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In today’s business environment the market moves too fast to play “Who’s on First?” If your planning process and execution activities seem disconnected, they probably are. Traditional supply chains use the time-honored methods of request-and-commit to understand what is feasible. The problem with this sequential approach is that it adds time and uncertainty to the S&OP process. Customer responsiveness suffers, Sales misses opportunities, and Materials order too much of the wrong stuff. Running the S&OP process on real-time data is the first challenge that must be addressed.
There are three ways E2open can improve the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of your S&OP processes:
Creating More Optimal End-to-End Plans with Timely, Accurate Data
High-quality information is essential to an effective S&OP process (otherwise it’s just garbage in, garbage out). E2open helps you get the data you need from anywhere in your supply chain by connecting all your key trading partners. Accurate information allows you to make the most intelligent planning decisions possible—for all tiers of your extended supply chain.
E2open provides the world’s most robust platform for aggregating and organizing demand information across a wide range of stakeholder processes, including customer forecasts, salesforce forecasts, manufacturing production plans, and marketing promotions. The platform collects, collates, and time-sequences all of this information quickly and accurately, presenting it to demand planners in a coherent unified form. The bottom line: better demand information leads to better plans.
E2open’s network planning and response products allow you to peg demand directly to your material supply and manage constraint allocations among suppliers, factories, and outsourced manufacturers all the way to individual customer orders, while running on one platform in the cloud. E2open uniquely solves the problem of demand translation from product family to product SKUs to supply commitments at the commodity level through to the part-number level by utilizing multi-tier, multilevel Bills of Materials (BOMs) that continuously match demand to supply and alert you when exceptions occur.
Carefully designed execution workflows are a critical aspect of your planning processes, particularly when it comes to enforcing decisions made in S&OP plan commits. Unfortunately, many companies don’t have what it takes to execute the decisions they make effectively and instead attempt to implement their plans using email, spreadsheets, and portals to communicate across the multiple tiers of the supply chain.
Closing the loop between the plan and execution in the field is what sets E2open apart from its competitors. E2open’s cloud-based platform not only enables your company to communicate plans across multiple tiers of partners, it also allows participants to respond quickly to those plans and collaborate on resolutions. Exceptions are then automatically “flagged” so you can work proactively with trading partners to resolve them—before customer commitments are compromised.
Resolving exceptions can be a multistep process, with iterative proposals, requests, and reviews before the final commitments are made. Each step in this process introduces opportunities for delays and errors. Furthermore, the longer it takes to resolve problems, the farther reality drifts from the plan, and the harder it is to course-correct.
E2open allows you to optimize constraints rapidly, such as capacity bottlenecks, part shortages, and buffer replenishment programs. It is much more efficient to reallocate goods-in-transit, capacity, or product among customers than to rerun a new enterprise-wide plan completely—particularly when the new plan is likely to meet equally disruptive exceptions by the time it is actually up and running. E2open allows you to align resources across your extended supply chain and actually orchestrate partner activities to achieve more optimal outcomes than simply cascading sequential “Clear to Build” plans. This is a completely new approach to managing forecast inaccuracy and plan volatility.