Putting the Planning in Sales and Operations Planning

Posting on behalf of John Bermudez, Senior Director, Supply Chain Planning Product Strategy

Welcome to the Oracle Advanced Planning Blog. It is our goal to stimulate many spirited discussions on planning best practices, tips and techniques for using Oracle Advanced Planning applications and customer success stories. Bloggers will come from the Oracle’s extended global Advanced Planning team and we welcome commentary from our SIGs, customers and partners.

I would like to kick off Advanced Planning Blog with some thoughts on sales and operations planning and Oracle’s approach to supporting this best practice. Although as a business process, sales and operations planning has its origins in the 1970’s, it has not been adequately supported by enterprise planning applications. For the most part, sales and operations planning has been supported with reports and spreadsheets which often take weeks to generate and analyze. As a result, the sales and operations planning meetings are too frequently focused on fire fighting to address the crisis du jour.

Further exacerbating the problem, decisions made at the meeting are usually recorded in spreadsheets that are not easily translated into updates to the planning and ERP systems. Think about a decision to add a second shift to meet an unexpected increase in demand: planning resource profiles need to be updated; the demand plan needs to be updated; component inventory needs to be checked; suppliers need to be informed; and, purchase orders may need to be updated. Translating the update in the spreadsheet to changes to the ERP and Planning systems is a considerable effort and a likely opportunity for to introduce errors into the system.

The Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Solution was designed to address this problem by supporting the entire sales and operations planning process with integrated planning applications. While Oracle Demantra Real-Time Sales and Operations Planning provides the “glue” for a “planning-based” process, the Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Solution also leverages the Demand Management, Advanced Supply Chain Planning, Strategic Network Optimization and eBusiness ERP applications to ensure that decisions made during the sales and operations planning process are executed.

The advantage of this approach is that your company’s journey to Sales and Operations Planning can begin with an incremental project to improve sales and production forecasts with Demantra Demand Management and then move on to a “constrained demand plan” by tying Demand Management and Advanced Supply Chain Planning together. From here, companies may choose to add what-if simulation with Strategic Network Optimization and automate the consensus process with the workflows included in Real-Time Sales and Operations Planning. With this approach, the sales and operations planning process becomes part of the daily/monthly planning routines, not a separate process.

Most importantly, sales and operations planning decisions are based on current forecasts and supply plans, not static extracts from reports or spreadsheets. For customers that already have the Demand Management and Advanced Supply Chain Planning applications in place, Real-Time Sales and Operations Planning provides an incremental, but highly effective path to sales and operations planning.

How effective?

Two recently published reports on Sales and Operations Planning applications from Gartner and AMR Research ranked Oracle Sales and Operations Planning as one of the top solutions in the market place today.

We invite your comments on sales and operations planning and Oracle’s approach.

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Oracle Value Chain Planning enables best in class processes including demand sensing, shaping for profitability, fast event-driven scenario simulation, supply chain risk management, sales and operations and integrated business planning, comprehensive trade management, integrated order orchestration and promising, and multi-enterprise planning and collaboration.

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