I’ve been thinking about the value of SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning). Not only can it be a great way to gain bottom line results (capacity to support business growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow), but it also can help align the functions of an organization. I’ve facilitated three executive SIOP meetings in the last few weeks. In each case, the process brought up critical business topics not otherwise addressed and better aligned the people on one page with one plan.

For example, in one of the executive SIOP meetings, the “next” potential bottleneck surfaced through the SIOP data. Instead of it being a contentious topic as it typically had been, it was brought up as just the “next” area of focus in order to keep the momentum flowing in the right direction. This can make a significant difference to teamwork as folks rally around a mutual plan for success instead of fighting over turf battles.

One tip to implement this week:
SIOP is not something that you’d implement in a week; however, the basis of SIOP is culture change. Start by thinking about how to get everyone on one page. Perhaps the best way to do that is to start by listening. Ask your colleagues for their thoughts and ideas for success. I find that almost all “goldmines” are found with people who already exist within an organization but are either not valued or no one thought to ask them. Simply ask people for their ideas and listen. To learn more about how to implement SIOP, read our book, SIOP (Sales Inventory Operations Planning): Creating Predictable Revenue and EBITDA Growth.