Supply Chain Blog

Top Secret: Special Agent Assignment: Spamfall and S&OP

Posted by Dave Jordan on Mon, Feb 11, 2013

Secret Agent Jon D Beams glided through the polished corridors of HQ. Reaching his destination door he knocked and entered at the same time and introduced himself as Beams, Jon D Beams. The swooning Miss Cashnickel smiled a Colgate smile and without delay gestured Jon to enter the boss’s office. Jon knew the boss very well, so well in fact that he shortened her name to Em much to Emma's annoyance. (I wrote this before I saw the film, honest!)

After some general chit-chat and the inevitable comment on the weathe, Jon was given his assignment. The enemy this time was an exceptionally daring and flamboyant group known as S.P.A.M (Sales People & Marketing). Often lying low for prolonged periods S.P.A.M. would surface and cause disruption to corporate business plans. They had to be stopped and Jon D Beams was the best choice to get S.P.A.M. into line.S&OP Agent

Beams next stop was to collect his new briefcase packed with gadgets. After spending some time understanding how the new equipment worked he thanked Mr. Kew and set out on his mission. There was no time to lose before S.P.A.M unleashed untold chaos on the monthly results. Beams hopped into his indestructible sports car and sped away.

Meanwhile in S.P.A.M. headquarters the time was 16.00 hours and the lunch break was drawing to a close. Over many years the S.P.A.M. team had maintained strict secrecy on their plans and intentions to ensure maximum surprise and disruption. Beams had to find a way to infiltrate the organisation to make changes and his deadline was the end of the month when the untold chaos of trade loading would occur.

The following day Beams had to go undercover. In order to blend in with S.P.A.M. he bought a cheap suit and a tie from the charity shop and removed his watch. Taking care not to arrive early Beams slipped into S.P.A.M. HQ a few minutes before 10.30 to ensure he was there at the start of the working day. The suit worked a treat and he was not challenged as he joined the queue for coffee and do-nuts. While the S.P.A.M employees debated the origins of the hole in the doughnut, Beams quietly slipped away.

Beams found a door labelled “Top Secret” and walked inside the brightly lit room. Hidden amongst the table top basketball nets and wacky weasel balls on a large glass table was a file marked “Monthly Plan”. Flipping open the file with a pen Beams immediately realised his worst fears; Em was right. S.P.A.M was operating to two sets of numbers. One set they released to the business as the corporate plan and the other set was what they actually expected to achieve and variations were significant.

Severe discontinuity was imminent and decisive action was required. Using a digital camera built into his tongue Beams collected the evidence and then left his decisive mark. Quickly copying the joined up writing Beams made both set of numbers exactly the same and replaced the file on the glass top. Carefully replacing a part-used lollipop on the file so nobody would suspect anything had been moved he made a swift exit.

By-passing the end of assignment tryst with a beautiful girl, Beams hurried to inform Em that there was now only one plan for the business and S.P.A.M. had finally been foiled. They now worked towards only one set of numbers across the business. No more unexplained month end loading. No more bonus chasing and a far healthier outlook for the business by adopting the principles of Sales & Operartions Planning (S&OP). Customer Service quickly improved to boost the bottom line.

Cue familiar staccato music and the silhouette image of a sharp suited Jon D Beams turning to shoot his gun.

Image credit: graphicshunt.com

Tagss: Dave Jordan, Humour, S&OP, Forecasting & Demand Planning, Sales