• Doug Dedman

The S&OP Meeting Scorecard: Measuring the Fundamentals of S&OP

Updated: Sep 2

Get PDF version here.


S&OP is a monthly management process. It provides a link between strategy and execution that engages senior management in a tangible way to make decisions in order to balance company goals and direction with sales and operational capability. Getting to a to a level of maturity where this can happen is a tall order. Once you are there, S&OP will deliver bottom line results, but it takes time. Before you get results however you need to be able to measure your progress.

Measuring Success on the Journey

There are three levels of measurements you should use to track your progress towards S&OP maturity: Process, Effectiveness, and Results. While it is important to know what the results you are looking for are, if this is your only measurement of progress it can be frustrating. Let’s look briefly at these measurements in reverse order:

  • Results impact the bottom line. I’m referring to the ROI that management is looking for when starting an S&OP implementation or improvement project. These could be operational results like reduced inventory, improved on-time delivery, or reduced stock outs. Strategic results may be to increase market share or improve new product introduction process. Financial results might be to improve margins or reduce expedited freight charges. These are the level 3 measurements.​

  • Before you get to results however your S&OP process needs to be effective. Over time, the monthly S&OP process should yield more accurate plans. In Duncan’s previous article: “If You Can’t Measure it, You Can’t Manage it”, he covers how you should measure the accuracy of your Booking, Shipping, and Supply plans over time. Measuring whether each of these plans is in or out of tolerance will provide an indication of how you are improving over time, identify where you need to focus improvements, and ultimately help you manage risks and set operational parameters. These are level 2 measurements.

  • Even before a process can become effective though, it needs to become ingrained in your organization. I’ve always liked the Vince Lombardi quote “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice make perfect.” It speaks to the need to do the right things over and over again to drive the right improvements that ultimately lead to success. When it comes to S&OP you have built-in repetition in the monthly cycles, but you want to make sure you are doing the right things every month. To do this you need to measure the Process. This is the first level of measurement.

Process Measurements

We use two primary process measurements: The S&OP Assessment and the Meeting Scorecard. The S&OP Assessment is similar to a school report card. It is a broad-based evaluation of alignment of people and process. The challenge with the Assessment is that change can happen slowly. The Assessment measures the results of these changes, not the small steps that you took to make the change happen. Similar to a report card, it gives you your final mark which is the result of your success (or failure) on assignments, tests, and quizzes.

Enter the Meeting Scorecard

If The Assessment is your report card, The Meeting Scorecard is the grade on your monthly assignment. It is a good measuring stick to determine if the basic S&OP process is taking hold within your organization. At the core of the monthly S&OP cycle is the monthly meeting structure. In the standard process there are four meetings that happen:

Necessary S&OP Monthly Cadence
  1. Pre S&OP Demand Meeting

  2. Pre S&OP Supply Meeting

  3. Pre S&OP Meeting

  4. Executive S&OP Meeting

Every company will have some variation of this meeting structure. Some companies may require multiple demand meetings aligned with geographic sales territories. Others will have multiple supply meetings for different world areas. Requirements will be determined based on your product families, supply points, demand streams and accountabilities.