Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a strategic business process that successful companies use to anticipate and synchronize the executive, supply, demand and financial components of their business in order to achieve focus, control, alignment, and superior business results.

People, Process, and Demand Works

Nearly all mid-sized and larger businesses can benefit from S&OP, but it takes three things to do it effectively:

  • People who are committed to planning and working as a team, headed by an interested and involved executive leadership;
  • Process including consistent and productive monthly demand review, supply review and executive consensus meetings;
  • And Tools like Smoothie® Server, Cloud Smoothie®, Finite Capacity Planning and the S&OP Dashboard that provide the visibility, scale and simulation capabilities that unify demand, finance, inventory and capacity in a single, highly visible framework.

You need all three, and Demand Works excels at providing world class tools for S&OP.

Finite Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is an essential component of S&OP and integrated business planning. The Finite Capacity Planning module enables optimal allocation of material requirements to resources and time. It will recommend strategic inventories when appropriate, and it will automatically spread material requirements across resources to maximize throughput, so you can prepare your business for seasonal peaks, planned outages, or rapid growth.

If Demand Works does something, it does it in a world class way. The Finite Capacity Planning option for Smoothie® Server and Cloud Smoothie® is no exception. The optimization is fast enough to handle industrial-sized master planning problems, including optimal material-resource allocations and strategic inventory builds.

Consensus, Accountability and Alignment

Your sales and operations plan will begin with a highly accurate and automated expert forecast. Changing levels, trends, intermittency, seasonality and external events are considered. Once you have a good baseline forecast, you can then use the interactive tools for gathering collaborative input, gaining consensus and fostering accountability.

Next, you’ll layer in collaborative input. Smoothie has two different technical approaches for supporting collaborative processes including a light but highly functional version of the standard browser user interface, or macro enabled Excel spreadsheets which can be automatically distributed and consolidated back to the server. By providing useful information such as baseline forecasts, historic sales, backlogs and previous plans in a single integrated framework, collaborators are able to quickly and easily improve forecast quality.

Demand plans are then combined with production, procurement, inventories and resources to produce well-balanced and highly visible plans. Smoothie’s Pivot Planning makes it easy to view demand, inventory and supply at any level of aggregation, and in any unit of measure like price, cost, margin, or capacity. Smoothie has full visibility to all supply related information such as bills of material, formulations, and transaction details such as open sales orders, purchase order balances and in-transit inventories.

Demand Works supports the generation and storage of multiple demand-supply scenarios. Scenarios can be compared to each other, or to actuals. With the S&OP Dashboard, you can easily distribute plan information to all participants and stakeholders. And, the scenario-based planning enables best-in-class forecast performance reporting, simultaneously measuring bias and weighted errors at any level of aggregation and with varying time lags. It’s vital to be able to evaluate forecast performance with time lags that are consistent with lead times.