Companies are increasing their investments within the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, engaging key people from planning, sales, marketing, purchasing, finance and other vital areas across the organization, to guarantee that all members of management are working towards an agreed set of numbers.
Executive search firm TopGrading Solutions recently conducted research to determine whether companies were making any changes within the forecasting department as a result of the recession. According to the poll, 51% of respondents say they have seen an improved S&OP process being put in place. Other results from the survey were as follows: 28% say their company is doing nothing to improve forecasting, 16% have invested in forecasting tools, and none of those surveyed have added additional demand planners to their team.
Jason Breault, managing director of TopGrading Solutions, believes that one of the major lessons learned from the recession is the importance of forecasting. "We have seen many companies over the past couple of years fail to hit the mark when it comes to demand and inventory planning. What they now realize is that there needs to be a hierarchy of individuals that can get together on a monthly basis and dissect past, current and future performance, so that they may appropriately put a strategic plan in place."
TopGrading Solutions' results coincides with independent research from firms such as AMR Research, Aberdeen and Ventana Research which have shown that companies that have an S&OP process in place are more successful than companies that do not.