Challenges - Sales Planning
Sales Planning matches market needs to production constraints
Today’s manufacturing companies invest large amounts of time and resources in financial budgeting and structuring, market planning, sales strategy, and product deployment platforms to ensure the right product is in front of the right customer at the right time. While these are critical functions to a successful S&OP platform, many of the insights in this process are derived from past experiences and interest conflicts of competing organizational units. This approach can be problematic particularly for companies in variant-rich industries who work with a large number of network partners to move products from the production floor to the customer’s front door.
This approach also leaves a number of important questions unanswered as manufacturing companies create S&OP platforms that can significantly impact other touch points of the value chain.
- How do I create valuable forecasts based on past experience?
- Which production mix best suits a specific market given optimal production levels and utilization?
- How are specific market trends influencing production programs and strategies?
- Which production mix yields the greatest margins?
- Which production facilities provide which products to a given market and how can this process be optimized given local constraints or variables?
What’s more, today’s manufacturing companies must be able to address these concerns and create actionable, data-driven solutions in real-time based on constantly shifting variables and elements. Reporting, analytics, and data on which these decisions are based must also be able to be shared in a cross-organizational manner to help break down communication and planning silos which can hamper a company’s S&OP efforts.