Tactical or Strategic?
Is a sales and operations planning (S&OP) meeting strategic or tactical?
We’ll answer that as soon as you tell us what “strategic” means.
We’ve seen organizations run S&OP meetings where the topic of the entire meeting is to answer this question!
We really don’t think that’s a good use of time.
While they’re debating the supreme purpose of their S&OP meeting, actual work is not getting done. Based on our experience, covering issues 12-18 months to the future works pretty well. Our main objectives are:
- Ensure that the business unit and operations stakeholders have a venue for periodic discussion
- Identify current issues
- Identify issues far enough in the future to allow enough lead time to address them
Is 12-18 months the perfect horizon for all organizations? Of course not. But there is really no way to tell until you start doing it.
Remember, you are not locked into this horizon. If your operation requires a longer or shorter horizon, you can always adjust then.
However, if you never start, you’ll never know for sure what will ultimately work.
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