The 10 Must-Read Supply Chain Blogs for 2019

Missing out on the most current trends or what the forward-thinkers are writing about in supply chain? Want to read more case studies on the sales and operations planning process?

The big picture is this: Worldwide, the supply chain industry is a big business. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports the U.S. supply chain employs 44 million people.

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Ventana Research: Sales and Operations Planning Process Scores a 'C'

Ventana Research has released its Sales and Operations planning (S&OP) Dynamic Insight research which gives companies an opportunity to self-assess their S&OP, or Integrated Business Planning process.

More than half of the companies participating gave themselves a “C” grade for this core business process, citing several key complaints:

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Gartner's 8 Supply Chain Planning Trends You Can't Ignore

Gartner recently identified the top eight disruptive technologies most likely to impact organizational supply chains in 2018. Keep in mind, these trending technologies are scattered throughout the various stages of the Gartner Hype Cycle, which charts the development of technologies from concept to maturity and adoption. Starting with those closest to commercial viability, here are the eight supply chain trends that you can't ignore when it comes to the S&OP process.

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S&OP Process: What does it mean to Integrate with Finance?

Whether it’s referred to as Integrated Business Planning, Profit Sales & Operations Planning (PS&OP), “Strategic” S&OP or another name, the market is looking for the next generation of the S&OP process to include financials as an integral part of the process. 

However, through my conversations with customers, management consultants, industry analysts, and other software providers it has become clear there isn’t a commonly understood definition of what this means. One thing is clear, with fluctuating input costs, constantly changing promotional campaigns, wide portfolios of products, and shifting constraints in the supply chain, adding financials to S&OP is needed more than ever.

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[Reblog] How to Integrate Financials with S&OP

A few days back, well-known S&OP / IBP consultant Stephen Crane posted an article on LinkedIn entitled "How to Integrate Financials with S&OP." It was refreshing for us here at River Logic to see this type of post coming from someone like Stephen — a big voice in the S&OP / IBP space — as this is a concept we've been trying to push for years now.

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An S&OP Expert Interview Series by Niels Van Hove

Over the last month, Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) and Supply Chain expert Niels Van Hove has published a series of expert interviews on his blog, Supply Chain Trend. The goal was to understand where S&OP stands today and what each interviewee's view is for the future. Below is a list of the 5 interviews he conducted with a link to each, as well as an introduction on why Van Hove chose to conduct this series on S&OP.

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Sales and Operations Planning is Still the Best Way to Manage Global Supply Chains

The evolution of linear supply chains into global demand-supply networks has been happening over the last two decades. Companies have benefitted from low cost supply of labor as well as raw materials to bring down the Cost of Goods Sold for the products that they manufacture. This has resulted in bottom-line profits.

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An S&OP Communication Plan: The Final Step in Support of Company Strategy

Occasional River Logic guest blogger and global supply chain influencer / expert Niels Van Hove recently published an Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) commentary in Foresight Magazine's Summer 2016 edition. Entitled An S&OP Communication Plan: The Final Step in Support of Company Strategy, Niels makes the argument that without frequent and systematic company-wide communication, S&OP goals will remain largely unmet, despite advancing levels of S&OP maturity within a particular business or enterprise.  

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Beyond S&OP and IBP ... A Commentary on the Need for New Technology

In his article in the previous issue of Foresight, Dean Sorensen (2016) argued that while there is increasing complexity in business environments, there has not been enough focus on tying strategy to execution. I am in agreement with him: I think the biggest systems integration challenge facing CEOs is how to seamlessly tie strategic decision making to operational execution (Sales and Operations Planning). 

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What-if Analysis: 3 Applications in the S&OP Process

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.

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