- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- Aalborg University
Purpose – This paper explores tactical planning in grocery retailing and proposes how process and integration mechanisms from sales and operations planning (S&OP) can enhance retail tactical planning.
Design/methodology/approach – This work follows an explorative design with case studies from the grocery retailing industry in Finland, Norway, and the UK.
Findings – The tactical planning process focuses on demand management and securing product availability from suppliers in order to reach sales targets. Less attention is directed towards balancing supply and demand or towards providing a single plan to guide company operations. Planning appeared to be functionally oriented with limited coordination between functional plans, but it did include external integration that improved forecast accuracy.
Research limitations/implications – The study involves grocery retailer cases with variable level of S&OP maturity. The propositions need to be investigated further through action research or additional case studies to confirm their validity.
Practical implications – The study proposes a design of an S&OP process in retailing and propositions for improving tactical planning integration.
Originality/value – The study complements research on retail tactical planning by taking planning process and integration viewpoints. The research suggests that retailers would benefit from a formal and company-wide S&OP process to unify different market-oriented plans to a single set of numbers, thus better balancing supply and demand without sacrificing the emphasis on demand planning.