New Infor Sales & Operations Planning solution helps companies profit through periods of intense demand variability

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Infor, provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, has announced the general availability of Infor Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) version 1.0. Infor S&OP is an entirely new solution, purpose-built by Infor for the unique needs of manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. These companies are increasingly challenged to quickly, accurately and more profitably adjust operations to address shifting demand as the global economy improves.

The solution provides high-level capabilities for creating, managing and using electronic workflows that address every major stage in the S&OP process, allowing global teams to gain consensus and make higher-confidence decisions faster. It is the first dedicated S&OP solution to integrate extensive 'what if' scenario building tools directly into decision-making workflows. This allows teams to model potential changes based on up-to-date demand data, choose the action that results in the highest potential increase in revenue or margin, then finalize and populate the changes automatically across the global supply chain.
Infor S&OP is available for purchase now, with variable pricing based on implementation scope and complexity.  It is a standalone software solution that can be used independently, or integrated with supply chain management systems from Infor and most third-party providers.  The solution provides benefits in the following key areas:
More accurate alignment of supply with demand Workflows tightly integrate data from throughout the global supply chain, providing clear visibility into current demand trends, historical demand levels, and key indicators of potential near-term demand shifts.  Using this data, teams can collectively make proactive decisions that better align production and distribution with the biggest opportunities for revenue, and more quickly adjust operations based on earlier insight into demand variability.
Increased opportunity for top-line revenue and higher margins Infor S&OP integrates extensive financial data and impact modeling directly into workflows, enabling users to safely see the potential cost, margin and profit impact of their decisions instantly, before the changes are implemented.  Teams can then confidently make the most profitable choice.
 More value from capital assets and the company's workforce Through more informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date demand data, customers can more closely align the use of production, fulfilment and other key supply chain assets with the most profitable market opportunities.  This can significantly contribute to gross margin levels by maximising revenue for specific product lines, while simultaneously reducing costs through more intelligent asset utilisation.
"We have been working with Infor for many years on areas such as supply chain planning and factory scheduling and we are looking forward with great interest to the new S&OP solution that Infor brings to market," said Johan Smits, manager of the S&OP Global Rollout Programme at Heineken."
"Aberdeen research has identified that Best-in-Class performers with respect to Sales and Operations Planning gain significant advantage over Average and Laggard performers on key business metrics like forecast accuracy, cash-cash cycles, gross profit margin and customer service levels," said Nari Viswanathan, vice president and principal analyst, Aberdeen. "Technology plays a key role in enabling today's complex and dynamic S&OP processes. Infor's S&OP solution is unique in terms of being designed, engineered and developed from the ground up with robust business process management, business intelligence and alert management capabilities."
"For decades manufacturers have struggled with how to best align operations with demand, and today that challenge is greater than ever," said Bruce Richardson, chief strategy officer, Infor. "What is needed is an entirely new way of thinking and acting on the problem. The true solution must align manufacturing, sales, finance and operations around the most profitable and achievable build plan.  That is what we mean by the 'New Generation of S&OP' and that is what Infor is delivering for our customers today."

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