S&OP Planning – A Guide

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Understanding all of the steps in the S&OP Process will help your organization stay organized.

The S&OP cycle starts with the New Baseline phase. This is the first and most essential component in establishing an S&OP process. This phase ensures that all reviews and models are accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. This phase involves collecting data from the past period’s activities as well as creating static snapshots for comparisons between each review. Additionally, it requires a monthly closing process to make sure all numbers are correct before beginning any further processes. Keep in mind that the S&OP cycle is ongoing and starts again each time new data is collected.


After all data has been collected and recorded, the next step involves using statistical and data-based assumptions from prior periods to create a baseline forecast. This will be used in all subsequent planning steps as a reference point. Additionally, it is important that this data is timely, accurate, and visible to everyone involved in the process.

Data Gathering

The types of data streams typically included in this phase are demand data, customer data, inventory data, planning data, and financial data. All of these help to ensure that the S&OP process runs smoothly and efficiently. By understanding each type of information needed for the cycle start phase, organizations can better develop strategies for success within their business operations.

Data gathering is an important part of this stage; it must be done quickly after the month end close and with accuracy so that everyone has access to the same information. Information such as demand data, customer data, inventory data, planning data, and financial data should all be collected in order to have a comprehensive overview of what needs to be done next during the S&OP planning process. This helps create a baseline forecast which can then be used in succeeding steps within the process. Ultimately this ensures that every decision made throughout S&OP planning is based on current and relevant information gathered at the start of every period.

Data Hierarchies

Data hierarchies are provide a way to organize data so that it can be effectively used in decision-making processes. By categorizing data into different views, such as product and customer, S&OP can provide organizations with more granular insight into how their operations function. This allows for a better understanding of the relationships between different elements across an organization’s products, services, customers, and markets. Furthermore, data hierarchies are essential in creating accurate forecasts and enabling efficient planning. With access to real-time data across an organization’s supply chain and sales channels, S&OP can help identify trends and anticipate future demand. By incorporating S&OP data from external sources such as market surveys or government studies, companies can gain even more insights into how their products or services will perform. In addition to helping organizations make informed decisions about the direction of their business, data hierarchies also provide transparency throughout all levels of the organization by making information easily accessible and understandable to all stakeholders.


By having an efficient cycle start phase, organizations can be sure that all future S&OP planning processes are accurate and up to date. This important step sets the tone for the rest of the process and helps ensure that decisions made are based on reliable data. As such, it is paramount that this stage is managed properly in order to guarantee success within business operations.

Roundhouse is a powerful tool that can help your organization streamline the S&OP cycle. Its HVR data gathering capabilities can quickly collect and organize appropriate data from SAP systems and send that data to any target, providing everyone involved in the process with reliable information in real-time. This ensures that all decisions made during S&OP planning are based on current, accurate data. For more information, contact a member of our team, and we can help you get access to the data that you need to build a useful S&OP process.

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