Extending sales and operations collaboration requires a clear articulation of business rules and information transfers. As a result, knowing exactly what questions to ask is crucial. In this short blog series, I will provide a list of questions to ask the various roles and people involved in the S&OP process. These questions can make a good starting point of collaborating with marketing and product managers.

  • How many product or marketing managers by region location will be involved with collaboration?
  • How do they currently participate in the forecasting process? (i.e. review forecast or responsible for providing customer level forecast)
  • What is the desired role for the product or marketing manager in the forecasting process?
  • What type of interaction is predicted to occur between them and the demand planners?
  • What types of forecast related data and at what of level for detail would they like to see?
  • At what level of forecast detail should they enter overrides or updates? (i.e. history, forecast, orders, product family level, detailed SKU or SAP material code number level)
  • How often will they need to enter adjustments or overrides?
  • Is there a monthly cycle envisioned?
  • Is there a fixed time of the month when they will be required to provide overrides?
  • Who will approve the overrides?
  • What basis will be used for the approval process?
  • How should they interact with the collaborative forecast application and why?
  • What interaction mechanisms will not be acceptable or have failed in the past?
  • How much accountability should they have for the accuracy of the forecast?
  • What incentives should they have for improving forecast accuracy?

So there you have it. Of course, these are the key questions from Arkieva’s standpoint and experience. What are your thoughts? Did I forget any? What information was useful in your S&OP process?

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