The challenge

As this unique month is coming to an end a new challenge is presenting itself for supply chain specialists. By now everyone world-wide is facing some impact of the corona virus. For sales and operations planning (S&OP) this means: in a few days the official March sales figures will come in. In the upcoming S&OP process there is a need for an accurate short-term action plan. And you’ll need visibility on mid-term as well to be able to start planning ahead. You will need to account for both customer needs and supply restrictions, and preferably do everything fact-based!

As planning & forecasting consultants at EyeOn it is our intention to help you along this path. And during this series of blogs we are going to share our thoughts and apply our analysis to relevant data.

First thoughts and why we need a rubber duck

So, where to begin? During our first brainstorm we have come up with countless of activities related to the corona crisis. For now we parked the complex and clever algorithms and started working on creating the right insights.

Not every business will experience the same effects. While some industries completely come to a grinding halt (e.g. automotive) some industries also need to pick up their pace (e.g. some retailers). Let’s take for example the industries that suffer from a significant decrease in sales.

We can use a rubber duck in the water as an metaphor. Imagine the water is your sales, and the duck represents the impact of the virus on your sales. We need to gather some more information about this duck, and how it sits in the water. For now the only thing we know is: there is a duck!

Looking at this rubber duck in the water, and relating this to the current disruptions we can ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. How is sales currently decreasing?
  2. Are we at the bottom of the sales decrease? How deep is the water underneath the duck?
  3. How long does the flat part continue?
  4. When will sales pick up again and what does the ramp-up curve look like?
  5. What is the ‘new normal’?

Bear with us as we analyse this for our customers over the coming days. We are looking forward to share some of these results with you whenever we can.

We are still looking to extend our analysis to more companies. If you have data which can be shared, to a large or lesser extent anonymized, please do reach out to Bram Vercammen.