When we plan to buy something we expect to receive the right product at a convenient place, at a time that suits us, and according to our price and quality expectations. Companies that can offer this powerful combination time and time again have seen great success in both revenue and customer service feedback. What most people don’t know is what the process of managing this seemingly impossible feat is called.
“Supply chain management” is the term that is used to describe the complex systems that come together to match consumer demand and product supply. One of the techniques that can ensure optimum supply chain performance is Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP).
S&OP has cemented supply chain’s position as a cross functional broker of critical information to the broader organisation. The mission is simple; provide pre-emptive insight to reconcile unconstrained demand with constrained supply. This is where S&OP offers its audience unique and relevant perspectives to information that matters to them.
“It’s all about collaboration,” explains Elizbe Rohde, Supply Chain Manager at Yum! Restaurants International, one of the largest restaurant companies in the world. Rohde, in her address to delegates at the 37th annual SAPICS conference for supply chain professionals, uses fast food chain KFC as a case to validate the benefits of formalised S&OP; a collaborative process where multiple stakeholders from various departments agree on both a demand and a supply plan.
Taming the Giant
A Yum! Brands Company, KFC employed the help of South Africa-based supply chain planning specialists, Barnton, to support KFC in further formalising its S&OP process and implementing an advanced planning tool.
Understandably, this fast expanding network of over 800 restaurants across South Africa demanded a formalised S&OP process and system that enabled the company to be more pro-active and flexible by increasing visibility of actual vs. forecasted demand, manage stock availability and allowing them to optimally reconcile constrained supply to volatile demand.
There are certain basic hallmarks that advocate a company’s need for formalised S&OP explains Rohde: “A reactive, uncoordinated, ad-hoc and manual approach to balancing supply and demand becomes obsolete while maintaining aspirations of being a market leader and driving towards best practice.”
When introducing the process
In applying S&OP, companies will be able to maintain optimal stock availability, whilst balancing service level and cost constraints. This unlocks improved supply chain control with pre-emptive forward visibility.
Rohde emphasises the importance of having a clear vision and creating a journey map to transition to over time.
“Get buy-in from the top down, with strong leadership involvement from the outset. Ensure business as usual during the implementation process through hands-on training with real data and work closely with a cross functional team to understand the business needs and match the proposed solution to the actual functional requirements,” she advises.
“Live the process prior to implementing a system, as a system merely supports a process. Importantly, choose the right demand and supply planning partner – one with flexibility to tailor processes and systems to your specific functional needs, and with relevant experience to guide the journey,” Rohde concludes.
MEDIA CONTACT: Cathlen Fourie, 012 644 2833, email@example.com, www.atthatpoint.co.za
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ABOUT SAPICS – your supply chain network
SAPICS is a professional knowledge-based association that enables individuals and organisations to improve business performance. SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a countrywide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries.