SNHU Importance of Integrating Sales and Operations Discussion In this lesson, we discuss the importance of integrating sales and operations. This idea of integrated management is indeed a key tenet of supply chain and operations management practices today.
Summarize the ways through which sales and operations planning can be integrated. Then, extend your findings to additional supply chain management processes that you feel could be better integrated.
Which two (or more) processes did you integrate? Why and how?
In response to your peers, discuss what this integration could do to improve a company’s bottom line.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document. Response to robert
Sales and operations (S&OP) planning is an integrated and collaborative process in business management, which
helps ensure that the demand and supply levels of a business are correctly aligned. It is, at times, referred to as
Integrated Business Planning (IBP) or Demand and Supply Integration (DSI) (Moon, 2014) or aggregate planning
(Murray, 2019). This planning is cross-functional and continuous, involving and synchronizing all functional
components of the supply chain, as well as the company’s leadership teams. It is done with a focus on improving the
overall performance of the business and ensuring that the strategic objectives of the supply chain are attained
(Crane, 2016). Companies that use S&OP planning have better inventory management and resource optimization,
improved budget forecasting accuracy, and increased data and collaboration between departments. They are also
more profitable, have better visibility of supply and demand across the company, and improved promotional
planning (Murray, 2019). Integrated management is a crucial principle of supply chain and operations management
systems today, and if done effectively, it also helps the organization to achieve its set goals.
Integration of sales and operational planning can be done in a manner that helps to ensure that the competences of
the supply chain align with the strategic and tactical objectives of the company, as well as the financial decisions
made by an organization. The integration process occurs when the finance, supply chain, operations, sales, and
marketing departments of a company work collaboratively to pursue common set goals. Some of the ways to
integrate sales and operations planning are integrating demand forecasting and supply capability, to plan for
production (Murray, 2019). This integration ensures that the number of goods produced corresponds with the
customer demands, therefore avoiding stock-outs and holding too much or unnecessary levels of inventory. Another
way is influencing the culture of the organization to support working together in the pursuit of shared goals (Moon,
2014). Shaping organizational culture can either be done through directives from company leadership or by offering
workers the incentives, education, and training necessary to effect change.
The supply chain management practices which could be integrated are supplier network relationship management,
customer service management, and warehouse, and transportation management (Robinson, 2018). Supplier networks
can be integrated by having different suppliers who produce complementary products work together. Supplier
integration reduces supplier redundancy, increases levels of production, and lowers product costs as well as costs of
supply chain management (NRC, 2000). This involvement can be done by getting them to know each other and
work directly with each other. Data obtained from consumers can be used to increase forecasting (Robinson, 2018).
Using it along company data can help in the identification of opportunities and threats within the supply chain. It
leads to improved risk mitigation strategies for the supply chain. Other sources of data, for instance, social media,
can also be integrated with the company systems to improve the levels of customer service. Customer data can be
obtained through surveys or interviews to ascertain product and consumer satisfaction levels. Increased
collaboration with vendors through linked systems contributes to the overall improvement in managing inventory.
Vendor collaborations can be achieved by integrating already existing platforms with transport management
systems, yards, warehouses, suppliers, vendors, and distribution centers. For instance, a company could integrate its
transport management systems with another warehouse management system. This integration could improve the
flow of goods within a facility, improving operations, and reducing product lead times (Robinson, 2018). Also, this
could enhance the efficiency in the evaluation of the company’s logistics.
Crane, W. (2016). Successfully Integrating S&OP in Your Organization. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from
Moon, M. (2014). S&OP Best Practice: It’s All About Integration. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from
Murray, M. (2019). Sales and Operations Planning. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from
National Research Council. (2000). Surviving Supply Chain Integration: Strategies for Small Manufacturers.
Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6369.
Robinson A., (2018). How Supply Chain Systems Integration Is a Game Changer. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from
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