So far, we have described two similar SOP
support systems. Both should utilize time series demand and supply
data stored in a relational database. Both should provide
customizable reports, graphs and even spreadsheet-style displays
and editing. The main decision-support system should also provide
MPS and Finite Capacity Planning functionality to allow quick
analysis of alternate plans and tradeoff opportunities.
We have also alluded to several other important
system features. The systems must support analysis at the
aggregate, product group or family level of detail, but also must
allow inquiry at the MPS level as needed. If possible, the system
should support easy translation between Sales and Marketing
product groups and families and those used by Manufacturing. The
system should provide flexible period handling so that the same
base data can be evaluated in any combination of weeks, months,
quarters, or rolling calendars. The system must also shift easily
from units to dollars (or other currencies) and provide output in
color graphics as well as standard numerical format.
Finally, our SOP systems must not force us to
overcomplicate or oversimplify the business as we see it. A
company may wish to start the SOP process with a high degree of
product aggregation and a small number of constraining resources.
Over time, however, the participants will want to continuously
improve the SOP process, notching up the level of detail and
accuracy as they go.
The Sales and Operations Planning process is
now widely recognized as a valuable way for manufacturers to
keep their Sales, Manufacturing and Finance teams working on the
same mission. Certain benefits are derived simply by bringing the
parties together to talk on a regular basis. However, in the face
of growing competition and slimmer operating margins, we must now
empower the participants to make the best possible decisions. That
means bringing the right data and tools into the meeting itself.
The SOP meeting embodies two main processes: 1.
Reviewing recent performance against plan.
1. Reviewing recent performance against plan.
2. Evaluating alternate plans and choosing the new course of
To get better results out of these processes, the fixed format reports
and spreadsheets commonly used today should be replaced by
flexible interactive Demand Management and Finite Capacity-based
MPS systems running on powerful notebook computers. By bringing
the right data and tools into the SOP meeting, participants can
answer more questions on the spot and make their evaluations based
on real data. Gradually, as gut feel and lung power give way to
data-based decision-making, the net result will be better
production plans. The necessary software tools and supporting PC
hardware are readily available in the marketplace today.
stay current on bullet-proofed manufacturing solutions, subscribe to
ezine, "The Business Basics and Best Practices Bulletin."
Simply fill in the below form and click on the subscribe button.
also send you our free
Special Report, "Five Change
Initiatives for Personal and Company Success."
personal information will never
be disclosed to any third party.
leaders have a responsibility to educate and train their team
members. Help for developing a self-directed, World Class
Manufacturing training program for your people is just a click
are welcomed to print and share this bulletin with your
manufacturing teams, peers, suppliers and upper management ...
better yet, have them signup for their own copy at:
the escalating spam-wars, it's also a good idea to WHITELIST
our bulletin mailing domain via your filtering software or
This will help guarantee that your bulletin is never deleted
Knowledge you’ll not find at offsite
seminars nor in the books at Amazon.com
Lean Manufacturing - Balanced Scorecard
ISO 9000:2000 - Strategic Planning - Supply Chain
Management - MRP Vs Lean Exercises - Kaizen Blitz
Lean Six Sigma - Value Stream Mapping
All at one Website: Good
Six Sigma Training Thinking
Out of the Box
Supply Chain Inventory Management Total
Quality Management Principles
Manufacturing Implementation Lean