The struggle to balance customer demand with available supply is as old as trade itself. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) processes have evolved over the last 30 years to address this age-old problem, yet recently SCM World declared "S&OP is still the top inquiry within the SCM World community."* Gartner and Aberdeen have also indicated that S&OP innovation is a top priority for companies seeking to balance and align future demand and supply, predict capacity and material problems with enough time to do something about them, and understand the financial consequences of production and purchasing decisions.
It took a visit to the eye doctor for me to realize that, when it comes to achieving S&OP excellence, we must strive to be both nearsighted and farsighted at the same time.
My eyesight is at the point where I need different lenses for near and far, so I recently had to choose between adopting bifocals full time or continuing to wear contact lenses for far-sight while adding reading glasses for close up work. A business also needs to focus on different planning timeframes to effectively manage near term and longer term issuesthree overlapping timeframes, in fact: