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Sales and Operations Planning, S&OP, and Master Production Scheduling, MPS, offer the best two examples for applying the four elements for building teamwork. To be successful, each requires valid plans, adequate resources, proper measurements, and strong leadership.
S&OP is the process for arriving at an operating plan which supports both the strategic and financial plans while also economically servicing the needs of the marketplace. Reconciling the conflicts between shifting demands and inflexible capabilities is the job of the general manager and staff. All functions, all departments are involved. Each contributes critical knowledge, each gains a better appreciation of what their teammates require, and all come away understanding the company's game plan. In this manner, their individual actions mesh smoothly.
Master production scheduling also coordinates differing functions. It translates the aggregate rates of production into detailed product plans, all aimed at satisfying booked plus future customer demands. In addition to this linkage with S&OP, the MPS directly impacts material planning, capacity planning, shop floor control, and purchasing. Sales and marketing are responsible for supplying projected demands; engineering, purchasing, and manufacturing represent their capabilities to handle these demands; finance sees the resulting impact on costs, shipments, and profit while the materials group acts as a coordinating function. The MPS process ensures that these functions are aligned properly, preventing them from drifting apart.
When done well, these two multi-functional processes build teamwork and destroy silos.
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