Most supply chain practitioners believe that there is a need for both a long-term planning engine (S&OP) and yet another for plan execution (S&OE). The main reason is that S&OP can only provide a rough plan which is not good enough for execution for (say) this week or this month. But, if you were to have one system that generates accurate plans, both long term and short term, i.e., plans that are realistic for execution, then why would you need to have two separate processes and systems for S&OP and S&OE. How would I get long term visibility, you might ask?
Think of S&OE as an accurate version of S&OP, an evolved version of S&OP or simply as a perfection of S&OP. You can get both short term and long-term plans within S&OE with more accuracy and more reliability because it has a more accurate model of the supply chain. This realistic model is called the Digital Twin of your supply chain.
Having one system that performs both planning and execution removes the need for multiple business processes and multiple meetings for S&OP and S&OE. People have been talking for decades about getting rid of silos between horizontal processes of demand, sales and supply. We are now at a point to get rid of “vertical silos” between planning and execution, merged as one. Note that, it is not integrating the two together. Integration is between two separate systems. Here we are talking about a continuum. The two are one! This is done via one extensible model that we refer to as a unified data model (UDM). With UDM, you just need to add data to go from high level planning to lowest level of execution. No changes or additions of systems, no additional models and no need for integration. The more data you add, the more of a digital twin you will have, the more granularity you add the more digital your supply chain would be; and the more data you add the more autonomous you will be operating.