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What’s your company's S&OP game plan, and where does Dynamics ERP fit?

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

As cross-channel retailing and other multi-faceted distribution models continue to push companies to do things faster, better, and smarter - and as the agonizingly slow economic rebound forces them to do all of that with fewer resources - sales and operation planning (S&OP) solutions are gaining in popularity. A business management process that helps firms ascertain optimal manufacturing output levels, S&OP plays a key role in balancing supply and demand, avoiding waste, enhancing top-line revenues, and optimizing production resources.

One procurement software maker points to increased business complexity, the use of outsourced manufacturing and distribution, volatile customer demand, and shorter lifecycles as just a few of the current trends that make forecasting and planning "more art than science." In S&OP for the Rest of Us, Sean Rollins, E2Open's VP of product marketing singles out these four critical S&OP implementation steps and shows where ERP fits into the overall game plan:

  • Integrate. S&OP is really about people collaborating to execute and course-correct plans to achieve departmental, corporate, and trading partner goals, as opposed to simply automating a process with technology, writes Rollins. "However, it's important to recognize that most companies have an S&OP process that is either immature or does not yet exist." 
  • Plan. Organizations should enable planning for demand-driven supply optimization with the unique ability to match granular demand with granular, often constrained, supply and capacity. "The demand plan is important to S&OP, but to get the most value out of it, the plan should consider granular-level detail, including products, components, geographies, and customers," Rollins writes.
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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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