0 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2010 4:29 PM by laurenbossers

    Coco Crum, S&OP Expert of the Week, Answers Your Questions


      Many thanks go out to Colleen "Coco" Crum, managing principal with Oliver Wight Americas, for answering S&OP questions submitted by members of the Supply Chain Expert Community, as well as to those of you who submitted questions.


      Here is a selection of the questions submitted, along with Coco's insightful responses:


      1.  We’ve been running S&OP for the last year, but I’m not satisfied with our results. Key people don’t attend the executive S&OP meeting then find faults with the plan when we start to deploy it, and as a result, don’t work toward the plan. What can we do to improve our S&OP effectiveness?


      An implementation of S&OP should start with education of all involved in the S&OP process. This education should encompass the people who help to develop the plans, assumptions, and scenarios and the executive team who are the owners of each step of the process and are participants in the executive S&OP meeting, which we call the Management Business Review.


      The purpose of the education is to ensure that people understand what is S&OP, the value companies gain from S&OP, their role in the S&OP process, and the consequence when they do not perform their role or do not operate S&OP to best practice standards.


      If education was provided and key people don’t attend the executive S&OP meeting, this is a leadership issue, which must be addressed by the President, COO, GM (or the person in charge of the business).


      Early in an implementation, the person in charge typically needs to play a strong hand in reinforcing that participation is not optional. The person in charge also needs to strongly lead a drive to developing collaboration among the management team with a conscious focus on what is best for the company, rather than optimizing a function at the expense of the company’s welfare.


      2.  Does an organization ever get too big for a single S&OP plan? What are the logical dimensions with which companies organize themselves for S&OP planning?


      This question probably could be best answered through a phone conversation to understand the “dimension” of the company. There are various variations to the structure of the S&OP given the organization of the enterprise.


      We have helped companies implement S&OP processes where separate demand reviews are conducted for each commercial organization and a single supply review is conducted (as a single supply organization serves all the commercial organizations).


      We have helped companies to develop separate S&OP processes for each business enterprise that culminates in a corporate Management Business Review that focuses on strategy, resources, financial plans, and operational and financial performance.


      There are many variations. Each variation needs to address how a company desires to manage the business and where accountability lies.


      3.  I’m a supply chain middle manager. I know that S&OP will help our company. What is the most effective way to convince our executive team to adopt S&OP?


      Developing an internal advocate on the executive team should be a first step. Exposing the executive team to the benefits of S&OP is another step.


      Creating executive awareness can be accomplished through executive briefings, an assessment of the leadership team’s readiness and need for S&OP, and conversations with references from executives in other companies that have successful S&OP processes.