Successful Sales and Operations Planning in 5 Steps

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The Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)1 process is well known and understood in the world of supply chain management. In most companies, the monthly S&OP meeting brings executives from all major operational departments sales, marketing, materials/procurement, manufacturing, transportation, and finance together to determine how best to manage company resources to profitably satisfy customer demands over the next quarter, year and beyond.

The monthly S&OP meeting is a critically important, high-level decision-making activity that sets the overall direction for the company. Executives discuss the various trade-offs between customer service, inventory investments, production capabilities, supply availability, and distribution concerns. In essence, the executives determine how the companys resources will be spent in an effort to strike an optimum balance between what generates the most profit and satisfying the companys most important operational goals.

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