Critical Success Factors for S&OP




In this quick-fire Q&A Dr. Christian Borel, Director Sales & Operations Planning Process, Supply Chain Department, Ares Trading S.A,  An affiliate of Merck Serono S.A., speaks to Pharma IQ about the 3 main challenges with regards to improving supply chain integration and critical success factors for S&OP.

Pharma IQ: Please could you tell us a bit about your current role?

C Borel: My current role is S&OP Process Director, reporting to VP Supply Chain. Main responsibilities are:

  • To manage and coordinate the S&OP processes at BU, Regional, CMGs, Manufacturing levels.  
  • Give full visibility to all S&OP stakeholders on New Product Introductions of global products
  • Monitor Supply Chain Performance, manage inventory and initiate corresponding continuous improvement initiatives.


Pharma IQ: What are the key drivers for change in supply chain integration?

C Borel:

  • Improve service to customers
  • Reduce end to end supply chain costs
  • Optimise inventory
  • Shorten lead times

Pharma IQ: What would you say are the 3 main challenges with regards to improving supply chain integration? How are you seeking to overcome these?

C Borel: First challenge is to have a global view of the end to end supply chain to avoid partial implementation which can be ultimately counter productive. Second challenge is to share this view with main fucntions such as Finance, Sales and Marketing, Manufacturing. The third challenge is to build an integrated plan capturing the needs of customers and all functional plans.

Pharma IQ: Why is S&OP so important?

C Borel: S&OP is important because it is the key vehicle to identify gaps between plans and reality and agree on mitigation actions at the company level.

Pharma IQ:  What are the critical success factors for S&OP?

C Borel:

  • Leadership and Communication
  • Data integrity
  • Preparation

Pharma IQ: What would be your top tips for implementing an integrated sales and operations planning process?

C Borel:   

  • Get top management participating actively to S&OP.
  • Provide enough resource to drive the process.
  • Start and improve by doing.

Pharma IQ: What measures are you  taking to reduce supply chain vulnerabilities across the global pharmaceutical supply chain?


C Borel: Systematic risk analysis + mitigation plan discussed and approved during S&OP.

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