Summarising the Global S&OP to IBP Summit 2017

Global S&OP to Integrated Business Planning Summit 2017, Amsterdam

wrap up by Olga Kovalevska, Supply and Demand Planner at Internel

Internel team had a great pleasure to participate in the “Global S&OP to Integrated Business Planning Summit”, which took place in Amsterdam last week. The two-day conference was devoted to various aspects of the S&OP process, including innovations, trends, best practices and challenges that we face on the way to the higher level of S&OP maturity.

Distributor S&OP

Gold sponsor Internel SA

There were 220 delegates representing 160 companies, mostly manufacturers (over 80%). Among the participants there were also service consultants and software providers, whose main task was to help their clients to achieve more benefits with S&OP.

Even though there is no universal easy solution to S&OP challenges and the move towards IBP, the conference presented the participants with numerous ideas that will definitely lead in the right direction.

So, what is the main outcome of these two days full of panel discussions, case studies and workshops?

Even though a lot can be done to improve the process and tools of S&OP (the technical side of it), most presenters seemed to stress something different – people. Indeed, S&OP is all about finding consensus, which is why aligning people is sometimes more important than “cleaning” the data for hundreds of times. “People over process” can be the main outcome of the conference, which is something we at Internel couldn’t agree more with. It was proven one more time that such a collaborative process cannot succeed without finding the common ground, whatever the tools are.

Another important outcome is that it is noticeable that today more companies have doubts regarding statistical forecasting and relevancy of historical data. Some even controversially say that “S&OP is dead”. This is because it is not enough anymore to look thoroughly through the past – we need to make sure we keep one eye on the future as well. While products’ lifecycles become shorter and shorter, we need to stay concentrated on what is going on in the sales trends today by using Big Data and other IT technologies – anticipate the shifts of consumer preferences.

Last but not least – established S&OP process in well-developed markets only is not enough nowadays. The key activity of Internel is to help other companies to manage supply and demand in distributor markets, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to share our knowledge and best practices by answering questions at our stand. It was a big pleasure for us to see how many people were interested in the matter.

Finally we would like to thank all the participants one more time for contributing to the conference by speaking, attending or organising it!

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Summarising the Global S&OP to IBP Summit 2017