“The [S&OP project] I learned the most from was the one that failed the most miserably. When I look back, I realize all the really deep secrets that I know now that caused the failure were all about the culture and all about dealing with people. It wasn’t the technology or anything else at that point.”

Anthony “Z” Zampello, Operations and Materials Management Expert


“There’s research that shows that companies that are good at sales and operations planning (or integrated business planning) tend to have better service. They tend to have less inventory on average and they’re more profitable. Their teamwork is much better than other companies. So, the research shows that as hard as S&OP is there are real benefits for the companies that do it well.”

Fred Tolbert, Principal of Southeast Demand Solutions, LLC


Many supply chain professionals consider the concept of S&OP (sales & operations planning) as fundamental an idea as any in the field. But even the most accepted ideas have to be created and refined by someone, and the two guests in this interview have been involved in the development of S&OP since its earliest days.

Anthony “Z” Zampello is a consultant, educator, and trainer to the operations and materials management profession. He leverages his thirty years of experience in multiple industries to help companies gain perspective on their challenges. Fred Tolbert is the Principal of Southeast Demand Solutions, LLC, and he has over twenty-five years of supply chain management experience.

In this podcast interview, Z and Fred share firsthand stories with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:

· How S&OP is evolving into a new acronym – IBP – or integrated business planning, and why both concepts are bigger than master scheduling

· What makes S&OP so difficult to do well, and what incentives exist for companies and leadership teams that stick with the effort

· Why an overemphasis on technology can actually prevent critical S&OP process work from being handled effectively and with the right level of maturity

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:00:28):

Hey, good afternoon. Scott Lee and Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now we’ll come to today’s show Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I’m doing well. I’m pretty excited about this. We don’t get to talk about S and O P much. Well, we have got a very special show with two supply chain gurus, especially when it comes to SNOP and forecasting and planning. So our listeners are in for a treat more. Come on that in just a moment, but Greg, as always, we encourage folks. If they enjoy today’s conversation, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. That’s a great idea, Scott, you don’t want to miss a thing, especially with conversations like this with a, a white, hot, um, topic in global supply chain. So with no further ado, let’s welcome. Formally introduce our two featured guests today. Anthony Zen, pillow consultant, educator, apex master instructor, Z.

Scott Luton (00:01:25):

How are you doing? I’m doing great today. It is so great to have you here been, it’s been a year and a half, two years since you and I last rubbed elbows, but um, love the work you’re doing in the space. And we’re gonna talk more about that here momentarily. Uh, and our dear friend, Fred Tolbert principal with Southeast demand solutions and member of the apex Atlanta hall of fame. Or, and if you’re not Fred, you shouldn’t be Fred. How you doing well? Hey, I’m doing great. Scott, Greg. Hey, good to be with you again. Yeah. Great to have you, are you a member of the hall of fame? I’m sure there is a hall of fame. He’s a member of our informal hall. God is in baseball mode right now. Paul cavity is a, is a, uh, a requirement. Uh, I definitely have it there. Well, you know, Fred, last time you’re on the show. You’re facilitating a great conversation with some of the brightest soon to be supply chain practitioners at university of Georgia. So appreciate what you do to, to mentor those bright students. But you know what, as Greg and I both talked about, they could have mentored us on that last episode.

Scott Luton (00:02:32):

Alright, so, uh, Greg, we’re going to dive right into the front end of this conversation. We’re going to be able to get to know XE and Fred a little bit better. Uh, so for starters, Z, that let’s start with you. So tell us a little bit now, where are you from? And give us something that folks don’t know about Anthony’s and pillow. Okay, well, I’ll keep that on the, not so secret side. Um, but I mean, basically I am Italian from New Jersey.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:03:00):

That’s where I was born and bred. So no matter what you guys say, it’s all Yankees all the way that that’s it.

Greg White (00:03:08):

You go. So they got another great team this year, right? Sorry. So a really important question. Z, are you Yankees giants, Rangers or Yankees? Jets, Islanders,

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:03:21):

Yankees, and then giant, sometimes jets and hockey. I just never got into it all. Cause we had to go outside in the cold on the Lake. So that wasn’t for me.

Greg White (00:03:34):

I’m with you. All right. So it’s all about the Yankees.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:03:37):

It’s all about the Yankees. Um, and then through SNOP believe it or not. I know Tommy Hottovy, who is the pitching coach for the Cubs now took them out to dinner when he was in the minor leagues in Fort Myers, he worked for a client out in Kansas city. So that’s an old people will touch every part of your life eventually, even face love it. Wow. Yeah. So I started there, I live in Rhode Island and I’ve been in Rhode Island for over 40 years and both my kids were born here, so I’m pretty much a Rhode Islander. Um, but to make any money I’m traveling somewhere, anywhere, except of course for the last few months, but we won’t go there at all. As far as something that’s really different on that, you know, people won’t know, even my family doesn’t remember half the time I left home the first time after eighth grade, I was out of there. Wow. So I spent two and a half years away from home before I came back. And so, uh, that that’s something that not everybody will know,

Greg White (00:04:47):

That’s like 14, right?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:04:50):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Wow. Where did you go? I went away to a haze, a high school in Goshen. New York was, it was a junior seminary. Okay. So I spent two and a half years there before I figured out. Yeah, well maybe no, this isn’t going to be it.

Greg White (00:05:10):

Maybe SNOP instead.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:05:14):

Yeah, they didn’t, they didn’t have it right back. Yeah. That’s a good point. Somebody was thinking about it,

Greg White (00:05:20):

But, but nevertheless, so you became independent and uh, really grew up before a lot of folks your age. Is that right?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:05:30):

I am. You could say it that way. Sure. Yeah.

