S&OP (Sales & Operating Plan) is a rigorous and regular process that aligns the company’s forecasting, sales, production, inventory, customer service and product development processes and resources. It is a critical element for the entire supply chain in which R&G implements a regular process that involves and aligns the highest level of management of the company / business unit focusing as one team on a common view of the future needs and operating plans.


The daily/weekly planning around individual SKUs is something that is already established and happens on an operational level with a monthly review of targets with sales and customer service. This can always be improved, but it clearly works. The bigger need is for a longer-term planning on product portfolios, volume growth, capacity planning and anticipated changes in customer requirements. These are subjects for which there is often no quick fix. It is S&OP at a different level with a different timeframe. Cross-functional cooperation and combined planning sessions can have huge benefits in being better prepared for what we know is coming.


  • The results can be seen in the number of supply and demand mismatches. It is often claimed that we couldn’t have seen this coming but the reality is that if we review the past data the trend was clear earlier on – there was just no formal mechanism for getting prepared.
  • Companies that employ a fully developed S&OP with regular reviews for the coming 6-9 months encounter less surprises and are able to offer the customers a flexibility in the market place that their competitors cannot match.