What challenge(s) do our clients face?
Achieving the right balance between supply and demand is a cross-cutting challenge that requires both alignments at the highest level and rigorous process all the way across through the value chain.
- Shortage or excess of products to meet demand
- Supply Chain idleness across manufacturing plants, warehouses, and transports.
- Unforeseen sales behavior
- A mismatch between demand and operations, resulting in high inventory levels and poor service level
- Diminishing internal capability due to over-reliance on agencies or partners
- Costs related to lack of planning (extra-hours, operations disruptions, logistic cost increase)
- Inability to connect business strategy to execution
All of these costly problems are often symptoms of a broken sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.
Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, effective planning and supply chain management relies on multiple actors across areas working together in unison towards a shared north, through a clear and defined process that relies on reliable and precise information. This is the role of the S&OP process.
The outcome is the well-aligned deployment of companies’ priorities to their operations.
How do we help?
We help our clients deliver their priorities through the improved day to day operations. Our methodology delivers an end-to-end approach for planning, balancing process redesign, advanced analytics, and decision-making culture.
Integration helps companies to strengthen their Planning capabilities, creating a robust process all the way from Sales to Operations, aligning financial targets, and strategy with execution.
We aim to balance efficiency with accuracy, through establishing a set of planning environment that includes processes, responsibilities, management systems, leadership and conflict management skills
Our Planning Methodology is intentionally broad, encompassing all the necessary features required to give business leaders the right visibility to meet their business goals. It considers 7 essential aspects:
What are the benefits?
A successful S&OP process has the power to deliver a large part of the company’s P&L projection. It touches almost all features from top-line revenue to profit, through to efficiency in manufacturing, inventory on hand, and distribution cost. We see our projects delivering:
- Improved alignment and communication among areas and with leadership through a process that speaks the language of the company
- Sales Forecast Accuracy (SFA) improvement
- Improved agility and risk management due to increased visibility of bottlenecks and operations restrictions to fulfill the sales plan
- Optimization of raw material, work in process and final goods stock levels
- Increase in service level and reduction of stock-outs
- Greater visibility and improvements in the cash flow cycle
- Optimized utilization of resources across the value chain and reduce peaks and troughs
- Ability to conduct better modeling and forecasting
How does it work?
Working with multifunctional teams from your organization to make sure we capture every particularity; our unique approach is pragmatic in design and fast to implement/adjust creating a simple platform to start improving results and develop a planning culture.
We strongly believe in working together and combining your knowledge of your business with our outside experience, proven methodologies, and cross-industry benchmarks. From the beginning of the project, we aim to work with you to generate movement. Whilst there are often natural tensions across many areas involved in planning, our change management experience ensures alignment, consensus, and buy-in. This has proven to be the most successful way to implement a robust and sustainable process.
To strengthen your S&OP process, a project normally goes through 3 main phases:
1. Business understanding
Familiarization with your operations and identification of current issues. At this stage we focus on:
- Understand company´s decision processes
- Stakeholders mapping
- Strategic goals, Go-to-Market strategy, and portfolio priorities
- Planning performance KPIs evaluation
- Planning leadership team assessment
- Understanding operations complexities: plants, warehouses, suppliers
2. Planning design
To assure that the planning process generates the necessary value, we focus on 7 elements mentioned above. Furthermore, during this moment it is important to pay close attention to some crucial aspects:
- Leadership: It is vital for the new planning leader to join the project in order to understand and manage the company´s multifunctional needs and speak its different languages for the sake of planning alignment and integration.
- Balance of Planning x Reaction: It is impossible to predict the future exactly and so in addition to improving planning competences, the people, structures, and processes must also be set up to react with agility.
- Technology: To ensure a fast start we adapt ourselves and the design to the technology you have at your disposal; whilst simultaneously taking a look into what advancements or tools could unlock and improve planning potential, forecasting accuracy, and scenario analysis.
3. Joint implementation
We place a lot of importance on implementation. We believe that the perfect technical solution can’t survive a lack of integration among areas, so we start the implementation as early as possible to create the necessary planning environment (conflict management capabilities, roles, and responsibilities adjustments, areas integration, etc.).
