Keynote Martijn Lofvers | S&OP Vendor Day 2021

Presentatie Martijn

Supply Chain Media organized the first hybrid edition of S&OP Vendor Day on October 13, 2021. “Taste the flavours of S&OP Vendors” in one day. The main topic of this new and innovative international event in Utrecht and online was the selection of a suitable S&OP software vendor and the implementation of the solution. Besides independent keynotes from well-known companies about their S&OP journey, leading companies presented their solutions in a 30-minute breakout session as well as at their booths. Martijn Lofvers started the day with the keynote “How to select S&OP and other supply chain software”. 

Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) software is still high on the wish list of supply chain professionals, but the selection process for that software has changed. All software vendors now deliver the same basic functionality needed to support the S&OP process. You can compare it to buying a car. An Audi A6 is a classic, reliable car with a great track record and a design based on proven technology. Anyone who chooses it is making a safe choice.

Don’t get bogged down in lists of selection criteria or car options, but take a quick test drive by asking software vendors to give a live demonstration. Another issue is whether one car (software package) is enough for your entire supply chain planning processes. Perhaps you need a complete fleet comprising a large diesel truck, a small electric truck and a forklift. The question is whether you should order the entire fleet from the same supplier or select the best supplier for each type of vehicle.

There are various types of software on the market, including for S&OP. Every company needs the basics: the systems of record which support transactions and register orders in a ERP system. The layer above that consists of the systems of differentiation, which companies use to set themselves apart, e.g. in terms of planning and forecasting. The top layer consists of the systems of innovation: applications that make use of machine learning and cognitive automation, for example, or the apps that companies can simply plug in.

This layering of applications translates to the set-up of a T-shaped planning tower in recent years. Sales orders enter the enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution on the first floor, Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE) on the second floor, S&OP in the next floor, Integrated Business Planning (IBP) on the fourth floor and at the top of the planning tower the end-to-end planning across the complete value chain.

Missed this session?

The recorded session is available on the YouTube channel of Supply Chain Movement. The slide deck is available for download below.

Download: Slides Martijn Lofvers | S&OP Vendor Day 2021