S&OP Success: As Much the Partner as the Technology

Here’s an all too familiar reminder of someone that had their holidays ruined by broken promises….

Small? Details?  Why are we writing about this? S&OP initiatives are based on business cases that typically highlight bottom line improvements that carry with them a lot of focus and attention.  And yet, many of these projects fail to ultimately deliver the promised improvements, Why?  There are many variables involved and not all the variables are equal.  There is one specific variable that we have seen that can invalidate the entire ROI and often is the least vetted variable of all.

Evaluating all the features of your future S&OP platform – including the company – that supports your business case is a big job. There are many factors to consider: business process perspectives to the skill sets of your team to the underlying capabilities that are most important to the competitive advantages you have in your market. A great deal of effort goes into initial vendor evaluations, product demos, and on-site demonstrations of the platform with your data. All this is absolutely necessary to make the proper selection of a platform that can and should have a bottom line impact on your business imperatives. However, is it enough?  Does this following scenario sound at all familiar?

After all of this due diligence, you’re feeling pretty good about the platform you’ve selected and are excited about getting the project started. Once the contract is signed, your vendor begins to talk about a slight start delay since they’re got to slot your project in with other projects with other clients. Once you have your kickoff meeting there is some murmuring of a “new understanding” of scope from the product vendor. As you discuss integration design, the vendor “discovers” new data feeds that were not accounted for during the proposal process. As your team gets a better understanding of the product and asks for some tailoring, they’re told that it will require a change request.  The schedule slips and costs go up….

All the due diligence on the platform, its match to your business, and the ROI business case is undermined by a vendor that can’t deliver on its promises. Finding a reputable partner that will stand by their commitments, even when things don’t turn out exactly as planned, is often one of the most important selection factors in separating successful projects from the 70%+ that fail.

The team at Demand Foresight is a group of S&OP SME’s, enterprise architects, and large enterprise company developers that have been in your shoes. We started a company that wanted to take a novel approach to avoid these all too “normal” software failures.  That’s why we came up with a one price, two-part guarantee to demonstrate our “skin in the game” in the spirit of an equally incented partner in your success. Our clients keep telling us how unique this approach is, but from our standpoint, there’s no other way!

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