Greg White (00:05:34):

All right. Well, all right. So, so now that we’ve got that out of the way with Z Fred, same questions to you. Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and just like Z did give us something that folks don’t know about. Fred Tolbert, a little bit rare in the Atlanta area. I’m a local Georgia. I’m a local Georgia boy. No kidding. I heard Greg talk about the town that he grew up in a, I grew up in Jefferson, which at

Fred Tolbert (00:05:58):

The time was a very small town, about 1800 people at the time. I think the Atlanta’s growing out that way now up towards South Carolina. And I think about 12,000 people now, but I literally grew up in a great small town, a great neighborhood. Uh, there probably aren’t many people listening that know, uh, when I say Beaver Cleaver, uh, but the, leave it to Beaver. I literally grew up on the street, like, uh, leave it to Beaver or Dennis. The minister’s a great neighborhood, a great environment full of kids. We had a blast growing up in the small town. My parents owned a grocery store, a small town grocery store. So I, um, running the cash register and bagging produce and pumping gas and stocking shelves and doing the payroll. And I, I learned a lot. I probably learned as much about in my business career from working in the grocery store.

Fred Tolbert (00:06:53):

Then I did all all through the college work that I did. When did you start working there? Fred? Um, my dad started the store when I was about eight. And so, and it was a, it was a really small store at the time, but, but there, even to bag the groceries, uh, we stacked up some of the old Coca Cola crates. So I had something to stand on. So I could, I could see up over the counter there to bag the groceries, but literally up until through I was out of college, I was, I was working at store on the weekends and, uh, boy, I got a good education about business watching my boss, my mom and dad run, run that distance. Um, growing, growing up in a small town, uh, maybe, uh, had an opportunity to play a lot of sports and, um, uh, maybe something people would not, uh, uh, suggest I was, I was a, uh, reasonably good pole vaulter of all things. So on the, on the local track team, they’re in school. So pole vaulting was one of my, uh, activities that I did.

Scott Luton (00:08:07):

That is not what I was expecting you to do.

Fred Tolbert (00:08:09):

Sheriff pole vaulter on supply chain. Now

Scott Luton (00:08:13):

It might be now. I, I actually think we have another one, but I can’t place it, but we have, but that is

Fred Tolbert (00:08:21):

Super rare regardless, but you’re still doing that for it. Oh, that was a long time ago. Bad, bad knees, uh, knees. Don’t let you do things like that anymore. It’s only about three feet high. Now we know. So Jefferson Georgia for our listeners, or is up the 85 corridor as, as Fred mentioned towards South Carolina and from a supply chain perspective, uh, Jefferson and Pendergrass and whole area, a lot of distribution centers, fulfillment centers. It’s been a really popular area development, uh, as, as Metro Atlanta, as you put it, uh, free expand

Greg White (00:08:56):

Out and get everything’s in Atlanta for the, you know, before we know it. Um, all right. So Greg, now we kind of want to shift gears from understanding. I’d just love to hear more about, well, you know, early days, I know, I know we have to, what’s funny, Greg is between Z and Fred, both that I talked about, um, really that independence lessons learned at an early age and Fred’s pole vaulting. I bet there’s a lot more that they both could share, but we’ll have to save that for the next episode or the book they write either one. Let’s talk about their professional journey. Yeah. Let’s get to your next stage in life. So I know that Fred, I have to give him this opportunity, but let me ask you a Z first. So just give us a kind of a quick rundown of your student post student early career days, and kind of what led you to where you are now.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:09:47):

Sure. Well, that’s when you start to think about, when you sit back after all these years and say, you know, what, what are the things I look back on and really made a difference to me now? And it starts with those first two and a half years in the seminary in high school where I learned all about discipline, believe me, I learned about discipline there and keeping to a schedule, you know, because everything was down to the minute, as far as what time we got up, when we ate, when we did chores played baseball or whatever. So that, that kind of started it. And then after I came back home, finished high school, and then I went down to Argentina and Chile, right after high school, instead of going to college and I was doing some lay missionary work for the Catholic church. One of the biggest things I learned there was you really should learn a little bit more about what you’re getting into.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:10:44):

Um, and when I went down there, I didn’t know where to Spanish and now I was only 18. So there was no fear, you know, these days you would never think of something like that at, you know, an age after college. But before then, um, I learned that, Hey, sometimes you do get thrown into things, whether by your own choice or someone else’s to really have to survive, you have to dig in and learn quickly and do things. And so that, that was another part of the formation. Then after that, you know, I went to, I went to college, I mostly did it at night. I went to a community college first and then Seton hall after that. Um, and then for one semester I had to go days cause I couldn’t get the courses that I wanted at night, but right from there I started working.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:11:40):

Um, and I worked in manufacturing for 30 years, uh, for a precious metals company for 10 years for Hasbro toy company for 10 years and then a bunch of other companies in different. And one of the things that that has made me understand is that even though you go into a different industry, there’s questions that you ask that the people in the middle of it just don’t think about because they’re experts in their industry. So those kinds of things really help you out. And then on those, you know, I went from, I started in the accounting department and then I got quickly involved in inventory control. Then it became inventory management. Then it became production control. Then it became materials management and it just kept moving. And at two, three of the companies I was at, I was actually on that end of what is this thing called us an Oop, and we’re going to put it in here and I’ll tell you right up front.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:12:46):

The one I learned the most from was the one that failed the most miserably. And when I look back, I realize all the really deep secrets that I know now that caused that part of it is all about the culture and all about dealing with people. It wasn’t the technology or anything else at that point. It was all about, well, how do we get this thing done? And we’ll talk a little bit later about how do you get people involved and get them on your side. But those are the kinds of things that, that really got me to be more open and have the experience to go in and help other companies when they need it.

Greg White (00:13:30):

So I got to ask you there, you started really, really early with big moves, 14. So it’s probably hard to select, but maybe just the first kind of epiphanal or aha moment that comes to mind. Anything that kind of really changed your per your point of view on the world

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:13:53):

From my own business point of view was when I was in accounting and I realized one day I am constantly going in to talk to people in our manufacturing plants. And I’m asking them about things that might’ve happened a year ago with trying to reconcile the inventory, the numbers aren’t right. Hey, do you remember this receipt receipt? And it’s like 11, 12 months ago. And I sat there and I finally said to myself, you know, I want to be on the other end. I want to be on the end. That’s making the things happen, not figuring out later and asking people what happened. And, and that, that moved me out of accounting, factory accounting right into, I want to be a planner. I want to be able to help predict what the future is going to be. I just thought there was a whole lot more fun if nothing else in that side of the business, that’s a really interesting

Greg White (00:14:52):

Shift from analyzing the past to predicting the future. I mean, that’s not an insignificant shift, so alright, Fred, tell us about, I know, I know there’s probably a particular school that you want to give a shout out to, but, uh, aside from that, tell us about your kind of early career and, you know, any sort of a pivotal moments. Well,

Fred Tolbert (00:15:13):

Uh, I am a Georgia bulldog, so I have marketing and finance degrees from, from, uh, UGA. When I got out of school, I worked, uh, started my career in consulting and over the years, I’ve, I’ve switched back and forth from consulting to a practitioner, wife to software. And I kind of go back and forth at different times, but my early days was, uh, at the time Arthur Anderson is now Accenture consulting. So I spent a number of years there at Accenture, went to work with, uh, with a client company. We were installing a, uh, we didn’t call it ERP back then. It was just the system. It was a mainframe system. And that, uh, that is where actually, uh, I learned a lot of my inventory management is where I got involved with apex, uh, a lot. So then I worked with, uh, North Highland company here in Atlanta, which is now a global, uh, consulting firm. And I was with North Highland in the early days. And then for the last, uh, 23 years, I think I’ve been the Southeastern principle with demand solutions.

Greg White (00:16:19):

Very cool. All right. So tell me, I’m gonna, I’m gonna hit you hard on this one. Tell me about something that kinda shifted your worldview or gave you that sort of aha moment. Some you carry with you

Fred Tolbert (00:16:32):

At Anderson, even in those early days. And when you’re a staff guy or a young woman, there was a, we call it the bullpen. It was just a big room with chairs and desks and all that. And you’d weigh around the partner would come in and assign you to projects. And I got assigned to a project and it was like purchasing application on a, on an IBM mainframe. And so just by luck of the draw, and my first big assignment was working on a purchasing system as a cobalt programmer. I may well have been the worst COBOL programmer that there has ever been. Uh, uh, but I, I served my time as a programmer, but just since then, I’ve had an interest in inventory management applications and now forecasting and planning and sales and operations planning. Uh, several years later when I was at Contel corporation here in Atlanta.

Fred Tolbert (00:17:25):

And that’s when we first bought a, uh, PC software system that was in the early days, the first PCs that people had in their business life. And at the time it was a four runner. My company now demand solutions at the time it was focused forecasting. And the person who developed, uh, focus forecasting was a fellow named Bernie Smith. And if I have a mentor in my supply chain, wife is Bernie Smith. He’s the fellow that came up with the concept of having the system pick the best fit formula as the basis for generating the forecast going forward. Bernie Smith, uh, literally wrote the book on that. And we used him as a consultant in my wife as the inventory planning manager at Contel. Most of what I still talk about literally 30 years later are things that I learned from Bernie. The performance measures that accompany has and hate those concepts. Haven’t changed in all this time, but, uh, things I’ve learned from Bernie, uh, about inventory turns and customer service. I still talk those things and burning out, went to lunch one day. And I, I said, uh, Bernie, my boss wants me to have a objective of increasing forecast accuracy by 10%. And Bernie said, if your job performance is measured on forecast accuracy, find another job.

Fred Tolbert (00:18:56):

I like this. Bernie gets maybe the best advice you’ve ever gotten right there. Maybe the best advice, but it tells me, Hey, there’s a lot of things. And it did teach me things. You can tolerate a lot more forecast error than you may think, but those basic concepts of managing inventory, uh, I learned from Bernie Smith, what a, what a great guy he was. And then I’ve continued to apply those concepts through the years as I’ve helped companies to hopefully forecast better and plan better. And to some extent, uh, have SNOP processes that has value for them. Outstanding Z, you wanted this. Yeah, it’s funny. You mentioned Bernie because in the SNOP seminars and workshops, and even with the clients, when we get to the step or talking all about demand, I referenced that book itself in Bernie and say, here’s a place to go look to start to understand what this thing means. So it’s fun. I reference him all the time. I don’t remember if I ever met him. I may have an apex thing in the Northeast, but, um, Butler Pennsylvania is where he’s from. Okay. Yeah. I referenced him all the time.

