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This website has a range of articles and resources to help you in your efforts to make S&OP work to its full potential in your organization.  It's our intent to help you understand the kind of S&OP process that actually works, and to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls in implementing and operating S&OP. 

Here are some of the things that are here: 

  • What is sales and operations planning?  And what's the big deal?  Why do so many companies think that S&OP is as important to their past (and future) success as any other management initiative including lean manufacturing
  • What is the history of S&OP?  Who invented it?  Who is using it and why? 
  • What is the "normal" S&OP process?  Of the five steps that make up that process, which is the most important and why?  What are the key activities in each process step? 
  • What are the key things that contribute to S&OP success? 
  • What is the role of S&OP in financial planning and budgeting?  In strategic planning?  In team building and management development? 
  • How can you get started?  What are the implementation activities that absolutely have to happen to ensure S&OP is a success? 
  • What are the pitfalls and major misconceptions about S&OP? 
  • What resources - books, consulting help, education materials, conferences , etc. - are available to help along the journey? 

Our Credentials:  We've been helping companies implement and operate successful sales and operations planning for decades.  Our book on S&OP Best Practices describes the kinds of results and benefits that companies can get from pursuing a standard methodology for S&OP, and our other books on software selection and S&OP software functionality are the standards in the field. 

If you are looking for additional information about S&OP or consulting, beyond what you can find here, you can check these additional affiliated websites: 


Special Offers from our friends at the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF)

As you may know, I serve as associate editor of the International Institute of Forecasters’ professional journal Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting

Foresight is essential reading if you are involved in a forecasting process.  Each issue combines the experience of forecasting professionals with the insights of top business school leaders to create an invaluable resource for makers and users of business forecasts of all kinds. Foresight features perspectives and case studies on forecast process improvements, collaboration in forecasting and planning, forecast accuracy measurement, tutorials on forecasting methods, distillations of important new research, comprehensive book reviews and more.  

And the IIF’s annual conference has proven to be a can’t-miss-it-event for business forecasters, inventory planners and those involved in S&OP.  This year, the Foresight Practitioner Conference will be held in Raleigh, N.C., Nov. 15-16. The conference is all about “Recoupling Forecasting with Inventory Control and Supply Planning” and includes presentations on:

  • How to improve integration of the forecasting and inventory-control processes for better service at lower cost.
  • Avoiding misunderstandings in communication among forecasters, planners, and software suppliers
  • Linking demand forecasts with inventory, capacity, and financial plans
  • Strategies for long-term demand and capacity planning
  • Readiness-driven supply networks
  • A New Approach to Setting Safety Stocks and Service Levels
  • Achieving global forecasting standards for sales-forecast integration, S&OP, and safety-stock management
  • Ensuring visibility:  A key ingredient to inventory optimization

The program is designed to offer plenty of time for you to interact with the speakers and to network with your supply-chain colleagues. Here’s a link to the website for information on pricing, a list of scheduled speakers, and the program:

My affiliation with Foresight allows me to offer you a free trial subscription to Foresight and an additional discount on registration to the Foresight Practitioner Conference.

If you’d be interested in trying Foresight for 6 months, 2 additional issues (print or digital edition) “on me”, let IIF’s Business Director know: 

Pam Stroud, IIF Business Director

Pam Stroud< This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

(781) 234-4077 

If you’d like to attend the conference, I’ve arranged for an extension of the early bird discount from September 30 to October 7 and an additional $100 discount on your registration. When you register, simply use this promo code: CGRAY2017. 

Unlike many other associations, the IIF is a non-profit organization whose sole reason for being is to further the use of knowledge on forecasting.  I hope you’ll take advantage of one or both of these offers from them – I’m confident that you will benefit. 

Chris Gray