Blog: How Executives Can Mitigate Risks and Capture Rewards

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is complex and is consistently a top priority for management teams. There are numerous risks in getting it wrong and considerable rewards for getting it right. How can you as an executive leader avoid common pitfalls and accelerate your decision-making with confidence?

As outlined in our whitepaper, S&OP: CALIBRATING RISK & REWARD FOR THE C-SUITE, GAINS leverages machine learning and AI to take the guess work out of the S&OP process, help you confidently evaluate multiple scenarios, and drive better business alignment across strategic, tactical, and operational planning horizons.

Why S&OP is so Hard for Most Organizations 

In short inadequate tools. According to analyst estimates, over 90% of companies still rely on Excel spreadsheets as the basis of their Sales & Operations Planning. As Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights states, “The use of spreadsheets is problematic in many ways. Excel spreadsheets are woefully inadequate to model a complex, non-linear system. As a result, the output is isolated, disconnected, and out of sync with the business.” In general, Excel-based analysis is a difficult to maintain, time-consuming, and risk-prone process.

How can you mitigate risk while reaping the rewards? GAINS has a proven method to accelerate the process and derive an optimal business plan.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

Decisions made in the S&OP process are likely to have far-reaching effects across all business functions and make a lasting impact on both strategic and tactical goals. A common misperception is that S&OP is a Supply Chain process when it is truly a comprehensive business planning process. S&OP involves numerous stakeholders (Finance, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Operations, and Supply Chain). Business planning scenarios should evaluate both volumetric and financial measures to drive service, revenue growth, and overall profitability.  Moving toward a shared vocabulary of terms, goals and milestones, reduces errors in translation from team to team, resulting in a clearer understanding of each department’s goals.

Strategic Clarity

A critical component of S&OP success is the ability to clearly define, effectively communicate, and quickly adapt to unexpected changes while planning and executing business strategies across multiple time horizons. Easier said than done. By calibrating risk and reward outcomes, based upon multiple scenarios executive decision-making moves forward faster.

Rapid Execution

The GAINS platform delivers rapid insights and spans strategic, operational, and tactical planning across your business. GAINS accelerates S&OP success using a comprehensive approach that considers demand plans, multi-echelon inventory optimization, replenishment, and production, to profitably synchronize demand and supply.

Sense and Respond Faster

Using Artificial Intelligence, GAINS eliminates noise and removes bias to drive more objective decision-making. For example, your supply chain is in constant motion and needs more than static lead times to consider the fluctuating availability of materials or the reliability of logistics providers. GAINS leverages leading indicators such as macroeconomic or industry factors to refine baseline forecasts and create a firm foundation for the S&OP process.

The Right Fit

Hundreds of organizations utilize the GAINS cloud-based platform to boost business performance, automatically generate forecasts based on machine learning and proven models to accurately account for a variety of demand patterns including seasonality and product life cycle stage. This sophisticated approach goes well beyond a simple ‘best-fit’ analysis and ensures lead-time matching as well as statistical viability for inventory policies, production resources, and distribution times to provide visibility and confidence in attaining desired business outcomes.

For a more in-depth examination into more confident decision-making to evaluate business Risks and Rewards, download the whitepaper here.