Sales & Operations planning is overdue for major disruption. The process of moving a product from the manufacturer to the end recipient has become excessively complex involving multiple parties with lots of planning data supporting demand and supply, contracts, invoices, delivery notes, and customs information. Plus, visibility and transparency while the goods are in transit are generally poor. A blockchain application can streamline the S&OP process and make it possible to collaborate, secure, and audit planning data at every step along the way bringing better efficiency, greater transparency, and better business outcomes for all supply chain parties involved.
Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is the set of business processes and supporting technologies that enable an enterprise to effectively respond to demand and supply variability with timely decisions regarding the right supply, demand, and manufactured product mix.
The most important business challenges facing manufacturers today is how to proactively manage gross margin performance in support of profitability. In order to do this, companies must focus on:
The problem is that actively managing gross margin means gaining a cross-company insight into the real-time operating processes of different departments. In most manufacturing companies, gross margin tends to be evaluated using manual, spreadsheet-based processes with historical data and at an aggregate operating level. This type of process does not provide clear insight into what detailed operational improvements can be made and what their impact will be on the company's gross margin and profit picture.
The key to effective business process automation for S&OP at an account and product level of detail would be to find a way to mitigate the limitations of today's manual methods. This means letting users still leverage their current spreadsheet data models, but now have them enabled with blockchain collaborative data management capabilities. With this capability, rather than expending company resources on manually collecting, rolling up, and assessing the numbers in the first place, management could instead focus on the field and operating information that is used to develop the numbers. They could even add their own assessments to the information and conduct what-if analysis to determine impact of changes on profitability. With this deeper insight and capability, companies could spend more time making effective management decisions and driving their business to greater profitability.
Manufacturers are increasingly looking to automation to increase operational efficiency throughout the organization including digitally transforming legacy processes. Using Boardwalk Enterprise Blockchain, manufacturers can digitally transform existing spreadsheet-based processes without re-platforming onto a blockchain powered digital ledger providing the time critical visibility and trusted insight into the detailed operational data they desire.