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Executive Alignment: Core of Optimized Sales and Operations Planning

| October 29, 2018

Companies with optimized sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes grow more efficiently and effectively, and are more successful when launching new products, penetrating new markets and otherwise expanding. In fact, in today’s global economy, it can be very challenging to fuel growth unless the enterprise is solid in its S&OP. Then, as a company’s S&OP further matures, it can continue to grow as the focus expands beyond simply matching supply and demand to one of profit maximization.

To make that happen, though, true executive alignment is critical.

Executing Aligned Strategies

Any time your company needs to execute a strategy, the concept of alignment is step one of the three-part process as described by Oracle:

  • Align the enterprise.
  • Analyze and make better decisions.
  • Act and achieve business goals.

Focusing on the alignment portion, this includes using:

  • best practices for S&OP process management
  • enterprise-wide social collaboration
  • consensus planning

Key elements of success include:

  • prioritized objectives
  • guiding principles
  • aligned metrics
  • enhanced analytics
  • critical decisions

At the heart of it all, though, is genuine executive buy-in and alignment. This differs from more traditional models that simply require key executives to sign off on a process and then let company teams take it from there. This evolving S&OP model involves reviews of:

  • products/product lines
  • supply for each product/product line
  • demand for each product/product line
  • relevant financial information about each product/product line

Through a cross-disciplinary, enterprise-wide planning process, scenarios are proposed and evaluated in light of the company’s objectives and principles using analytical data. Then, the fifth review element, executive review, takes place before the company executes upon its plan.

This process is most successful when the executive leader or team is directly involved, gleaning the best from each departmental or functional leader, and then providing top leadership in the decision-making processes. By doing so, the company breaks through silo-driven decision making.

Conversely, when executive participation is lesser in degree, departmental and/or functional leaders are left to make more of the decisions, and typically do so from the perspective of what’s best for their respective parts of the company. This often occurs, even with the best of intentions, because leaders base their decisions upon their scope of knowledge and their sense of prioritization. When leaders disagree, this can lead to disjointed decision making and a lack of coordinated company direction.

The CSS Approach to the Oracle Cloud Solution for S&OP

The Oracle S&OP Cloud provides your organization with the ability to manage your processes and collaborate to align, cross-enterprise, on a core plan. Your company can profitably create new plans and more quickly act upon them, even in rapidly changing market conditions.

CSS consultants follow these four steps to differentiate the S&OP Cloud:

  • executive alignment
  • enhanced S&OP
  • responsive operations planning and execution
  • aligning plans and execution

In the S&OP Cloud, your company can benefit from seeded process templates to create your own unique planning and execution approach using best practices. You can then monitor company performance across all stages of review, from process review to executive. In the executive review stage, your top executives have high visibility into all aspects of your proposed operating plans and can easily locate and evaluate recommended changes. They can even compare alternative plans, side by side, for convenient compare-contrast analyses.

Contact CSS for Your S&OP Assessment Today

Our highly experienced Oracle consultants can provide your company with an S&OP assessment along with tailored recommendations to facilitate growth. These solutions will dovetail with supply and demand while providing high visibility across the entire value chain, and allow you to make the best decisions for company growth.

Call 1-800-814-7705 or contact us online.

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