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  • Writer's pictureCEO-ME

Sales and Operations Planning Software: Ultimate Guide

Updated: Jul 27, 2022


The best sales and operations planning software allows stakeholders across different departments to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

This article examines what makes the best sales and operations planning software.

What Is Sales and Operations Planning?

By bringing the sales, operations, and finance teams together, sales & operations planning ensures transparency among them so that executives can make confident decisions. By automating business planning, errors are prevented at every step.

Your supply chain can run smoothly with efficient sales and budget forecasting. A proper business development software can help you plan and measure inter-departmental collaborations and adjust the supply plan accordingly.

Our sales and operations planning software streamlines your supply chain, brings departments together, and enhances your customer experience.

What Is Sales & Operations Planning Software?

With our sales and operations planning software, you can assess what-if scenarios and plan accordingly. Using our intuitive interface, you can easily monitor the dashboard and identify potential issues.

Adapting departmental business plans to meet the needs and budget of each department has now become easy with custom ERP software.

There are several other important uses that you can find inside the best sales and operations planning software, including:

  • You can receive quarterly, annual, or multi-year forecasts.

  • Access to data can be controlled at various levels of hierarchy by managing user permissions.

  • Plan your supply and optimize your safety stock per your planned demand.

  • Make efficient sales and inventory plans based on analysis.

  • Maximize profits while minimizing stockout and overstock risks by optimizing inventory.

Why is Sales and Operations Planning Software So Important?

AI and machine learning have transformed modern sales and operations planning processes, despite the practice being around for decades. Traditionally, sales and operations planning was based on spreadsheets and data silos.

Inefficient spreadsheets cannot run what-if scenarios or respond quickly to marketplace changes. Nor can they coordinate planning across multiple divisions and locations. Applications that aren't designed to support sales and operations are inefficient.

An effective sales and operations plan enables businesses to maximize opportunities and mitigate risks. Sales and operations planning software help businesses deliver what customers need while focusing on their overall strategic goals through factoring their capabilities and constraints into the planning process.

In order to manage day-to-day supply and demand changes, sales and operations software integrates real-time data, including user behavior and market information. Furthermore, sales and operations software facilitates the analysis and setup of theoretical scenarios without the risks and time associated with real-world trials. Today's sales and operations solutions rely on intelligent cloud-based software to handle the complexity and volume of data.

How does the Sales and Operations process work?

Regardless of the steps involved in an industry-specific sales and operations planning process, the general process follows these steps:

Workspace preparation: This phase consists of gathering information, analysing trends, and assessing forecast accuracy. Online visual planning tools can be used to assign tasks and specify who will be involved in this phase.

Demand planning: Following the preparation of the workspace, updated statistical forecasts are produced. Information gathered includes one-time sales events, market trends, new product introductions, price changes, and intelligence regarding competitors' moves and external economic and demographic factors. In the end, a consensus demand plan is created.

Supply planning: Defining a supply plan balances customer service objectives against inventory and operating costs. Furthermore, it identifies any conflicts, resource constraints, inability to fulfill requirements, and resulting service levels. Using this plan, we can project inventory over the entire time frame.

Plan review and reconciliation: The planning team, including key decision-makers across the organization, reviews the demand and supply plans after they are generated and refines and improves them using analysis and simulation tools. Any changes required to meet expected demand, use resources more effectively, and meet financial goals are discussed here.

Finalization and release: Finally, the finalized, optimized plans must be presented to senior management for approval and release.

Features of Sales and Operations Planning Software


Let's look at the features offered by the sales and operations planning software a little closer.

Scenario Planning

You'll be able to get ready for the unprecedented future by analyzing what-if scenarios. Running multiple scenarios will also help you understand how changing variables affect demand.

Plan for worst-case and best-case scenarios. Take a look at your business plan from various perspectives, anticipate and account for risk scenarios, and make any necessary changes. Develop a final plan with a consensus that minimizes risk and maximizes profits.

User Permission Control

Sharing information securely can be achieved with sales and operations planning software. Ensure that data is shared and accessed safely across the supply chain by managing user permissions. Permit each user access to a certain amount of data. CEO-ME lets you share relevant data with each department to simplify communication and control access.