This also allows us to adjust to any issues we see when applying the strategy to the day to day operations. The technical design work front in particular continues finetuning the tools, systems, KPIs, and processes throughout the implementation of exploring technologies and cross-industry benchmarks.
An in-depth handover completes the process, minimizing disruptions after project closure through training and stakeholder engagement.
Our client, a multinational food manufacturing company with >USD 20Bi of revenue and operations in over 150 countries was struggling to balance supply from farms and slaughterhouses with the final demand from the customers, sales channels, and different countries.
The supply chain was long and highly complex with pressures across the network. We were dealing with a supply of perishable goods, with strict quality standards and complex chain of production (12 separate processes), which had to be matched with a highly volatile demand in local and global markets.
To address this challenge, we worked alongside more than 120 stakeholders to understand the processes and complexities of this industry to develop a solution that reflected and mitigated them in their S&OP process. Among the many recommendations, three key changes were fundamental:
- Definition of a conflict resolution panel at strategic, tactical and execution levels
- Implementation of an optimization tool for profitability evaluation
- Definition of a process flow and management model which was developed jointly with the sales and marketing teams in
The process became the most important driver of day to day tactical decisions in the company, creating the agility and flexibility which was highly sought after. In the first year of implementation was saw a double-digit increase in OTIF (on time in full delivery) and a major decrease in product write-offs.
It was considered an industry-leading benchmark during the company´s M&A with its biggest competitor and it was taken as the best-practice way of working going forward after the merger.
One of the largest white goods manufacturers in Brazil was facing competition from new market entrants and was losing market share. They were struggling to translate the business financial targets into clear execution goals due to a complex Supply chain, which had the characteristics of the automotive sector, but the retail needs akin to FMCG.
It was proving difficult to maintain coherence with marketing, trade, and operations strategies and they asked Integration to help them create a stronger planning process.
Working with more than 100 stakeholders within the business, Integration led to the development of a planning process for all categories and channels.
Our approach focused on both the personnel and technical needs that we identified. A new organizational structure was developed alongside the CEO and VPs and we supported the training of all new staff members. At the same time, we redesigned the planning processes around sell-out data, developing a dynamic inventory policy and short-term production planning which would be better-attuned to the market demand.
To improve coordination across areas, we also paid close attention to change management and stakeholder engagement. Through the translation of planning terms into the language and needs of each area, we were able to create interest, buy-in, and motivate change across the entire business from operations to leadership.
Following the implementation, we saw an inventory reduction of 16%, sales forecast accuracy increase of 7% for the short term, and 49% for long term, higher inventory turnover, and trade investment optimization.
A market leader in gas commercialization and distribution was facing a strategic transformation to guarantee the company’s sustainability considering high competitiveness in the industry and a necessity for a digital transformation. As part of the transformation, the company realized that it would also have to lead a cultural transformation to adapt to its new ways of working.
Integration helped to assess the company’s current culture, to understand the new strategic drivers, to define the necessary future culture, and to construct a complete cultural transformation plan with initiatives in the short, medium and long-term.
During the processes, the entire company was indirectly involved, more than 45 professionals were directly involved and the entire HR team was trained and involved in the Change Management Workfront. We also trained a PMO and implemented a governance model to guarantee the implementation of defined initiatives over time.
With the buy-in and positive example set by the new leadership, a new Cultural Declaration was formalized and embedded, detailing the cultural needs of the company.
We were able to generate movement and credibility quickly with a cultural transformation plan that prioritized 18 short/medium term initiatives. A PMO and change management team that had been trained by us in best practices was able to push through these initiatives without a dependency on our support.
Integration has an extensive track record in all sorts of industries and types of business, such as Retail, Electrical Appliances, Consumer Goods, Paper & Pulp, Agribusiness, Pharmaceutical, Chemicals, and Beauty. From billion-dollar revenue businesses to million-dollar family companies, we have helped several clients on strengthening their Planning capabilities.
We have lived different types of challenges with our clients, from interim crisis management, supporting on the day to day distribution plan and execution of a major electrical appliance business, through to the Design and Implementation of Planning Process based on new Artificial Intelligence tools for a major beauty industry to enhance its seasonality and new product launch accuracy.