S&OP Breakthrough What It Takes

Posted on January 22, 2016


Another response to a Beetfusion blog on how to make S&OP happen and why so hard


Back in my days at Booz Allen we had a model for IT Strategy that really made sense and I think it still does

It used a pyramid as a metaphor and the base of the pyramid were utility systems you had to have but really just needed to run the most cost effective way. As you reach the top of the pyramid are the strategy based systems that generate competitive advantage, differentiate your business.   Accounting is essentially a “utility” have to have but by no means creates advantage.

S&OP linked to your demand generation systems to me are in essence the most sustainable forms of competitive advantage.   Unfortunatly, since deploying in 90% of business is taking on the establishment holding on to accounting / ERP dug in IT’ers, accountants and ERP salesmen it is hard work and delicate to reach breakthrough.   Have done it many times so speak with a bit of experience and could list all sorts of interesting ways and events that have to happen to break through.

Better, we educate and / or use unique technologies the break the “fraud” of ERP.    If you start to reach even a small percentage of the 90% who don’t know what they don’t know you do alot of good, create alot of value and help many business create competitive advantage

This is why we have taken on several indirect initiatives over past few years to help make this break through

1. invented and patented a real time S&OP (Order Comitment) that is easy for average employee an any firm to use to commit the incremental order.. thus improve ROA.

2.  We also make our S&OP solutions completely non invasive, can work with any systems of any type,  Do not have “new” expensive BS user interfaces we let planners and all in an enterprise use Exel as user interface.  Even use asynchonousl so can still do their own offline analysis… even send analysis to S&OP team to cleanup and include in repository as a template that can be checked out by others and sync’ed with supply chain repository and S&OP cleansed data etc.

3. We have done a considerable amount of philinthropic efforts with State of Texas Governors office, US manufacturing assistance center and US Department of Commerce on using these supply chain strategies and enablers to create jobs… One example we like very much is leverage of postponed manfufacturing.    Our efforts probably generate over a half billion in governemt funding … but once politicians got the money they diverted it to other efforts.  Very very disapointing but is reality

4. We even built a re-manufacturing business using these concepts from the ground up to have a show case to show how it can be done very profitably and thus “eat our own dogfood” 🙂

We have done all this as we believe stongly that an S&OP culture, mindset and enabler are so powerful and is a real cure for much of the micro and macro economic malaise we have in the US !  We have case studies of breakthrough success in multi Billion dollar firms like Siemens and small startups using offshore production doing final assembly in US and many in between.

We know the only element needed for success is an executive in a firm who really cares about results and has the tenacity to sort through and drive through the distractions.

None of this did we  do  to be just different like most IT shiny object selling.   We did as a real efforts to use technology to assist in breaking through the nonsense the noise the disinformation of ERP.    In essence rather then using tech to sell tech and trap users these are the types of human factor leverage of tech to help solve the real root cause problem.

One of my inspirations years ago doing a deal with heads of Microsoft to license at technology for data integration a company I was helping run had I was struck by what the original CFO of Microsoft said about Microsoft products in the early days.   His quote was back in the 90’s corporate IT groups were trying to keep the PC out, trying to block usage of Office and other tools.   Microsoft conciouslly made everything cheap and easy to the consumer to buy on an expense account and go around the IT “chieftans” !    This is part of our insparation for our Beta site http://www.SOPBook.com  !   We could use some help promoting as we litterally can give a user or compelete organziation real scalable, complete S&OP for hundreds of dollars not hundres of thousands.  Even if they scale it to run billion dollar business (which it easily scales to and beyond).  It might be thousands and they have access to source code to tweek and embed and integrate to existing culture and process.

So this all leads to a conclusion that the real NEED is education, experential education.   We have a methodlogy that involved a cost simulation of current vs. best dialed in based on culture and leadership that seems to work everytime.   The trick is you cannot push on a string !  Have to have a “Marine” inside an organization that sees the opportunity for himself and others.



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