Integrated Business Planning and cloud-based Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) software provider, Steelwedge, made a recent significant announcement, one that adds more credence toward the benefits for connecting supply chain demand planning with the front-end social aspects of product planning.
The software provider is testing a new extension of its planning capabilities termed Sales Pipeline Bridge. This “app” is being built to interface with Salesforce.com’s Force platform and is a sign of other supply chain planning and management applications integrating to the cloud-based Salesforce platform for broader intelligence to social and collaborative –based planning needs. The new extension has the potential to allow planners to tap into sales pipeline data and over time, weigh early consumer sentiment factors regarding newly released or existing products. Another potential benefit is the ability to reconcile pipeline-based forecast data with order history, causal data and other data sources to provide the S&OP process another layer of overall product demand intelligence.
Sales Pipeline Bridge is currently scheduled for availability on the Saleforce AppExchange in early 2014.
Anyone involved in the S&OP consensus process has often encountered where sales and marketing teams can be overly optimistic about product planning or forecasting needs. What better way to engage with sales & marketing by reflecting that team’s very own forecast data. The ability to actually incorporate sales pipeline data can provided added intelligence, gap-analysis and better informed confidence measures to coming closer to a realistic consensus forecast.
Supply Chain Matters feels that readers can anticipate other enterprise, B2B network and supply chain technology vendors leveraging the Salesforce platform in the coming months, particularly to accommodate mid-market manufacturer or retailer needs. We could perhaps someday observe Salesforce itself deploying its own version of supply chain management support.