In most organizations, the role of planning is very complicated. Most people are quite impulsive, seeing the situation like a consumer of a product.
Do any of the following consumer situations sound like your leaders when it comes to planning and forecasting?
-"It's really simple, I just need a car that goes fast. Wait, also red, 2 door, AWD, Bluetooth, and …...."
-"Why can't the restaurant get a steak cooked to ______ _____ right?"
-"I know you serve a burger with cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onion, but can you make MINE with BBQ sauce, peppers, and do you have anything except American cheese?"
I love the image of the leaf above, the long thick vein is S&OP. Organizations say they want it. "Why don't we have an S&OP?" they say. The CFO just needs sales revenue to go to the street with, simple right? The head of sales ONLY needs to see total company volume, service, and new item performance. COO wants to see capacity and cost impacts. Easy...…...
The organization sees the big vein. S&OP.
The department and functional heads see the 5 or 6 medium sized veins. THEIR top line requirement.
The individual planners are those tiny veins, managing all of those individual variables. Schedules, exceptions, SKUs, spreadsheets, systems, etc.
There is a disconnect because everyone wants an S&OP process. Leadership wants to consume the output. Individuals with day to day bottom-up responsibilities see their item, their schedule, their plant or line, and so forth. Something that starts out so simple ends up organized without support to pull the requirements together, find the right solutions for the functional teams to provide the leadership team the results they want, and so forth. With the turnover in organizational leadership, how is it even possible to get aligned before there's someone else with different requirements?
We're here to help. Get knowledge, find the support you need. Systematize if that's what the situation requires. But don't simply act like a consumer at a car dealership shopping for the system that has the most features without a comprehensive plan that builds the broader process the right way to truly identify the needs. "Buy a forecasting tool" and we'll have S&OP! It's magic, like the sports car that didn't make all of your other problems go away!
People, process, and tools. All 3 in unison. You may not know in which area your deficiency exists. You may not have the individuals with the time to implement and put it all together.
Let Velocity Advisors help. Your organization may look like that leaf but without fully connecting everyone from the smaller veins all the way to the single vein that is the S&OP process. Like a puzzle that's not yet put together. Let's get the Top-Down connected to the Bottom-Up!