Greg White (00:20:07):

It’s interesting. You know, we have talked a lot about forecasting and a lot about how good forecasting can be since COVID, because now people are people who are not, practitioners are very, very curious about it. And that’s, you know, exactly. I don’t know who said this, and I know that thousands of people have said it since, but basically there is no such thing as a right forecast. It’s just a matter of wrong, right? How wrong is it? And all of the other aspects, the planning and, and the resilience and agility aspects of, of managing your, your supply chain are really the keys to, to compensate and account for that, that forecast error, error. So many bad supply chain jokes we could get out in this episode. You know, one of the ones that stand out to me at an industry event was what’s the difference between Bigfoot and an accurate forecast.

Greg White (00:21:02):

It’s folks have claimed the spot Bigfoot previously, no one claimed to see an accurate forecast. So yeah, I can see, I can see my, my daughters rolling their eyes at my dad jokes right now, but nevertheless, um, so Greg, we’re going to keep driving and setting the table a bit about SNOP, right? Yeah. So a Z I would love to have you start, you know, this discussion about SNOP, let me, let’s see. Let’s see how deep we can go in the next few minutes, but, um, I’d love to have you start with a definition of what SNOP is. Cause I understand that yours is the authoritative definition. And then what else have you seen companies call it? Because I know there are at least two or three.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:21:46):

Well, if we started with the apex definition, I’d have to be reading this page, this page, and I’m not going to do that to you guys. What, what SNOP really is it’s that translator of translating the business strategy into the action plans. Fred just mentioned before, you know, the planner, shouldn’t be the one that has to figure out when his COVID gonna stop effecting us the way it is now. And we’re going to get back. That’s gotta be up at that business strategy level. And then SNOP is going to be the translator to get it down there. It gets input from all the major departments and it gets involvement from every department in your company, because now it’s going to be a discussion that leads all the way up to a leadership level, where you all start with the same facts, because you know, all of us know that I’ve worked with any kind of ERP system.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:22:52):

If somebody says, what were sales for last month, as many people as there are in the meeting, that’s how many different numbers you’ll get and they can all pull it out of the system from somewhere. So SNOP says, okay, here’s where we’re going to start. What’s not talk about the number. This is the number right, wrong or different. And then you get all that together. And then you start to talk about risk management at a high level, into the future, beyond the master scheduling horizon. So that way you can take these plans, put them together, and it’s a formal, disciplined, monthly process. And by doing it every month, the, the biggest advantage you have is if something doesn’t come out the way you thought you’re going to meet within a month later to talk about it again. And the first question that I always tell people at every step in the SNOP process, every time you have a meeting, the first question anybody asks is, okay, what do we know now that we did not know last month? And now let’s go from there. So it, it ties all that together and then gives us into the master scheduling world, a plan that they can convert into. Here’s what the factory needs to do. Here’s what our suppliers need to do to execute this plan.

Greg White (00:24:17):

That’s a real, that’s, that’s a lot less than three quarters of a page definition. So I really appreciate that. Um, so either one of you may be Fred, either you or Z, what have you heard people call this SNOP process? What, what other names could it go by that might, um, trigger the psyche of our, of our listeners? Well, I think a term as it transitions, I mean, in the supply chain world, there are so many,

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:24:49):

I think some people would say that SNOP has evolved into the term IBP, integrated business planning, and maybe suggests, um, adding a financial, um, concept to what’s typically SNOP

Greg White (00:25:07):

We often talk to units there, but taking a dollar

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:25:10):

Look at things and maybe also scenario planning and things. And that may be what has evolved the definition of IBP as, as the next, uh, generation of SNOP, as far as different names. What I’ve heard it called, keeping it clean. Cause they know that.

Greg White (00:25:32):

Yeah. Right? Because there’s been a lot of, a lot of profane definitions of it.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:25:38):

I had this parallel path. I follow when people asked me the differences. Well, when I was born way back when the nurse used to bring the baby to the mother for the first time and the nurses have all met the kid already. So when my PA, when nurses brought me to my mother for the very first time, they introduced me as Buster. So for those of you who are around, you’ll remember Buster Brown and his dog tie, and he was a shoe company and they just named me Buster. Well, that’s an Opie. I equate that to Buster when it was created Dick Ling and what Goddard came up with a name let’s call it SNOP sales and operations planning. So then as when my mother and father got ahold of me, they said, no, no, no, his name’s not going to be Buster. Although that’s what they called me for my whole life.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:26:32):

His name is going to be Anthony, because that was grandpa’s name on the father’s side. This is the Italian thing. So now I became Anthony and then this name out little E SNOP, executive sales and operations planning. And then along the way I went to school and I became known as Tony. And then there was this thing called S I O P CYA, which is very popular, especially in aerospace that one’s out there. So then I was Tony, but then I had kids and they called me tome because my wife called me tone. And now I’m into IBP. And then, and this is a farfetched one, but I refer to myself as Z. It’s just so much easier for people to relate to. I worked at a company helping them design and implement SNOP, but we were not allowed to call it SNOP because the CEO had a bad experience.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:27:34):

So they called it D and okay. Distribution and operations planning, even though they were the manufacturing side of the business. So what I equated to is on the same person I always was, but I had all these different names and at different stages in my life. And even for different reasons and same thing with SNOP and like Fred says, you know, IVP is becoming more common, but when you really look hard at what the basis of SNOP is, it has all those things. Then it becomes a difference to me of the maturity level. And they think that’s kind of like what you were referring to Fred is it just keeps maturing. And some people start to pull at different things. And some of it is just culture and the way your company runs. So those are just some of the names I’ve run into, but a XE don’t you also see that a lot of people call SNOP, but they’re really talking about a detailed master scheduling meeting. Yeah. All too often, we walk in, they say we have an SNOP process. Come help. It’s it’s not really, it’s really hard. That’s not working. And when you look at it, it’s a super master schedule and that’s why it’s not working because the amount of detail they’re trying to do, and then they still keep focusing on the current as opposed to the future.

