Most organizations have a hard time minimizing the discrepancies between their capacity and the demands of their customers. As a result, most of them are under-utilizing resources or are unable to fulfill customer demand.Read More
The most significant human achievements in science and exploration have one thing in common. Whether it’s pyramids in Egypt, sailboats that enabled commerce throughout history, the printing press, the first flight to or landing on the Moon, mathematics have made these innovations possible and played a key role in making them efficient.Read More
While embedding financials is the bedrock for expanding the value from S&OP, adding robust what-if analysis capabilities can unleash its maximum potential, thus delivering true Integrated Business Planning.
What-if analyses allow users to evaluate alternative strategies, policies, and tactics to maximize their revenue, profit, and working capital performance while delivering on service level commitments and properly considering risk and supply chain constraints. Over the past year, we’ve discussed this topic with current and potential customers and partners. We’ve found companies tend to be fairly clear in articulating their business needs. Surprisingly though, S&OP managers have more difficulty articulating the technology capabilities required to deliver on the business need.Read More
In a recent survey of companies using advanced S&OP systems, Gartner identified the key characteristics of companies that have reached Stages 4 and 5. The highest performers assign a P&L owner or senior executive to lead the process (see the definitions and a summary on “Gartner S&OP User Survey Lays the Path for Successful S&OP”). The survey doesn’t explain why, but it does provide some clues. For example, it highlights that as they make efforts to mature their S&OP processes, companies struggle to establish a stronger link with business outcomes.Read More
In a recent article, “Forecast Snapshot: Prescriptive Analytics, Worldwide, 2015” published on February 5, 2016, Gartner analysts Jim Hare, Christine Adams, Bhavish Sood, Alys Woodward and Hai Hong Swinehart provide encouraging predictions for the prescriptive analytics market.Read More
In a recent survey of 147 S&OP leaders across the globe, Gartner analyst Tim Payne focused on the key success factors and capabilities required for companies to successfully reach stage 4 and stage 5 levels of S&OP maturity.
As a reminder, stages 4 and 5 are defined as: A company reaches Stage 4 when S&OP can support not only operational metrics, but also business outcomes such as demand generation, risk management practices and budgeting and reforecasting decisions. To do this it leverages advanced modeling, what-if analyses and linear programming/optimization.Read More
Financial maturity starts by first understanding how your business has performed. In other words, can you produce a P&L, balance sheet and cash flow statements for the business? As the organization matures, the financial knowledge goes deeper. Financial statements are produced faster and, more importantly, the organization starts to apply cost accounting principles to understand where it's making money (products, customers, regions, channels) and where it isn’t.
Even deeper knowledge is achieved as the organization begins to apply more complex analyses that look at marginal contribution, achieved by tagging variable, direct and indirect costs. You might be familiar with standard costing, activity-based costing and other approaches that attempt to provide additional information.Read More
The balanced scorecard has been around for well over a decade, and it undoubtedly has brought value to companies by establishing a holistic approach to defining and setting targets in a more unified way. Nevertheless, it has suffered from the same mishaps that have afflicted almost every investment in business intelligence (BI): even though it uses leading indicators, it's not suited to predict business outcomes and therefore can be misleading as a guide to managing corporate performance.Read More
Sales and operations planning has been around for decades. At the time it was created, the emphasis was on setting up a process that would facilitate collaboration between the commercial departments (e.g., sales, marketing) and operations (e.g., manufacturing, procurement, inventory, distribution). The objective of this collaboration was to agree on one plan, such that the company made the products it was planning to sell in the most efficient manner.
Existing silo-based technology was adapted to support the S&OP process. Whether it was the early spreadsheets, demand/supply planning systems that incorporated more advanced algorithms, or collaboration tools that act as a system of record, the focus was on driving sequential refinement of decisions along the process.Read More