Leveraging Improved S&OP to Take Supply Chain to the Next Level

 
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Improving the effective orchestration of Sales and Operations Planning to enable better business decisions

 

Context and Challenge

  • A leading producer of petrochemicals, poised for growth looking to bring increased rigor and discipline to the commercial planning processes

  • Leaders in the organization were not aligned between Sales and Operations, and as a result the financial forecast was not in alignment with the production/sales plans

  • Issues with the S&OP Process included:

    • Ineffective flow of data forced process participants to learn critical information at the last second

    • Lack of traditional frozen planning periods created confusion between groups and prevented alignment to a single plan

    • Inefficient meetings did not lead to clear decisions and actions to address variances to plan

    • Lack of supporting elements within the Sales function to support the S&OP process


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Approach

  • Leaders from both Sales and Operations were tasked to work together to improve the process

  • Through a series of workshops and focus groups, the team built design principles to improve the discipline of the S&OP process, and redefined organizational roles and accountabilities

  • Improved meeting discipline by redefining meeting cadence and structure to bring increased focus on making decisions and driving actions

  • Improved meeting discipline and increased process awareness made the S&OP process drive improved visibility and decision making which enabled the team to see and take advantage of opportunities, while avoiding historical pitfalls

With our improved management system, meeting effectiveness and processes, we have achieved alignment between Sales and Operations that we didn’t think was possible.
— Director, Polyethylene Strategy and Execution
 
ChemicalsCorey Wills