Greg White (00:28:58):

So, so that’s a really good point. So how would one, let me, let’s say somebody is caught in that trap. How would one distinguish from a really intense master scheduling process versus SNOP? How do you differentiate that?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:29:13):

Well, when you start to look at the horizons, you know, if, if you look at a business hierarchy, you’ve got your strategic plan that goes out years into the future, very high level, minimal amount of detail, and you validate it with some high level financials. Hey, we think we want to buy another company someday three years from now. We don’t even know who they are, where would we get the money? How much would it cost? What could we do that passed down to SNOP. And now our horizon gets a little bit shorter instead of going years out, a typical SNOP horizon. And this will change with every company. We call it 18 months into the future. But the first three months of that 18 months is really the master schedule horizon. So at the SNOP level, we go from month four through 18. The level of detail is now a little bit more defined, but it’s in families of products.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:30:11):

And we look at our most critical longterm resources. If we have to get a resource that the master scheduler tells us, and whenever they tell us it’s already too late, that should be an SNOP resource. So then that first three months of this month in the next couple of that’s the master schedule, that’s where you gotta have ton of detail. If you’re making the stock, you’re talking about end items. If you’re assembled to order, you’re talking about the sub assembly below that end item, if you’re, um, make assembled to order, if you’re make to order, then you’re just talking about raw materials at that point, because you’re waiting to develop the product. So they, the key there is when you walk into a company that says they’re doing SNOP and you sit at a meeting, and the first question out of anybody’s mouth is, are we going to hit the numbers this month? You know, right there, it’s like, Whoa, you’re in the wrong meeting. That’s the master scheduling meeting and that’s happening or should be happening every single week in the company. If you want to know what’s going to happen in month four through 18, then we’re talking to SNOP

Greg White (00:31:21):

To me, it’s kind of the difference between planning the shop floor planning, production planning, machine usage, inside of a relatively tight timeframe, because you have to make that decision at some point and planning the future planning, the what ifs right. Of, of the company or the manufacturing facility overall. So, so let’s, so I’d love to understand when you’ve seen someone really do it, right when they’ve, they’ve crossed that bridge from a series of micro decisions, like in a manufacturing planning process to an SNOP process. Tell us about some of the results or some of the kind of breakthroughs that you’ve seen. Companies have.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:32:09):

Prob probably the biggest thing. And again, Fred mentioned this before, is that at the top level of the company, the leadership that’s where you’re really talking strategic and taking the worry away from the day to day planners and master schedulers about these big events that are happening. You’re communicating more through the organization in a more formal way. You’re now working together. And we’re to understand if, if I’m on the supply side and Fred is on the demand side, you know, if we’re not doing SNOP, the only time we’re communicating is when we’re butting heads, because Fred is demanding what needs to be done. And I’m sitting there saying, can’t do that, right? Give me more time. No, that doesn’t make any sense. I worked in a company once and salespeople would be on me all the time about not hitting stuff. And I would say to them, well, let me talk to the customer.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:33:10):

And they say, no, no, no, no, we don’t want to do that. But that SNOP starts to take that away. Fred and I are in a meeting and I’m starting to understand what he’s up against. He’s starting to understand the kinds of things we need to talk about now to get ready for the future demand that he sees coming or that he’s going to create. And then the biggest thing that’s coming up a lot more lately is at that the best companies and SLP are doing a lot of discussions on risk management. Here’s our unconstrained demand plan. And here’s what we can do. And here’s the gap now let’s talk about, well, what kind of risk are we taking? Because that demand plan is based on some kind of forecasting looking at the market further out. And so the first question is, well, we know it’s not a hundred percent accurate, right?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:34:04):

How close is it? And then by the way, the supply side is actually doing forecasting. Because every time we put out a production plan going into the future or forecasting, what we think we’re going to make and guess what, that’s not going to happen either. So now we can talk about the risk and we’ve got the CEO leading the process, the best companies, the CEO leads the process. And that may mean the division leader or some other title, but the top person leads it. But then you’ve got your top financial person. You’ve got your sales people, marketing people, engineering, people, supply people, purchasing people, you got all the people that are involved so that if somebody says one thing, you’ll hear what that does to somebody else sitting across from you with the table. And then you can kind of work things out. So the best companies are the ones that really work their way up to that top level. And yeah, exactly. And have that really good discussion and then stick with it until next month. And one of the things that it helps with, um, from a company management point of view, it kind of says to leadership, we, we take this output of your meeting once a month and then we’d like you to please kind of move out of the way so we can get things done. And then we’ll meet again next month and it takes the pressure off

Fred Tolbert (00:35:33):

And Greg, and, uh, add onto your question there, mean there’s research that shows that companies that are good at sales and operations planning or integrated business planning, they tend to have better service. They tend to have, uh, less inventory, uh, on average, uh, they’re more profitable. And, and they will say that their, their company team teamwork is much better than other companies. So, you know, the, the research shows as hard as it, as hard as it is to do it well, but, uh, there are certain, uh, real benefits for the companies that, that do it well.

