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Demand Planning, Forecasting, and S&OP

  • Put Risk Management on Your S&OP Agenda

    • Peter Murray
    March/April 2017
    Delivering value to your customers hinges on the end-to-end, interdependent supply chain. The scope of this network includes some elements that you command, but it also demands reliance on partner organizations that extend far beyond your direct control. ......Read More
  • Honing S&OP through the Art of Questioning

    • Patrick Bower
    January/February 2017
    Early in my career, I was given some arm-around-the shoulder advice by a mentor. He said, simply, “Question everything.” When I asked what he meant, he smiled and responded, “You’re learning.”......Read More
  • Turning Challenges into Opportunities with S&OP

    See sustainability and resilience drivers through an innovation lens
    • Peter Murray
    November/December 2016
    I look forward to APICS magazine’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) issue every year. It’s a chance to write about the practical aspects of my two professional passions: supply chain sustainability and sales and operations planning (S&OP).......Read More
  • Heading for the Win

    A real-world lesson in capacity strategy
    • Deb Smith
    • Randall Schaefer
    November/December 2016
    More and more, companies that used to treat capacity tactically are beginning to view it as a fundamental business strategy. When determining how to best approach capacity, there are three basic strategies to consider.......Read More
  • Planning to Plan

    Magnify the benefits of S&OP with a thoughtful agenda
    • Patrick Bower
    September/October 2016
    My inspiration for the “Sales and Operations Planning” (S&OP) department often comes from questions asked by coworkers over lunch or dinner, industry colleagues at a conference, or LinkedIn contacts. When a topic achieves a critical mass, I will send myself an email containing a few thoughts and file them in a folder aptly named “Future Articles.” Interestingly, the question people pose most often does not concern any of the more challenging mysteries of the S&OP universe. Instead, it focuses on a very narrow, yet very pragmatic, topic: What does a typical S&OP meeting agenda look like?......Read More
  • Mission-Critical S&OP

    Raytheon enhances integration, inspires learning, and boosts the bottom line
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    July/August 2016
    Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) has 28 locations worldwide producing weapons, sensors, and integration tools that support mission-critical areas including air and missile defense; land- and sea-based radar; naval ship operating systems; command, control, communication, computer, surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence systems; and other advanced technologies. In addition, IDS offers air traffic management solutions, sonars, and torpedoes.......Read More
  • Intangibles

    Exploring the softer side of S&OP
    • Patrick Bower
    July/August 2016
    I have spent a large part of my career helping business leaders derive greater value from their supply chain operations. Whether working as an operations analyst, a manufacturing systems consultant, a director of supply chain planning, or a sales and operations planning (S&OP) process lead, I have enjoyed improving the operations of clients and employers alike.......Read More
  • Got Holes in Your Books?

    Don’t be blind to purchase price variance mischief
    • Deb Smith
    • Randall Schaefer
    July/August 2016
    Metrics such as inventory turns, on-time shipments, production efficiency, and the like are woven into the fabric of most manufacturing operations in order to gain control over production and costs. But each has the potential to be subverted for personal advantage. The most-often-abused metric is purchase price variance (PPV). ......Read More
  • Service, Inventory, and Accuracy

    Continuous links drive real-world success
    • Stephen J. Godburn
    Organizations are constantly challenged to operate more efficiently and flexibly, be streamlined, meet the velocity of business today, and find ways to remain profitable. The latest and greatest improvement processes promise to help professionals achieve these goals. But the real challenges are seeing through the madness; understanding what drives the business and its processes; pinpointing the desired effects; and then challenging, prioritizing, and revising status-quo practices. This article outlines how one company is working toward these important goals.......Read More
  • The Great Cadence Debate

    Where do your S&OP loyalties lie?
    • Patrick Bower
    May/June 2016
    Here in the United States, we are in the midst of our lengthy political season. The airwaves are full of rhetoric; opinions; and, of course, debate. I often find myself watching the candidates and shaking my head because real issues aren’t being discussed, questions are going unanswered, and facts are getting mangled beyond all recognition. Unwilling to discuss politics at work or in polite company, I am relegated to screaming at my TV in the privacy of my own home. It’s maddening.......Read More
  • Warding Off Activist Investors

