Our intent of the S&OP Time blog has been to provide unique not for profit insight into the benefits and value of S&OP used in just about any business of any size. In fact we believe strongly with the state of the world economy today small to medium business actually have the most to gain with S&OP. Here are a few bullet points of events and trends we have seen in past year and going forward in 2013 that may encourage you to take a dip or maybe a plunge into S&OP for you business. We use example of our solutions and partner solutions less to promote our solutions but more to give you and your team the ammunition and confidence to shape even your current solutions into the proper form.
- With the state of global sourcing and transportation it is possible for even the smallest of business to leverage low transport rates and flexible transport lead times to meet customer expectations at low cost. See one of our key long term partners Freightgate.com for some great low cost tools to cut through the transport arbitrage of rates and lead times
- Increasingly it is apparent to the thinking public that more “stuff” should be made or at least final assembled in US. See our knowledgebase at sopbook.com for 10 years of posts of case studies, articles, tips on understanding total supply chain costs vs. just cheap foreign labor cost
- Software firms, marketers, and off course supposed software analysts all are using the term S&OP … Unfortunately to sell and position something they already have but that is sign there is fire deep down in the smoke “cloud”. Note I used the term “cloud”… but not as a software “cloud” as our analysis and experience is S&OP in a cloud probably should not be the priority. A basis of code / tools that can be run locally and asynchronously from the cloud should be. Supply chain execution data from partners in cloud yet but your business should be able to be controlled within your domain
- OK, lets talk about tools…. At DCRA Inc. we engineered the user interface and even the complete local tools to be a spreadsheet for manipulation, saving, editing with asynchronous links to the algorithms, data storage in cloud outside the spreadsheet. The result is nearly perfect IT architecture but one that does not give the software provider a lock in to control you and your business. We did this on purpose to provide for a business’ strategic control and differentiation… You additionally can have us or others run in a cloud but you control that decision and have a choice
- More and more supply chain and Wall Street analysts are understanding the Amazon phenomena of profitability and growth. To us at DCRA Inc. it is pretty simple … Amazon avoids working capital exposure. To this end 10 years ago we developed are “real time” S&OP we call Order Commitment S&OP. In 2011 we received full patent protection on this approach but only did this so we could help YOU grow your business and allow a small business to accomplish what Amazon does. Drop ship for suppliers, coordinate BTO manufacturing over the web, balance lead times to demand to supply all without holding excessive or even ANY inventory. Contact us at sopbook.com for more information… it works… its inexpensive and is the example you are looking for to drive real value from supply chain S&OP not more “going through the motions” with consultants or software games
- Lets talk about “consulting”. There are two types of consultants in our experience. Those who get caught up in methodologies ,isk mitigation (their risk) and control of a client vs. those consultants or better described problem sovers those who truly have expertise have ability to move the curve, transfer knowledge and get out of the way. We are the latter and have spent millions of $ to develop tools to transfer the S&OP knowledge quickly, effortlessly and to enable you to run your business.
- So where do S&OP tools best apply ? We feel every business does S&OP today but the times to actually “net” supply and demand and ability to use to deal with flexibility (intended or unintended) in demand and supply lead times are next to impossible to deal with … without some tools. Tools are not a replacement for you culture, your operating model, abdication of your business to some Indian run software cloud. Tools also make accomplishing the consultants 2 year methodology approaches approaches possible in a few weeks or days…. Yes a few week or days
- Lastly, it is very likely we live in a culture that only understands and believes when they can see, fell and touch. The engineering mindset and methodology is rare so we have made our S&OP tools available for very low cost … $1000 or even free as part of our Total Order Fulfillment methodology work to turn this equation on its head. What if you could take a product family out of your biz and run through an actual S&OP algorithm in days and SHOW senior management the impact. Or better yet your are senior management and you want to break the staff free from all the “excuses”.
This works it is time… it is SOPTIME