An Executive S&OP expert is someone who’s been deeply involved in at least one – preferably multiple – successful Executive S&OP implementations. To qualify as an Executive S&OP expert, the individual needs to have been in a significant leadership role in at least one successful implementation. You may have an Executive S&OP expert working in your company if that person has successful and meaningful Executive S&OP experience at a sister division or another company.
If such a person is not on board, you’ll need to obtain an Executive S&OP expert who has many years of experience.
When you’re choosing someone to be your Executive S&OP Expert, you need positive answers to the following kinds of questions:
• Have you been involved in one or more implementations of Executive S&OP?
• How successful were those implementations?
• What were your roles in those implementations?
• Where were those implementations, and can I talk directly to people at those companies?
• Do you have a process, a methodology for implementing Executive S&OP?
If the answers to all these questions are positive, and if the companies being referenced confirm them, you should be in good shape. If not, look elsewhere.
Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? This Executive S&OP stuff is simple.” Sure it is . . . the basic logic and process. Thus, it’s easy to get blindsided by the simplicity of Executive S&OP logic. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because it’s not structurally complicated, it’ll be easy to make it work.
The Executive S&OP expert will certainly provide much in the way of technical process information about the application to your company, but more importantly they will also help with people issues to help keep them from becoming people problems and thus derailing the project.