Some of the points covered include:
- Developing a clear plan
- Engaging early
- Get to know the people who you will be working with…
You can read the full article here at b2b source. If you are looking for consultants to help you with your supply chain activities, visit the Hillman consulting website today.