    Sharp S&OP makes a good defense
    • Peter Murray
    March/April 2016
    Search “activist investor” on the internet, and you will learn that this term defines an individual (or group) who purchases large numbers of a public company’s shares or tries to obtain seats on a board with the goal of effecting a major change. You also will find numerous articles about major, seemingly successful companies being forced to implement those changes.......Read More
  • S&OP and Lean Unite for Corporate Alignment

    • Alan R. Severance
    Sales and operations planning (S&OP) can significantly improve inventory and capacity management. When done correctly—and with high-level participation every month—S&OP enables every part of a company to revise plans and create new ones quickly. It also ensures that the entire organization is aware of new products, new markets, the latest customer demands and complaints, capacity issues, and the health of the overall supply chain. Executives are able to take active, coordinated steps to achieve the best possible outcome for the business. As performance improves, managers, executives, and board members celebrate. ......Read More
  • S&OP Prophecies

    Keep a seeing eye on these industry-shaping trends
    • Patrick Bower
    January/February 2016
    While driving home from work a few weeks ago, the haunting Zager and Evans song “In the year 2525” came on my satellite radio. The tune is an odd blend of pessimism about humankind’s ability to survive and the benefits of scientific achievement. The song was popular in 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. Despite the stunning accomplishments of that time (humans had just landed on the moon), the musicians seemed to doubt that all technological advances would be positive.......Read More
  • An Adventure Worth the Risk

    Boldly overhauling a broken S&OP process
    • Robert A. Valletta
    January/February 2016
    This real-life, sales and operations planning (S&OP) account offers a comprehensive look at how a disciplined, step-by-step S&OP revamp can succeed. It is a story of transformation and advancement at a $1 billion biotechnology division of a leading corporate materials science innovator. This company had more than 10,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs); 16 manufacturing sites in 7 global regions; hundreds of product lines, product groups, and business segments; 3 key distribution centers on different continents; more than 50,000 individual data points to forecast throughout a 24-month horizon; and multiple separate forecast models that did not connect or share a common format. The challenges were significant. ......Read More
  • Drive Sustainability Performance with S&OP

    Convert a good idea into practical strategies and actions
    • Peter Murray
    November/December 2015
    The days of dealing with sustainability only in terms of compliance and corporate positioning are over. Today, sustainability is about business success via real top-and bottom-line performance. Companies of all kinds must manage complex issues driven by global competition, speed, and the visibility and volume of information out there. Progress is difficult, and change often seems impossible.......Read More
  • Party Crasher?

    Weighing a CEO’s value to S&OP
    • Patrick Bower
    September/October 2015
    For a long time, the fundamental assumption in sales and operations planning (S&OP) has been that the CEO should actively lead the process. And this makes sense, right?......Read More
  • New-Fashioned MRP

    Incorporating lean features may bring about success
    • Dave Turbide
    July/August 2015
    In the long-running debate about push versus pull in planning and management, the two sides typically are exemplified by material requirements planning (MRP) on the push side and lean on the pull. The basic arguments are as follows.......Read More
  • The S&OP Elevator Pitch

    Strategies for discussing the technique from top to bottom
    • Patrick Bower
    July/August 2015
    I often am asked what I do for a living, and I find myself challenged to describe my profession simply. “Well, I am a sales and operations planning (S&OP) lead,” I’ll say, chest thrust forward. This is usually followed by deafening silence. My own mother doesn’t even get it; she still thinks I do “something with computers,” a vestige of my early career choice.......Read More
  • It’s All S&OP to Me

    Translating an essential practice into professional languages
    • Jennifer Storelli
    Many problems in life can be chalked up to communication issues. If a customer receives the wrong meal at a restaurant, maybe that person did not speak clearly or the waiter could not hear well in the loud environment. If an employee and his or her boss don’t see eye to eye, it’s probably because they’re not really listening to each other and talking through the issues......Read More
  • People Power for Tactical Success

    S&OP and hoshin planning point employees in the right direction
    • Bharani Ranganathan
    May/June 2015
    Organizations seeking to improve their planning methods aren’t limited to following a single path. Sales and operations planning (S&OP) combined with hoshin planning principles is a unique new device in the toolbox.......Read More