Automate Business Planning

Maintain a constant eye on your business's performance by automating your annual business planning process. Utilize scorecards to compare past, present, and predicted performance. With the help of our interactive dashboards, you can monitor the growth of your business. Market changes and sales history should be considered when planning your business.

Sales and Operations Planning Software Reports

To facilitate transparency between departments and enhance business performance, our Sales and Operations Planning software displays three main reports - sales, operations, and budget reports.

Sales Report

With the sales report, compare old forecasts with actual sales in the past to understand how accurate your sales planning was. Make better decisions to enhance your sales by understanding the efficacy of your current sales plan.

Operations Report

You can determine how planned and executed operations differ using an operations report. Determine how the company's current operations can be improved in the future and identify areas for improvement.

Budget Report

To determine if your budget is on target, compare your planned budget with your actual budget. Increase the accuracy of your business plans based on your budget by interpreting and enhancing your budget plans.

Benefits of Sales and Operations Planning Software

Time-phased Plans You Need

Create a comprehensive time-phased plan if you need to plan within daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.

Encourage Departmental Collaboration

Bring sales, operations, and finance teams together by sharing data across the board to encourage communication and collaboration.

Enhance Decision-Making

Taking budget and goals into account leads to better communication and better sharing of insights between departments.

Manage Sales, Operations, and Finance

To develop a plan that aligns with all departments, bring your sales, operations, and finance teams together.

Adjust Business Plans

Create business plans that align with the company's goals by adjusting budgets, analyses, and forecasts.

Identify and Resolve Departmental Issues

Sales and operations planning software dashboards can help you identify and resolve issues between departments before they become problems.

Sales and Operations Planning Software Integration With Other Cloud-Based Systems

Data is the foundation of sales and operations planning. Having siloed data makes it difficult for enterprises to forecast accurately and meet their objectives. As a result, most of the necessary data is available in the organization's supporting ERP system. CRM, engineering, stand-alone systems, and external databases can also be integrated or interfaced with sales and operations planning. The depth of sales and operations planning software integration supports greater health in the supply chain overall – which helps give businesses a competitive edge.

Try CEO-ME's Sales and Operations Planning Software

CEO-ME helps you develop reports to help you align your sales, operations, and finance teams for a successful plan. Adjust business plans by budgets, analyses, and forecasts to develop a plan that aligns with the business's goals. Resolve departmental issues by monitoring your sales and operations planning software dashboard to identify and resolve issues between departments.

Custom Alerts

Keep track of inventory and manage custom alerts on out-of-stock, overdue receipts, recommended orders, dips into safety stock, and forecast accuracy as your inventory changes.

Custom Reporting

Innovative database technology makes creating custom reports easy. Create customized reports based on your business requirements.

Intuitive Interface

Users at all levels of the hierarchy will enjoy an intuitive, user-friendly software interface.

High-level Analysis

High-level analysis can be conducted by summarizing sales, bookings, inventory, production, shipments, and backlog. Analyze the performance of products from the past, present, and future.

Track Performance

Adapt your strategies to better align them with your goals based on the performance of your business plan.

Dashboard Planner

Utilize sales and operations planning features to access open sales orders, replenishment orders, dependent demand, and time-phased data.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Sales and Operations Planning Software Work?

With sales and operations planning software, all key internal stakeholders can align near-term inventory plans with their current operational and financial constraints.

Sales and operations planning software can align supply planning, manufacturing planning, inventory planning, and demand planning. Achieving business goals requires alignment between the different planning teams. And S&OP software like CEO-ME can level up your workflow.

What is the Process of Sales and Operations Planning?

Typical S&OP Process:

  • 1. Manage data and gather data.

  • 2. Prepare a demand plan.

  • 3. Resource Planning.

  • 4. Bringing plans together and stakeholder meeting.

  • 5. Approve and Release

What is Custom CRM software?

A custom CRM is a tailor-made solution designed exclusively for a specific business. Business relationships can be managed easily, and the company can be made more attractive to prospective clients by using it.

Wrap Up!

Companies across a variety of industries can use sales and operations planning software to enhance collaboration between their teams and streamline business planning. Planned sales and operations are commonly used for better planning in packaged goods, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution industries.

Whether you're a freelancer or a small to medium-sized business owner, CEO-ME's business development software can level up your sales and operational efficiency. Don't believe us? Try our sales and operations planning software for free!


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