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  • Keep S&OP Alive and Well

    • Patrick Bower
      2018

    As the owner of a sustaining S&OP process, it is my role to hold steady our organization’s operational values in the wake of changes such as these. To maintain process stability, I often train coworkers when they transition into their new S&OP roles. ......Read More

  • Lessons in Effective Negotiating from the Pawn Shop Stars

    • Mark S. Miller
      2018

    The best supply chain managers are also effective negotiators. Sure, negotiation skills are essential to purchasing — but they also play an important role in inventory management and transportation and logistics. Interestingly, some of the most essential negotiation skills also happen to be displayed each week on those reality TV shows about world-famous pawn shops. If you’re unfamiliar, basically, the programs depict a pawn shop staff’s interactions with customers, who bring in a variety of artifacts. Viewers watch as the players haggle over price and debate each piece’s historical background.......Read More

  • Are You Having Chewy Conversations?

    • Patrick Bower
      2018

    The demand consensus meeting is one of the most important steps in sales and operations planning (S&OP), with the resultant demand plan serving as a critical input for all other S&OP process meetings. Without a demand plan as a starting point, not much else can happen in the cycle. There would be no supply and demand balancing exercise, plan valuation, or scenario planning. In fact, when I worked as an S&OP consultant, the demand consensus meeting was the only S&OP process element universally employed at every company I encountered. Some of them also conducted supply review meetings, and a few held formal portfolio review meetings. But every single one had a consensus meeting.......Read More

  • Software Selection Grievances: A Cautionary Tale

    • Patrick Bower
      2018

    I am currently shopping for software. No doubt many of you just cringed at those words — and your empathy is appreciated, but I really am excited to be leading this effort. It’s not often that supply chain management professionals get to choose and implement a new, high-impact suite of supply chain planning software that will advance the global sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.......Read More