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Why Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) Belongs in The Cloud

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Hurricanes and tsunamis. Diverse and aggressive competition. Volatile financial …

Hurricanes and tsunamis. Diverse and aggressive competition. Volatile financial
markets. Fickle consumers. Uncertainty is clearly the new norm.

Gone are the days of rigid business plans and fine-tuned demand forecasts.
Today’s businesses need unprecedented organizational agility to quickly recognize,
recalibrate and respond to shifting demand in the face of volatility.

Integrated business planning (IBP) – the next phase of S&OP maturity – aligns sales,
operations, finance and other functional areas into a single line of sight, from plan to
performance to profit. But how do you achieve the accessibility, collaboration and
immediacy needed to act on a unified planning view at the speed of business?

The answer lies in the cloud.

To learn even more about S&OP in the cloud, please visit http://www.steelwedge.com/services/cloud-success/

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  • 1. WHY S&OP BELONGS IN THE CLOUD DATA SHEET Page 1 of 2 | © 2013 Steelwedge Software, Inc. All rights reserved. – info@steelwedge.com – 925.460.1700 Why S&OP Belongs in the Cloud Hurricanes and tsunamis. Diverse and aggressive competition. Volatile financial markets. Fickle consumers. Uncertainty is clearly the new norm. Gone are the days of rigid business plans and fine-tuned demand forecasts. Today’s businesses need unprecedented organizational agility to quickly recognize, recalibrate and respond to shifting demand in the face of volatility. Integrated business planning (IBP) – the next phase of S&OP maturity – aligns sales, operations, finance and other functional areas into a single line of sight, from plan to performance to profit. But how do you achieve the accessibility, collaboration and immediacy needed to act on a unified planning view at the speed of business? The answer lies in the cloud. According to Gartner, cloud computing-based solutions, across S&OP and all of supply chain management, are quickly becoming the requirement. Case in point: integrated business planning. IBP requires that executives (and systems) across functional areas – such as sales, marketing, operations, supply chain, manufacturing, finance – have the tools and processes to work together. Only a cloud-based platform can quickly deliver on this promise, and here are four reasons why. IBP requires a connected, collaborative view of S&OP processes across the enterprise to answer pivotal questions, such as the variance between revenue forecast, budget and compensation target by service line; or expected quarterly revenue by business unit. The lynchpin to this connected approach is executive buy-in from all functional areas. Many cloud solutions today allow you to quickly prototype micro applications. This ‘try before you buy’ approach offers a no-risk, hands-on evaluation that can help prove the system’s value and break down resistance to change. #1 Executive Buy-In To truly engage today’s professionals in the process, you need a platform-neutral approach that works on both enterprise and modern mobile platforms, inside and outside of your corporate network. With the cloud, you can leverage existing system investments and easily merge multiple data sources, whether it’s from legacy on-premise ERP, CRM or Finance applications or in the cloud with Software as a Service applications like Salesforce.com and deliver them on demand to anyone in your organization, anywhere in the world. #2 Any Time, Anywhere Access Organizations are dealing with increasing variety and volumes of “big data” coming from internal, partner, customer and social sources. For S&OP, the big data management requirement is exascerbated by the need to look at information from revenue, product, SKU and component level across a variety geographies, operating divisions and time horizons and then roll up that data for review at quarterly, monthly and even weekly increments. #3 S&OP Ecosystem Connectivity By Glen Margolis, Founder & CEO, Steelwedge Software11 22 33 44
  • 2. Page 2 of 2 | © 2013 Steelwedge Software, Inc. All rights reserved. – info@steelwedge.com – 925.460.1700 Steelwedge Software, Inc. Steelwedge integrated sales, operations and finance planning solutions provide the "shock absorbers" to recognize, recalibrate and respond in a volatile environment. Business agility starts with Steelwedge for a clear line of sight from plan to performance to profit. For additional information, please email us: info@steelwedge.com. Not only is processing power important for developing actionable plans based on vast amounts of input data, but it’s a critical consideration to allow for contingency planning - a key driver for agility, and the heart of true IBP. Strategic, “what if” scenario modeling enables you to explore a myriad of business scenarios that impact the bottom line. Creating ad-hoc modeling to understand not only supply/demand trade-offs, but also the customer and financial implications of those moves would be cost-prohibitive without the elastic computing power of the cloud. With the shift away from traditional annual or quarterly calendars, S&OP conversations and technologies need to be different. The cloud provides an ideal foundation for modern business plan decision making, allowing you to sense for signals of change and take a tighter look at interdependencies that impact departmental and corporate processes. #4 Predictive Analytics WHY S&OP BELONGS IN THE CLOUD DATA SHEET This, in turn requires a significant boost in processing power and analytics to make sense of the data for quicker decision-making. Connecting all of this so-called “big data” into planning and understanding how shifts in supply and demand will impact operations calls for scalability and flexibility that traditional on-premise solutions can’t deliver from one platform—they patch together across multiple systems. With a single IBP platform in the cloud, you ensure a level of always on elasticity to meet your data demands as they grow. Plus, the cloud’s pay as you go model enables you to scale as your business demands, not as your procurement dictates.

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