Over the last year or so, in many Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) expert blogs and interviews the question comes back. What is the difference between S&OP and Integrated Business Planning (IBP)? Seven differences between S&OP and IBP are given in one interview, ten differences in another. Some experts believe there is no difference at all as advanced S&OP equals IBP in their opinion.
The experts agree to disagree and take their time over and over again to explain. The S&OP practiser, who reads this, will shape their understanding on advanced S&OP, which is a great win for this vital business process. But while we’re discussing the features to close the gaps, we don’t spend time on how to do this or to think about what’s next? This S&OP-IBP vacuum, creates the illusion of S&OP progress, but is rather tiny knowledge creation.
Isn’t it time we leave this discussion on abbreviations behind us and start focusing on some value added discussions? Adding value is what S&OP/IBP was all about in the first place wasn’t it?
S&OP experts and thought leaders; stop the abbreviation game. It doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. It just discusses good, better and best S&OP. Please apply a basic S&OP principle and focus your limited brain resource and thinking where it has most added value. If we want to make progress in S&OP/IBP, please put your valuable brain time in thought leadership and start thinking about the next steps in advanced S&OP/IBP.