BOSTON and PHOENIX, May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ToolsGroup announced today the immediate availability of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) capabilities in its SO99+supply chain planning software thathelps customers solve the most pressing problem they face with S&OP today: connecting S&OP to operational planning and execution. ToolsGroup will show the capabilities in Booth 218 of Gartner's Supply Chain Executive Conference, May 17-19 in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to industry research, most S&OP users cannot create a consistently achievable S&OP plan. A Supply Chain Insights 2015 survey revealed that only 30 percent of manufacturers are "nearly always" or "most of the time" able to effectively tie S&OP planning to execution. Gartner's research confirms that "The No. 1 challenge among manufacturing companies is connecting sales and operations plan (S&OP) to operational plan/execution."[i]
A critical gap between S&OP and the operational plan often relegates S&OP to a passive planning exercise, rather than actively connecting to results. In monthly S&OP meetings, managers take strategic decisions such as increasing revenue or adding new products that don't always translate into operational plans that can be practically executed downstream. This shouldn't be too surprising because companies usually have separate planning and operations models that do not map to each other. They plan with one and execute with the other, creating a gap that is difficult to bridge.
ToolsGroup's S&OP instead employs the same data model at both levels – tactical and operational planning. ToolsGroup creates a single integrated data model with one version of the truth. It is coherent from tactical to operational and at every level in between, continuously synchronized through perfect mapping.
The single model solves another vexing S&OP problem. Firms collaborate and model for S&OP around various levels of aggregation. It's the only way management can participate efficiently and drive trade-offs in the process. But firms must verify feasibility and optimize S&OP in a detailed model that represents real-world constraints – such as plant level production or distribution center receiving capacities. While sales and finance can stay at a higher level, for optimization and execution "the devil is in the details." ToolsGroup's single model supports the S&OP with best-in-class optimization at the level where the constraints are applicable, totally synchronized with higher levels of plan aggregation, where collaboration and decisions are made.
"Successful companies are prioritizing internal collaboration, supply chain modeling and alignment with operational planning within their S&OP technologies to achieve advanced S&OP maturity," according to Gartner[ii]. ToolsGroup's SO99+ is highly aligned with these priorities, including:
The ability for S&OP teams to create "service policies" that define desired go-to-market target customer service levels by product and market segments. ToolsGroup multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) software then translates these service level goals into an optimal inventory mix that absorbs the upstream and downstream supply chain fluctuations, allowing the team to make fact-based trade-offs in a Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SI&OP) process.
Web-based demand and supply collaboration hubs that makes core optimization and "what-if" modeling technology accessible to a broad community of both internal and external stakeholders - salespeople, dealers, partners and suppliers
An "Instant Replay" capability for back-testing, comparing actual events with what should have happened based on released S&OP plans. It operates like a "golf swing analyzer" for S&OP, allowing users to visually simulate and diagnose strengths and weaknesses in order to continuously improve and tune the S&OP process.
SO99+ supports all three levels of S&OP processes: strategic (sometimes called Integrated Business Planning or IBP), tactical Sales and Operations Planning, and operational/execution planning (Sales and Operations Execution or S&OE).
More than 40 customers are already using ToolsGroup software as part of their sales and operations planning processes. At the recent North American TG16 User Meeting, Brian McLaren of Aliaxis who is implementing ToolsGroup software across 20 companies in 13 countries declared, "We are making rapid progress with deployment and in several instances the initial S&OP targets have already been achieved."
Joseph Shamir, ToolsGroup CEO, commented "Many years ago we coined the phrase, 'With ToolsGroup, you get what you plan.' With more than two-thirds of companies out there not getting what they plan, our core strength is more important than ever."
ToolsGroup S&OP capabilities are available in the latest version 7.60 of SO99+ at no additional cost.
ToolsGroup is a global provider of "Powerfully Simple" supply chain planning and demand analytics software. Our customers overcome volatile demand and challenging supply chains to generate accurate forecasts and outstanding customer service levels with less global inventory. ToolsGroup's solutions span key supply chain planning areas such as demand forecasting and collaboration, sales and operations planning(S&OP), demand sensing,
promotion forecasting and multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO). For more information, visit www.toolsgroup.com or follow us on Twitter @ToolsGroup.
[i] Set Up Sales and Operations Execution Process to Support the S&OP Cycle, Marko Pukkila, 28 January 2016
[ii] Survey Analysis: S&OP User Survey 2015 —Getting the Fundamentals Right for Mature S&OP, Tim Payne, November 2015
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