Sales and Operations Planning

Industry: Manufacturing

Business Challenge: It was not easy to determine the gap between the supply and demand for a product in any given month. This made it difficult to make commitments to customers and determine if the future factory capacity was going to be adequate.

The data required to compare aggregate supply and demand was maintained in multiple systems and spreadsheets and required much cutting/pasting before decisions could be made with the data.

Solution: Continued using Excel for managing the data, however, made significant improvements to the process and spreadsheets. Reduced the number of sales spreadsheets to one. Enabled the spreadsheet data to be saved in databases. Built powerful modeling capability enabling the client team to be able to look at multiple levels of detail and multiple perspectives without duplicating data in other spreadsheets.

Benefits: The required supply and demand data is readily available. Data can be analyzed at various levels of detail. The models are flexible and can be adapted as the business processes and data requirements change.

Approach: Applied a highly collaborative process to develop the solutions. Worked closely with sales and supply chain personnel to develop spreadsheet based models that suited their way of entering and analyzing data.

Iterated the Excel models gradually to develop the desired solution.


  • Excel 2007
  • SQL Server 2005