Sales and operations planning programs drive competitive advantage and business performance, says Aberdeen Group Report

BOSTON, MA, July 14, 2004--Sales and operations planning (S&OP) has become one of the most critical business processes required to enable companies to achieve profitable growth. In fact, more than 70% of respondents to an Aberdeen Group survey indicated that they are actively engaging in enhancing their S&OP capabilities.

The findings of the survey, published in "The Sales and Operations Planning Benchmark Report," indicate that companies S&OP implementations are driven mainly by a combination of shrinking profit margins, a slowdown in business growth, and competitive pressures.

"Most enterprises today have continued expectations that improving S&OP practices drives key performance gains across the value chain," said Stan Elbaum, Aberdeen's senior vice president strategic solutions and author of the report. "Companies with the most strategic and integrated S&OP programs consistently outperform competitors with less comprehensive or less focused approaches."

According to the report, the enterprises with the best performance consistently follow similar strategies and exhibit similar capabilities, including:

-- Profit focus -- plan and measure profit, not just supply/demand volume balancing

-- Value chain focus -- include decision makers both inside and outside the enterprise

-- Continuous improvement -- systematically assess and improve S&OP assumptions

-- Decision making -- S&OP teams empowered to change initial Demand and Supply Plans

-- Technology enablers -- integrating business intelligence, decision support and transaction systems as part of the S&OP infrastructure

"The Sales and Operations Planning Benchmark Report" determines the implications of S&OP business practices, application technologies, analytic, and organizational alignment on competitive performance.

Recommendations are included to enable enterprises to migrate towards a more effective S&OP program and improve competitive position and performance.

To obtain a copy of the report, follow this link:

About Aberdeen Group

Founded in 1988, Aberdeen Group is the trusted advisor to the Global 5000 for value chain strategies and technology advice. Through its continued benchmarking and analysis of value chain practices, Aberdeen offers a unique mix of research, tools, and services to help G5000 executives assess their value chain performance, develop improvement strategies, and select value chain solution partners.

Headquartered in Boston, Aberdeen has research and consulting divisions in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Palo Alto, CA.; and Fort Collins; CO. For more information, visit or call 617-723-7890

Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc./Public Relations
Hannah Arnold, 212-575-4545 

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