Greg White (00:36:10):

So Fred, you, um, you know, you, you deploy a lot of this, like CZI does as well. So aside from the research, is there, uh, an I, no, you probably can’t name the company’s name if you can feel free, but, um, is there a particular case study of someone who really changed how they addressed or change from not having SNOP to SNOP that you saw where you felt like there was a really material change to the business? Yeah.

Fred Tolbert (00:36:41):

Yeah. I mean, I’ve seen companies that do it well, and, and, and the problem is boy, they, they get to a certain point and they have trouble maintaining that momentum, uh, frankly, and sometimes they, they backslide, but, uh, in my world helping companies, uh, as, as we sell the software, I say, you, you’ve got to buy the concept before you buy the software, the software doesn’t do you any good unless you buy the concept, but I’ve got one local Atlanta company that, uh, or they were Cracker jacks at, uh, at the sales and operations planning process, you know, they had their, uh, demand planning process and they had a great, uh, director of supply chain that was running things for everything. And he told the people you’re getting off your spreadsheet, you’re using the system we’re gonna use our schedule. And people knew when the SNOP meeting is. And so for a period of time, they were, they were very good at that process. But boy, I will say there’s a lot of people that try it, not, not all of them are successful in it, just because of the, of the change that it requires companies to go through it.

Greg White (00:37:48):

I think that’s really important. One of the things that that Zee said prior to the show was SNOP is not software. It is a process. And you have to commit to the process, whether you use spreadsheets, whether you use technology or whether you use pen and paper, or just a good old fashioned backyard brawl, either way, you have to commit to the process first, but to be able to commit, you’ve got to get buy in from the organization at all levels. And, and, and there’s been a lot of, uh, your answers. You’ve shared kind of speak to that as, as with the, uh, the stages of SNOP mature,

Fred Tolbert (00:38:28):

But let’s talk, your bond is so critical to any change, to anything,

Greg White (00:38:32):

Any, um, uh, discipline of moving the forward and growing,

Scott Luton (00:38:36):

Growing profitably. So let’s talk about some best practices around buyin and buy in at every level. So Z, why don’t you, uh, share some of your, your key takeaways when it comes to buy

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:38:48):

One of the things, when you start to talk about buy-in, you’ve got, like, you mentioned all the different levels, and when you’re first thinking about SNOP, first of all, where where’s this idea coming from a partner, and I went into a company down in Alabama and they had manufacturing plants around the U S and the reason they said, we need this thing called SNOP is because the senior VP of operations would go to the president of that division and say, I need a new plasma cutting machine. Okay. Takes a long time to get costs a whole lot of money, and you really gotta make sure it’s in and working. You don’t just plug and play where people lose fingers and toes and everything else. And so the president says, well, is it in the budget? And he said, no, if I do that, then you know what I know now?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:39:43):

Yeah, no, I didn’t know. That says, okay, when do you need it? Well, we’ve been working seven days a week and we’re using the same people. And some of them aren’t even coming to work anymore because they made so much money on overtime. So he says, all right, well, I’ll fight for you. They got the machine by time. It was in and working. They didn’t need it anymore because the business changed a little bit and went in a different direction. So they started looking at how can I see this coming? And then that’s where this whole thing of SNOP came. So the buy-in, there was from the fact of getting the president and then getting the financial people to understand that, Hey, if we spend our time looking into the future and not just the short term, we’ve got a better chance of knowing about these things ahead of time and talking about them before we have to make a decision.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:40:40):

Uh, another company I went to, it was the financial people who said, you know, we need to do something here. And the CEO just was totally against it. That one, we went to an original meeting, and then we told them at the end of the meeting, we’re not coming back until you can get the CEO to buy in their way of getting a CEO to buy in, was he happened to retire the next month? And the CFO became the CEO. That’s one way to do it, not the recommended way, but that that’s something that happens. But getting that initial buy in at the top, it’s really all about education and making sure. And I don’t mean to harp on this, that this is a process that we’re going to run. And every month we’re going to look for ways to improve it. It’s a continuous improvement process.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:41:31):

And so we’ve got to get the leaders of this company to really understand that, Hey, this isn’t a perfect system that we’re going to go out and buy, put in, and then teach everybody how to use it. We’re going to develop a process that works for us. We are probably going to have to have some serious discussion about culture and how we get things done around here. Cause there’s some people being rewarded, Michael Lee for putting out fires, and we’re going to start to calm down those fires and not have them pop up. And those people are going to be a little demotivated if nothing else. So it’s all about that education at that top level. And then it becomes communication coming all the way down. And I mean to every single person in the company, cause the, the machine operator, the maintenance people, they’re all going to hear people talking about it, if nothing else.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:42:29):

And you want to be able to communicate that what we’ve done a company, when you start to get down into the people who are going to be effected, but not part of it, you start translating it into things like here’s the Thanksgiving dinner and here’s SNOP, and here’s master scheduling and here’s execution. And, you know, it helps bring it about to put it into their words. And in that communication, you have to be totally honest. There will be some things that you might not be able to let everybody know, but be honest and say, I really can’t answer that right now, but there’s going to be bad. There’s going to be good. There’s going to be some things that get worse before they get better. And you want to lay that out on the table.

Scott Luton (00:43:12):

All right. So Fred, I’ll say, stay on, buy in for a second because it is so important of course SNOP, but really this is universal. It’s important for listeners that may be tackling other initiatives. So, so what have you seen from a buying standpoint that really works, but that’s the challenge

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:43:28):

Of, uh, getting the executive buyin because we, uh, we work a lot in the software world with, uh, with a supply chain, maybe directors or managers, and certainly the planners, and maybe they’re the ones that are the most aware of what a sales and operations planning process is. And they’re trying to manage up to educate their senior management. And, you know, if they’re able to, they’re able to catch the ear of the vice president of supply chain or sales and marketing. And certainly hopefully the, uh, the, the CEO, but probably a trait. If, if we get their buy in and commitment to it, you’ve got up, you know, you’ve got a fighting chance of showing results. If they give it lip service and find reasons not to be in the, in the monthly meetings, you’re probably going to limp along for a while. And then, you know, the process, uh, tends to degrade if you don’t have that real executive buy him. Cause Hey, if the other people, uh, if they see that the executives aren’t, uh,

Fred Tolbert (00:44:32):

Aren’t committed to it, are they gonna, are you, you know, are they going to hitch their wagon to a process that that’s not, not viewed as having value to the company? So Hey, the companies that do it well, have executives that buy into it, attend, look forward to it. Uh, and you know, the, the ones where there’s not that executive commitment, they probably, uh, and if we talk the maturity, uh, levels, they’re probably not very high on that maturity scale.

Greg White (00:45:00):

All right. So, so you’re reading the mocks. We’re going there next officially. But Greg, before we do, before we get a C to kind of outline the, the official, uh, maturity levels on this topic of buy in or, or anything else you’ve heard weigh, and what’s what really gets your juices going buy in is the key. And, you know, Z was really honest with the it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And Fred being an Accenture guy knows it’s called the trough of disillusionment. It happens in every project, right? Everybody has unrealistic expectations. Then the implementation starts and it’s, it doesn’t happen as quickly or as easily. And everyone gets disillusioned. And it, and by the way, when you’ve reached that trough of disillusionment, that’s when the really good stuff is about to start happening because that’s when you start maturing out as a project.

Greg White (00:45:52):

And I think that’s an important part of expectation setting and managing in addition to buy in. But look, let’s face it. Especially these days, especially in the proximate, the very proximate pain that so many companies are in the executive suite has to be engaged in this. They don’t have to be all knowing, but they have to understand the principles and the goals that we’re after with a technique like this, and then they can communicate the benefit to the company, but also as important with any transition, you gotta be, you gotta communicate the benefit to every single one of the players, because let’s face it. A planner doesn’t necessarily get compensated because the company does well. They get compensated because they hit the target, uh, deliverables that they, that they’re measured toward. So if that is counter to the, to the company’s goal, then there’s only the C suite that can resolve that problem.

Greg White (00:46:55):

They have to change the motivations. They have to change even the compensation structures often. That’s why that buy-in is so, so critical because everyone is engaged. It’s tough. Um, and, and all right, Susie, I also liked how you talked about, um, you know, managing by heroics or firefighting or managing while we’re in a Cape. You know, the, those are, those are oftentimes my experience. At least those are like the salt of the earth. People that you need to have an organizations, however, to make growth, more sustainable, being able to eliminate those fires and, and rot more rock, solid

Scott Luton (00:47:30):

Processes, more informed, successful, forward looking rock, solid process processes. So you can create, you can create other projects, uh, that we can put these very talented, passionate people, um, and while changing how they’re motivated and what those incentives are that that’s, that is, that’s some of the, um, you know, complexity that it, that that is leading and growing organizations, but Z let’s talk about the maturity stages, right? You, uh, you and Fred were alluding to earlier the maturity stages and the basic steps. We’re going to talk about the basic steps again, momentarily, but talk about these maturity levels Z. Yeah. And I don’t know that I have

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:48:12):

My handle on what people call the, the official stages of maturity. Um, I’m still batting that around in my own mind and trying to put it down on paper as to what I’ve seen and what they call, what, what I usually talk about, um, when I’m working with somebody or trying to educate somebody is, well, you’ve got that very novice. Okay. We think this is what we need. Now. One of the things about SNOP is when you start to think about it, it’s a design and implementation project because there’s nothing there to begin with except the concept. Um, so you start off and in the SNOP project plan, one of the things you want to make careful right at the beginning is we have a series of go, no go steps. And at any point we can walk away from what we’ve done and that’s it that’s always spent.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:49:08):

And it’s more people’s time that it really is money up to that point. So the first go, no go is getting that project to the point of we’ve educated everybody about what this concept is. And then we all sit down and say, should we go on from there? So now we’re moving. And if the answer is, yeah, this, this is what we need. Let’s go on. Now, we’re moving out of that stage into the pre startup stage where we’re now going to say, okay, here’s what it’s gonna look like in our company. What is the right horizon? What are the right families? What are the resources that we’ve got to worry about? So it takes away the pressure from the master scheduler looking further out than they have to. We define all those things. We come up with what we call a data dictionary that says, here’s the field we’re going to use for sales. All right. And until somebody proves that that’s just totally the wrong field. That’s the number we’re going to use. Here are the business rules that everybody goes by, but aren’t written down anywhere. And we’re going to put those in the data dictionary. I’m a big baseball fan. We talked a little bit about before, and there’s whole books on the unwritten rules of baseball. You know, somebody throws it, your key player. You make sure your pitch comes off a close and lets them know that’s an unwritten rule, but right. Believe me,

Scott Luton (00:50:36):

Proximity to second base. Yes. Or as a batter, you better not glance back at whatever the catcher is calling.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:50:43):

