The best SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning) processes that deliver significant returns on investment involve the extended supply chain. Since SIOP is about how to align demand with supply – and align all the process owners and executives on one page, it has far reaching implications beyond any one project, person or result.
I find the most successful SIOP processes deliver the optimal combination of:
- Business growth backed by operational readiness
- Improved customer service levels
- Accelerated cash flow
- Increased margins
Thus, it is a worth-while endeavor for any business as not only a way to stay competitive but it is also a strategic process to grow the business and rise above your competitors with elevated business performance.
Although a certain level of success can be achieved within the “walls” of your company, far greater success will be achieved by involving your supply chain. Talk with your customers about demand. Consider collaborative ordering processes with them as you’ll gain a greater insight into your supply chain that can be utilized to achieve a win-win! Find out which products are strategic and think through pricing and costing. Partner with suppliers to develop improved materials, to design products, to collaborate on inventory and ordering and more. Go beyond the norm and tie your customers and suppliers together in a win-win-win endeavor. And, consider other supply chain and business partners – transportation providers, trusted advisors and the like. Find a way to make 1+1=16.