How Much Can Sales Be Trusted?

When you onboard the sales team in an attempt to most efficiently launch integrated business planning (IBP), does that boarded train speed up or does it go hurdling off the cliff? Pascal Fernandez, who has a background in sales himself, analyzes the role sales plays for the supply chain.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Fernandez attended a sales and operations planning (S&OP) conference where many of the executives present were not so keen on letting sales into the supply chain club, especially when it involved talking to customers. He decided to speak up on the subject:

So, I stood up and told the audience that I thought that the idea of measuring sales on forecast accuracy was like evaluating the weather man based on the number of days of sunshine in a month. Instead of second-guessing their colleagues in sales, these supply chain professionals should welcome their inputs. The sales team is key to translating customer demand for the enterprise and they are a valuable source for economic intelligence. At the same time, it is important for sales people to stop thinking of the supply chain group as the “business prevention squad!”

He goes on to say that in order to best incorporate sales into the IBP process, supply chain professionals must do three things:

  1. Educate themselves about customers' needs.
  2. Give credit to the sales team and respect their judgment.
  3. Openly share the limits the supply chain is facing and the compromises that need to be arbitrated.

You really need to believe in others’ unique capabilities if you are to realize your business’s full potential. Read the original article here: http://www.ebnonline.com/author.asp?section_id=2361&doc_id=271485

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