While S&OP is typically viewed as a mid-level process, it serves a crucial role as the bridge that connects each planning horizon: high-level strategic objectives should be incorporated into S&OP and the final consensus plan needs to transfer to the shop floor to be executed.
Generally, five main review stages encompass a complete sales and operations plan. Although the process is inherently interdependent, it typically begins with a product review, moves to a demand review, then supply review, operational S&OP review, and finally an executive S&OP review.
Even in an increasingly globalized world, the predictability of disruptions remains a dangling carrot; however, reducing the lag time between new information and direct action is within an organization's means. Having a Sales & Operations Planning solution capable of transforming those external inputs (e.g. a ship carrying crucial components delayed at port) into internal outputs (e.g. ordering products from a nearby supplier) is more essential than ever.