S&OP and Cloud are Fundamental to End-to-End Supply Chain Success

Synchronize your Integrated Business Planning and long-term financial performance with higher confidence and consistency using Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Cloud.

Successful companies of all sizes need strong integration between their financial, demand, sales, and supply chain processes to respond quickly to changing market conditions and intense competition. Yet most sales and operations process’ fall short of this goal due to the integration of varying planning systems and legacy data hubs.

The term Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) implies that multiple functional areas of the business work together to develop a coordinated plan, and that is in fact the essence of the concept. Simply put, S&OP allows you to align and synchronize your current performance with your long-term financial expectations.

sales and operations planning cloud solution advantages

Supply Chain benchmarking results indicate the top performing organizations (ones with a mature S&OP process) have between 45 -55% less cost in their total supply chain network.  Doing it right the first time counts, and a mature S&OP process leads the way on this initiative.

Traditional planning in a manufacturing company is centered on the so-called Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process where a supply plan is developed to meet expected demand. This is inherently an integrated process. Although the demand plan is ultimately owned by sales leadership, most organizations have a dedicated planning team that considers multiple sources to create a consensus demand plan to start the process. The supply plan comes from production, procurement, finance, and supporting functions. The end result is a coordinated plan that meets the needs of the business and each functional area as they focus on applying their resources toward achieving the company’s business objectives with a single set of numbers, one plan for managing the organization.

APICS describes planning as a top-down process that starts with the business plan, moves through S&OP to the operations plan stage, then proceeds to successively more detailed plans that result in production and procurement schedules that can be distributed to departments and individual employees for execution. The power in this kind of integrated planning process is that the day-to-day activities of each and every employee tie directly to the overall plan and business priorities. If the employee is working on the planned activities, he or she is generating value for the company and its customers.

Data Integration with sales and operations planning cloud solutionIt should be obvious that integrated planning is a data-driven process. More data, more accurate and timely data, and more integrated data are important drivers of the integrated planning process to deliver better results. With the emergence of the age of the Internet of Things (IoT or IIoT for Industrial IoT), data is more abundant, provides a lower cost point, easily accessible, timelier, and more important. Data-driven supply chains rule their respective industries and markets by being more efficient, more adaptive to change, and more responsive to customer demand.

IIoT and the cloud are natural partners in this technological evolution. As systems and data become more distributed, along with the increase use of predictive analytics, there’s no platform more appropriate and more capable than the cloud. The cloud is indifferent to location. Data and function can be created, uploaded and accessed with equal ease from literally anywhere. And because this is the environment in which the cloud evolved, cloud functions and applications are designed for communication, integration, and secure access.

Your Sales & Operations Planning process relies on multiple data sources, many of which do not reside within the walls of the local factory and office (outside your ERP system.) Cloud integration makes that data available throughout the extended enterprise immediately and consistently so that the planning team is always up-to-date and working from the same base.

Integrated planning may include cloud-based applications and locally hosted systems working together with shared data and broad access to extended enterprise data provided on the cloud. Converting cloud data into information, that’s the process of consuming, comprehension, evaluating and converting data into information that helps executives make decision about the organization’s long-term strategy.  S&OP data inputs examples include the following:

  • Use of real time data to update master planning data (e.g. lead times)
  • Instant correlation demand with a variety of real time macro-economic indicators
  • Sentiment measured based on “unstructured data” (text in social media) and correlating that to demand.

Cloud applications will provide executives and managers sophisticated and in-depth analytics about the future of their organizations. S&OP in the Cloud will still be answering the questions on long-term financial expectations but will be doing so with a higher level of confidence utilize converting outside data streams into supportive infromation for long-term decision making.

S&OP is the key management processes that’s necessary to make a business as financially successful as it can be, yet 9 out of 10 Organizations fail to execute strategy and achieve their financial goals. AVATA’s S&OP Cloud Express overcomes this challenge and is the only automated advanced planning system that can interface with legacy data through AVATA’s eLync solution.

Learn more in this jointly produced webinar by AVATA and Oracle, which will lead you through a live demo of the newest S&OP Cloud offering and give valuable techniques for a successful implementation with “Right-Fit” results. Watch the Webinar Now



Ferguson Neale, Director of Integrated Business Planning, AVATA