“My supply chain is different and more complex”…if I had a dollar for every time that I heard this from potential clients, I would be a millionaire by now! Yes, your supply chain is unique and different but it does not mean that it is more complex than others. Every industry has its own nuances of how the supply chain can impact their business. Unless you are dealing with niche players, planning systems are designed to handle the complexity of all supply chains. However, what makes them different is the level of accuracy that they have in order to model the supply chain. With a few exceptions, all S&OP solutions treat the supply planning just like a spreadsheet does. The use of bucketed capacities, static lead-times, and predefined bottleneck resources! At the level of spreadsheet modeling obviously, they can handle any supply chain just like spreadsheets have been doing for a long time. If, however, you are interested in a reliable plan for the supply chain then S&OP by itself is not good enough; you need S&OE to enable you to execute the plan. What good is a plan that needs to be manually changed over and over again in order to make it work? In the words of Gartner: “The No. 1 challenge among manufacturing companies is connecting sales and operations planning (S&OP) to operational plan/execution.” To learn more about how to generate reliable plans that can be executed click here: Sales and Operations Execution S&OE.