Sales & Operational Planning
The Sales and Operational Planning Challenge
For many businesses, operational sales planning is a tough task. There are many different departments that need to be involved, ranging from Key Account Managers through to Baseline Planners. This process is further complicated by a lack of alignment between operational sales plans and marketing plans, which both seek to drive business performance.
Too often, it’s left to individuals to try and bring these various plans together in spreadsheets with all the inherent problems that this approach can bring.
Assessing the Damage
This disjointed and inefficient Sales and Operational planning costs sales and marketing teams huge amounts of precious time. Instead of applying their valuable time to creating great new sales campaigns, they spend time in non-productive meetings trying to align data in disparate spreadsheets. This process also leads to a further, and perhaps even more damaging, problem – inaccurate financial planning. Bad and misleading data is far more likely to be circulated across the organization when the processes are poorly aligned, resulting in a range of future business issues such as out-of-stocks, logistic inefficiencies and damaged relationships with retailers.
Getting it right first time
The solution to these problems lies in ensuring that all team members are using the same information and following the same workflow. Doing this will allow the organization to leverage the power of the whole team without subjecting the business to the risks inherent in a less organized approach.
Fewer out of stocks; better insights in the ROI of your trade promotions and more reliable forecasts are the benefits of a proper workflow support process, where everyone who needs to can see the real-time status of the promotional plan.
Our solution to this problem is a web-based Sales and Operational Planning platform (S&OP software) featuring reporting, trade promotion, marketing and baseline planning modules. Core insights are available to demonstrate past and predicted financial performance across the entire P&L, and of course this data can be aggregated and scenarios created to enable better decision making. Our S&OP software can also be connected directly to your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to support better invoicing, Purchase Order (PO) management and the internal authorization of promotions and budgets crucial to an effective workflow.