How To Optimize Your Sales And Operations Processes For Greater 4 Efficiency

It is fair to say that you can never know too much about your business or your customers needs.  It also is fair to say that everything changes always over time.  Being able to anticipate changes ahead of their occurrence puts you ahead, and that requires a thorough understanding of demand planning in supply chain management.

The more solid the support for sales and operations processes from this demand planning, the better performance you can expect from your sales reps.  Demand planning connects supply chain management with support for the sales force, and must be an integral part of the sales process.

Demand planning, simply put, is a supply chain management process of forecasting product demand to ascertain that it can be met and products can be delivered timely and well.  The goal of this process is to strike a proper balance between sufficient product inventory levels to meet customer demands without having a surplus.

It’s a cross-functional process that helps your business meet the demands of customers while minimizing excess inventory and dodging supply chain disruptions.

Understanding the infrastructure you need to accurately forecast sales is as important to success as understanding the internal and external factors that will influence sales forecasts.  The solid foundation of demand planning and demand forecasting will lead to a more efficient sales and operations process for your business. 

A Few Tips To Improve Sales and Operations Efficiency

There are other concrete steps you can take to enhance that efficiency, too:

Hire the best people.  Bolstering Human Resources capabilities to bring in the best sales reps becomes so important when putting your sales teams in the marketplace to interact with customers.

Heighten the sharing of data.  Data must be shared along every step of the process (production, supply chain solution, demand forecasting, inventory management, sales), with all parties in the process a participant in the data development and management process.  Sales and operations will function more smoothly and effectively when everyone is in the know.

Take advantage of Technology.  With everyone on the same platform entering their data and sharing that information, risk of something being missed is minimized.  Customer relations management, product needs (whether ongoing or seasonal), supply on hand, forecasted needs, and more are known by all, and the result is greater efficiency.

Listen.  Everyone in that process will have a perspective that others don’t necessarily have.  When process members speak, everyone should listen.  Value the input of data from all quarters, and value the team.

Pair up Teams.  Sales and marketing need to speak often, and each plays a vital role in the process.  Sales have the customer perspective in mind; marketing needs to reach and influence that customer perspective. 

Evolve.  Don’t stand pat on success.  Understanding that everything changes always, and designing the sales and operations process to take this understanding into account, helps that process mature.

John Galt Solutions can introduce you to the Atlas Planning Platform, a cloud-based, single data model solution, that will bring order where it is needed.  Having a better understanding of your product’s unique demands and seeing more clearly the patterns of those demands will lead to more advanced analytics and more accurate forecasting techniques.

Sales and Operations processes will become more efficient on this stakeholder-shared platform, and storms can be avoided, never mind weathered.  Surprises will be eliminated, and the disparate divisions within your organization can work as a cohesive team, maturing together in that success.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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