When executives meet for sales and operations planning, there are tremendous opportunities for profitable, strategic changes. But when it comes to applying those changes at the operational or account management level, it seems that staff always find specific reasons for continuing with the status quo.

“In ever more manufacturing companies, the monthly Sales & Operations Planning meeting is the definitive place where the business leaders and planners come together to work out how to align sales quotas and production plans with business strategy.”

I-Plan provides powerful scenario-analysis tools that put S&OP meetings on a completely different footing. While each strategic option is being discussed, I-Plan can accurately evaluate its impact – in detail – on production, distribution and sales. At the same time I-Plan works out the net effect on profits of each scenario, providing the strongest basis for the business case.

Because I-Plan maintains detailed working models and tracks the latest sales and production figures, managers at all levels can be confident that they are implementing changes that are grounded in the realities of their business.

How it works

I-Plan is a high level planning system, designed specifically for process industries. It maintains detailed models of demand (your customers and markets) and of supply (your production capabilities, global inventories and logistics).

For sales and operations planning meetings, I-Plan provides a fast, flexible scenario analysis tool, which runs on a computer or tablet. It gives planners the ability to run analyses in advance or to respond to questions during planning sessions.

Through integration to your ERP and production systems, I-Plan monitors your specific production and overall logistics costs, as well as the prices that you can command from different products in different markets. By incorporating prices as well as costs, all planning and decision-making in I-Plan goes beyond just cost reduction, instead focusing on global profit maximization.

When a scenario is evaluated by I-Plan it runs through a sophisticated process, which includes creating workable production plans, inventory and logistics plans and sales quotas. Each of these is worked out within the specific constraints that apply in your business, from the cost of logistics to the impact of changeovers on production runs to the key clients whose demands cannot be ignored.

Once a strategic decision has been reached, I-Plan maintains the momentum of change: The details of the agreed scenario are passed to I-Plan Production, where different teams of planners work out robust, cost-effective medium-term production schedules. At the same time, sales quotas, inventory plans and other key systems are updated with the details for the coming weeks and months.

In conclusion

For business leaders who want to make sales and operation planning a process which drives real, transformative change, I-Plan provides the tools for informed decision-making as well as powerful, easy to use systems which allow staff to implement changes as closely as possible to what management intended.

Download our white paper on Sales and Operations Planning in the Paper Industry.  An I-Plan S&OP Product Overview can also be downloaded.

For more information please refer to our product overview or case studies. If you would like to discuss your requirements with us, please email us or call +44 1926 623 225.