Gartner says that “The No. 1 challenge among manufacturing companies is connecting sales and operations plan (S&OP) to operational plan/execution.”  

In monthly S&OP meetings, managers make strategic decisions such as increasing revenue or adding new products that don’t always translate into operational plans that can be practically executed. They plan with one model and execute with another, creating a critical gap that is difficult to bridge. It often relegates S&OP to a passive planning exercise, rather than actively connecting to results.

But with ToolsGroup, “you get what you plan”.  ToolsGroup’s S&OP employs the same data model for both tactical and operational planning, creating a single integrated data model with one version of the truth. It is coherent at every level, continuously synchronized through perfect mapping. 

This single model solves another S&OP problem. Finance and management must work at a higher level of aggregation to efficiently identify trade-offs. But operations must optimize with a detailed model that includes real-world constraints such as plant level production or distribution center capacities. Our single model supports the S&OP process with best-in-class optimization based on detailed constraints, while synchronized with higher aggregation levels where collaboration and decisions are made.   

In all, we support three levels of S&OP processes: strategic (sometimes called Integrated Business Planning or IBP), tactical Sales and Operations Planning, and operational/execution planning (Sales and Operations Execution or S&OE).