Last week I had a discussion with a customer about his S&OP process, which in his view was not delivering enough value. Useful, but it did not really make the needles move and he could not get his fingers around the reasons why. The amazing thing was that in 2 minutes, we got to the core of the problem and I am happy therefore to share the debate:
This discussion shows a very, very common issue with S&OP implementations. In many cases, people seem to confuse accuracy with detail, and fail to explicitly match the decisions to be taken at different horizons with the required level of detail to support them.
Are the answers always simple then? Of course not. The optimal solution is always dependent on the specific requirements, but defining the core of the problem generally means that you have solved it for 90% already. Filling in the final 10% in many cases is a matter of mindset rather than solving complex puzzles: adding more detail generally is not the answer when designing S&OP, even though your systems and many people around you seem to think it is.