What Kind of Information Technology Tools Are Needed for Sales And Operations Planning (S & OP) in 2021 and Beyond

What Kind of Information Technology Tools Are Needed for Sales And Operations Planning (S & OP) in 2021 and Beyond


Shyam Soni




May 3, 2021

We are asked this question in a number of workshops and public forums. That is not surprising - after all the question is worth at least $50 Million to a typical large corporation, and at least 2 years of intense effort. 

And, while the rewards of success are lucrative, the costs of failure are even more onerous. 

With more than 30 years of experience of assessing information technology tools for supply chain management - not only prior to their implementation but also after the implementation, we have developed a good nose for these tools, and an impeccable reputation for calling the shots as we see them.

S&OP Tool Sets Used To Archaic

Guiding the communication of traditional S&OP process, and setting the tone of the whole event, is a set of archaic check lists and formulistic process charts, designed by the process consultants that certify these processes.

While in the 70’s and 80’s they were a huge step forward when none of these things existed, their newer versions of 90’s and 00’s are barely adequate to guide the supply chain process of a modern global corporation through some of the most important decisions that their executives routinely make every month.

The Newer Collaborative Tools Are Still Being Forged

However none of the old guard, who are well set in their ways and are in a way victims of their own success, have the motivation or capacity to provide them.

Dynamic, light, open, collaborative, balancing tools are the way forward. We expect to see a few more of these in the future, but probably not from the existing suppliers of standard supply chain processes.

In a traditional S&OP meeting, each silo sends its most battle hardened corporate warrior to fight it out with the competing interests in the other silos to maximise its chances of getting the glory and resources that it needs to flourish. And they play this role with relish.

However, in the process, the shared goals of the organisation are frequently forgotten. Collaborative, forward looking teamwork requires positive, pragmatic business leaders to jointly sit down together and solve problems by building on each others’ ideas. We find this is frequently missing in the traditional S&OP tools.

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  1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.
  2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date. 
  3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved. 
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Shyam Soni

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

Part of our new “Quick Notes” series – this report answers your most pertinent questions of the topic.

  • What are the five flows of SCM?
  • Why are they important TO YOU?
  • How can you map, track, and optimise these flows to serve YOU?
  • What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?
  • What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?


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