Organizational Issues in Sales & Operations Planning

Instructor: Jason Matyus
In this lesson, we will review issues with the planning of the sales and operations of organizations. Additionally, how these groups interact and contrast will be discussed. Read on to learn more.

Sales

Do you remember as a child the more you completed from your chore list, the greater the reward, such as ice cream or playing with your friends longer? It was an incentive for you to get your chores done quicker and keep growing the chore list for more incentives.

Sales operate at the beginning-to-middle of most business life cycles to attract customers, determine needs, and sell products or services. Sales organizations work in the same manner except they grow a client list instead of a chore list, and they complete sales quickly to appease their customers. Sales and marketing typically function together.

Operations

Was there ever a time when you had a task to do, and you wanted to take your time to make it look good and impress somebody? Operations work in the same manner by creating a high level of attention to detail to ensure things are correct and functioning properly. Operations works from the middle to the end of most business life cycles to ensure delivery of the product. The key for operations is the management of supplies and inventory.

Organizational Issues

Let's explore some common organizational issues impacting sales and operations as well as strategies for creating a synergy between these departments.

Alignment

Sales and operations have the largest separation in alignment between any of the major groups within an organization. This separation, in part, is created by different expectations.

For example, when you were younger your parents may have set out a list of goals for you to achieve in school and with your chores. There is a good chance your school and chore list did not align with your parents.

The same often occurs with sales and operations in an organization. This separation in alignment can be caused by a shift in the amount of supplies an organization has compared to how ready-to-market the inventory is for operations. It is through supply and demand that alignment is achieved.

Balance

It is important to understand that having alignment is needed, but you must also have organizational balance. For example, let's say you're trying to get in shape. This requires a combination of eating healthy foods and exercising, and this type of balance typically leads to the best outcome.

In business, balance works the same way by ensuring there are adequate supplies to meet demand. The best way to achieve balance is through communication across all groups in the organization, which leads to communication and alignment with the goals set out by the organization.

Execution

We've briefly examined sales, operations, alignment, and balance, but with all the components that go into sales and operations planning, there has to be something behind these components.

Can you think of a time when you studied for a test, quizzed yourself for retention, were sure you knew the material, but when test day came you didn't do so well? The outcome of the test could have been a result of poor execution in test taking.

Sales and operations groups within organizations share some of the same challenges. They need to ensure that organizational plans are carried out from the planning stage through execution.

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