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A High Stress Period for S&OP and Supply Chain Planning Teams in B2C Supply Chains

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The following posting is this author’s weekly guest commentary on the Supply Chain Expert Community web site. S&OP and supply chain planning teams within B2C and retail focused supply chains are especially challenged this holiday buying season. The period from the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. through the holidays that extend into January of 2013 are a period of seasonal surge, where profitability for the entire year may be at stake. In 2011, seven individual shopping days surpassed $1 billion in online consumer orders, with peak volumes experienced on Black Friday weekend, Cyber Monday, and every Monday leading up to December 15th. The implication was that orders came in huge surges, and supply chains that were not prepared, particularly those without robust inventory allocation or tight inventory visibility across their brick-and-mortar retail and online retail systems paid a price in customer loyalty. Response management proved to be a key capability […]