Drowning In Data?

Do Executive Management Teams Get The Information They Need To Make Good Decisions From Their S&OP Processes?

SMR Pack cover large

Maybe it’s because many S&OP processes (or IBP / SIOP etc.) have been set up by people with a detailed operational planning and control background rather than by people with a wider business perspective that we see so many massive S&OP ‘decks’. Huge effort goes into assembling 80, 90 or even 100 page documents full of data that the (more…)

Optimisation in S&OP – Process or Meeting?

Process or Meeting?


What is the one process step in S&OP/IBP that businesses find the most difficult? Answer, the Optimisation process. Some call it Integrated Reconciliation, others, Pre-S&OP, Finance Review, or Step 4. There are many reasons why businesses find Optimisation difficult, but a common one is because they view it purely as a meeting rather than a process.

While it may well include one or more meetings (not necessarily face to face), in reality it is a process that continues all month leading to the Executive S&OP/IBP meeting. In a classic five-step S&OP/IBP process, the first (more…)

Who Should Lead the Optimisation Process Step in S&OP/IBP?

Optimization leadership word cloud

People often ask who should lead the Optimisation step (also known as Step 4, Integrated Reconciliation, Pre-S&OP and Finance Review) in S&OP/IBP . Historically S&OP was a supply chain led process, and the leader of Optimisation was often the supply step leader because they were the most committed to making the process work, and the focus of Optimisation was supply and demand balancing. Over the last twenty years or so as S&OP has developed into a true cross-functional business process offering vastly more (more…)

Andy Coldrick 1944 – 2014

Andy ColdrickIt was with great sadness that we learned this week of the death from cancer of Andy Coldrick. Andy was an original founder of StrataBridge and one of the great pioneers of Sales and Operations Planning together with his long-time friend and business partner Dick Ling. Andy had moved to the USA to work alongside Dick in recent years, and struggled against cancer for much of that time, but continued writing and working until very recently.

We will remember Andy as great friend, a great colleague and as (more…)

S&OP and Strategy – Building the Bridge and Making the Process Stick


Want to understand the relationship between Strategy and S&OP? Need some ideas on how to maintain senior management engagement with your S&OP process? Then check-out our new article in the Journal of Business Forecasting which you can find here:

S&OP and Strategy JBF Spring 2013

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For more information on the Institute of Business Forecasting including conferences and publications go to www.ibf.org


StrataBridge @ Industry Week – Volatility: Threat or Opportunity?


Some see risk, some see new possibilities

Some fear loss of ‘control’, some adapt and grow

How do you see Volatility; Threat or Opportunity?

Check-out the article, co-authored with Steelwedge CEO Glen Margolis, just published by Industry Week here



StrataBridge Presenting at IBF Amsterdam Supply Chain Forecasting and Planning Conference

Duncan Alexander will be presenting a case study together with Jeff Thomas of PZ Cussons at the forthcoming Institute of Business Forecasting’s Supply Chain Forecasting and Planning Conference to be held on November 15th and 16th at the Radisson Blu Amsterdam Airport Hotel.



Nuclear Incidents, Plane Crashes and Failed Strategies

Failed strategies, like nuclear incidents and plane crashes, only rarely occur due to one catastrophic exogenous shock.  These disasters, along with industrial accidents, oil spills, sinking ships and other man-made calamities, usually being the result of the cumulative effect of many smaller – individually insignificant – errors or mishaps.

What Goes Wrong…

The typical plane crash involves seven consecutive errors, mainly human.  Each one by itself may not present a problem, if acted on or contained in isolation – a malfunctioning or obscured warning light, (more…)

The Future of S&OP? IBF/APICS BotB Conference Panel

What will it look like?

How will it work?

Why does it need to change?

I’ve just been in London at IBF and APICS first ever Best of the Best Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) Conference outside of the US, which was a great success.  I had the pleasure of speaking at the event and moderating the (more…)

‘Best of the Best’… Be There!

We’re proud to be part of organising and speaking at this year’s ‘Best of the Best S&OP Conferences’ in association with the Institute of Business Forecasting and APICS.

In London on 10-11 May, and Chicago on 14-15 June 2012, these sessions bring together insight, first-hand experience from practitioners and a great networking opportunity with peers across industries.  Whether just embarking on a ‘Sales & Operations Planning’ (S&OP) or ‘Integrated Business Planning’ (IBP) development, or wanting to get more from your current ‘joined-up decision-making’ processes these events offer something for you.

Check-out the conference details here.

Making your Ideal World your Real World