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This paper investigates sales and operations planning (S&OP) at four Scandinavian industrial food producers in order to explore how the use of S&OP might help leaders to deal with the challenges set by the planning environment. Variables connected to the product and market, e.g., frequency of new product development, customer service levels, and supply uncertainty, were identified as particularly critical for the S&OP process. It was found that there is great potential for S&OP in the food industry, foremost to cope with the imbalances between demand and supply and to create prerequisites for a stable production process.