MYTH #1: S&OP systems are similar to legacy ERP systems—meaning costly investment and version-control problems.
A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud model lets you take advantage of leading technology with a lower up-front investment. There’s no need to purchase additional hardware or software to run your system because it’s all in the cloud—and it’s always up-to-date. As soon as new functionality is available, you can access it. SaaS-based cloud S&OP also delivers more connectivity and collaboration across your company. Whether your operations are at one location or multiple locations, everyone in your extended supply chain can access and collaborate on plans. And a subscription-based pricing model gives you predictable costs instead of escalating license-based pricing.
MYTH #2 SaaS-based cloud systems aren’t robust enough.
You might not believe that there’s a system robust enough to meet your requirements (that doesn’t ship with a 20-page license agreement and $300,000 price tag). With a SaaS-based cloud S&OP system you get unlimited flexibility and scalability as well as 99.9 percent availability. That means you can add as many users or locations as you need, anywhere across the globe. Users can access the system from any device, any time. And when it comes to the size or complexity of a company, a cloud S&OP system can support companies with revenues of $2 million to $2 billion with planning requirements of hundreds of thousands of SKUs at multiple production and warehouse locations.
MYTH #3: No affordable S&OP system can deliver more ROI than spreadsheets.
For smaller companies, spreadsheets may work for a while but this method of supply chain planning is not sustainable. Spreadsheet-based planning is time consuming, cumbersome, and disconnected. Studies show that 88 percent of spreadsheets have errors.1 Making business decisions on unreliable data sources can lead to profitability loss. You also won’t be able to respond as quickly to changes that may occur—like when a supplier can’t deliver or a customer’s order triples with a shorter lead time—as you can with real-time analytics. Plans built on spreadsheets are outdated as soon as they are completed. Seamless integration with an ERP system enables cross-functional collaboration and planning. All S&OP is conducted using a single version of the truth so everyone in your supply chain has up-to-date plan data.
Learn more about SaaS-based cloud S&OP with Plex. Download the data sheet.
1. Panko, Raymond R. “What We Know About Spreadsheet Errors.” Journal of Organizations and End User Computing. May 2008.