Saturday, May 14, 2005

Care abouts of a head of sales

Sales executives at manufacturers face some unique challenges. Their customers, who are usually retailers or OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), demand
  1. lower price
  2. higher availability with shorter lead times
  3. more flexibility in changing orders with shorter lead times
  4. smaller more frequent shipments to minimize inventory
Their suppliers with in the organization demand from them
  1. higher forecast accuracy
  2. longer lead times or freeze periods
  3. reduction in on-hand inventory
  4. consolidated shipments into larger deliveries to reduce transportation costs
Sales needs a way to manage these two competing demands. Most of the supply chain management initiatives have focused around the needs of operations folks with in organizations. Most of the solutions for sales executives that have been available in the market have been around sales force automation and contact management. They do not help the sales folks to serve their customers better. A strong Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process and tools are necessary to help with this one. Sales management should champion and even chair an S&OP process to bring together operations, sales and marketing to serve the customer better.
What do you think?
Karthik Mani

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