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What is sales and operation planning?

s-&-op.jpgThere are many different ways businesses have attempted to better plan and implement their businesses practises. After all, every business is looking for new and innovative or tried and true means of increasing their efficiency, their sales, and their profit margins. Of course, during the course of corporate history no single method is better than any other, but there is a wide array of practises that people have undertaken and sworn by. Some have stood the test of time, others have not. Sales and Operation Planning is but one of many of those different strategies.

What is sales and operation planning?

Simply put it is an integrated business planning method whereby the executive and management team aim to maintain focus, alignment and synchronisation among all functions of the organisation. It was developed in the 1980’s by Oliver Wight.

In general it attempts to plan for every possible occurrence with a given sales plan, although the exact specifics vary depending on the industry in question. In general, however, shorter product cycles tend to require more intensive planning than more sustained product sales, as there are more variables and less structure to draw projections from.

 Generally sales and operation planning takes place on a monthly basis. The executive, together with his management team, come together and attempt to project just how the marketing process of a given product line will ensue over the next financial year. As more details from the operation comes in, the plan will be updated and adjusted accordingly.

For example, if there is a sudden bout of warm weather, a company that specialises in suntan lotion may wish to spike their product supplies to meet predicted sales demand. This requires constant clear, clean and accurate data from a wide variety of sources, most of which will come from events completely outside of your company’s control. In general, a successful sales and operation plan will be able to adjust itself accordingly to chaotic and unexpected events.

Who to contact?

For more information about sales and operation planning, or to look into the services of an experienced business consultancy, visit the website of Hillman Consultancy. You can also contact them directly by phoning 01926 430 883 or you visit the Gideon Hillman website here.

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