During my 25 years’ experience in S&OP implementation, for 20 of them I was privileged to collaborate directly with Andy Coldrick, co-creator with Dick Ling of Business S&OP, sometimes called IBP. Andy was my master and friend, and among the immense knowledge he taught me on S&OP, the standout message is that S&OP is much more than a process; properly implemented, it is a way of working for the whole company to enable it to deploy dynamically its strategy, and consequently, S&OP should be fully customized to meet companies’ unique challenges.
During these 25 years, executing more than 100 implementations all overthe world, I worked on S&OP with amazing companies like Coty, Danone, Ferrero, Mars, Naos, and Suntory, to name a few. I learned from these industry leaders that there are no limits to S&OP performance. Why? Because the common characteristic of these six organizations is their ‘healthy dissatisfaction’ mindset that drives them to push the boundaries of excellence.
The ‘level of complacency’ criterion has become, for me, a simple way to flag the level of S&OP maturity in an organisation. True champions are always humble and always look for what they need to improve, and never contemplate how beautiful they are. This applies to S&OP. When somebody tells me that ‘in my company, S&OP is working well’, I know it can be improved at least on the most important aspect: the commitment to breaking the status quo, and the curiosity to explore new territories.