Oh yeah. Oh God. Yeah. I won’t waste your time. We have a local kid that have the majors. In fact, he’s managing the twins now, Rocco Baldelli and you learn that one real quick in the minors. But anyway, we digress. That’s a whole nother show. Um, but you’re, you’re getting to that point. And now you’re saying now we’ve got a pilot. So we run a pilot in, in a key area. That’s not the hardest, not the easiest so we can prove our process. And then again, go no go. And if it’s go, well, now we’re going to start converting all the other areas until we’re done. So now we’re in the startup mode. And then we get into, we’re running our business this way. And all along every month at the end of each meeting, the question is, okay, what can we do better next month from what we just did this month in our process, you know?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:51:39):

And then we’re going to make those improvements. And at the beginning, those are long lists. And then as you keep going, they get shorter and shorter, fine tuning the exactly. Exactly. And then you’ve been running the business now, all the areas for a little while. And then that’s when you start to call up people like Fred and Greg and say, okay, we’ve developed an effective process, but we know it’s not really efficient. We’re working really hard to make this thing done. What have you guys got in your bag of tricks and the newest technology that can help us be more efficient with the process that we have. And then so now you’re entering into that stage beyond I’m just running the business. Now I got to make it the best it can be. And then, then you start once you’ve really got all that. And you’re, you’re a lot more efficient.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:52:33):

You’re definitely effective. That’s when, what Fred mentioned with IVP that’s when you start to say, you know, we have financials in our basic SNOP because we’ve got to come up with a sales dollar number and costs for production and inventory and stuff. Well that let’s start getting deeper into those financials. Let’s start getting deeper into our portfolio management in our demand management step of the process. And now you really start getting deep down into it. Now there’s lots of companies that then they fall off the map. At that 0.1 company, we put in a very successful SNOP system process and they were running it really well. And then they started to say, you know, do we really need this? Do we really need that? And they started moving things and getting rid of some players that were key and they’re back to where they started other companies. And I won’t mention the company’s name, but there was a farm in Illinois where we developed and that’s an Opie process. Now I say farm. And you think of all this thing’s growing, what do they need SNOP for? Well, on the farm, they put a couple of factories and they do their own freeze drying and drying and all other kinds of process.

Scott Luton (00:53:52):

See, I was about to ask him, it’ll be tougher to get the chickens or the pigs to buy in.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:53:57):

This was, this was the vegetable farm, the fruit ranch. Oh, okay. Yeah. With the animals. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:54:05):

So they put fast. Sorry. I had to there’s a whole new salting joke. Yeah. Alright. So they’re putting factories on this farm. So this is like a, like an industrial farm itself.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:54:16):

Yeah. I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re growing crops and they’re buying crops. And then they’re processing in, into product that sells to cereal companies, a supplement guys that, that turn this into it. But they, they, these were the son, the grandsons of who originally started this, this company, this farm. And they said, we’ve got to move it up a level because we’re all doing it by walking around and, you know, picking the, the herbs and spices ourselves. We got to, you know, really get this thing into the next century. And so they worked on it and they got it going. They got total buy in from the two owners of the company. And every month they’ve been getting stronger and stronger. And one of the things they’ve done is, and they went and looked at software after they got it running, got some more things going there. And then every once in a while, they’ll bring a consultant in to say, so what do you see? You know, what are we missing? Because they know they’re in the forest. And so, um, that, that’s how they keep it going. And they’re doing a great job on it for two years. Now.

Scott Luton (00:55:31):

Love the fresh eyes approach. All right. So Fred, um, XE is shared a lot. A lot of, I love the steps and I love clearly is that you’ve seen a thousand companies go through kind of this, this, this, this life cycle, Fred, uh, give us some, some, some piggyback commentary. What, what stands out? There’s different companies,

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:55:50):

Insulting firms that have different maturity models. I think Gardner has one, but I think the traits of company companies at the lower end of the maturity scale one, their process is more of a backward look. In other words, its performance last month sales versus last month actuals, uh, or, you know, to me, uh, if you hear a part number discussed in a sales and operations planning meeting, no, it’s probably not a company that’s very far along in the maturity scale in that they’re still tending to look at it as a tactical master scheduling or forecasting meeting, not a strategic meeting. So companies that are farther on the scale, they’re using the process to make longer term decisions. Uh, they have a budgeting process. That’s more dynamic. In other words, that they don’t just have an annual budget. That’s not closely tied to the, uh, to the rolling forecast.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:56:44):

No, where everybody has a, no one would put out a budget. That’s not 10% higher than it is this year. Uh, but sometimes the demand, uh, plan doesn’t suggest that, but that the, the budgeting process and the demand planning process or closely aligned and that they, uh, use the process for a more forward look for making more strategic decisions. And farthest along on the scale is, are the companies that are the really big companies that use it to manage a global implementation. So multi, multi division, multi region and global implementations are the companies that are the farthest out there on the market, on the maturity scale.

Scott Luton (00:57:27):

All right. So as we start to wind down just a couple of quick final questions, I want to ask you all, you’ve already spoken to the differences between SNOP and a master production schedule, but, um, let’s anything that we left any clear, distinct difference that we haven’t touched on between SNOP and NPS and a Z I’ll start with?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:57:50):

Well, the first thing is, I mean, if you think of the famous triangle and at the top, you have a customer that’s when you’re doing the master schedule, you’re worried about the customer. When you’re thinking about SNOP at the top is the market that you’re in. Having worked for companies like Hasbro, you’ve got different customers coming and going 18 months from now, you’ve got products that don’t exist now that you’re going to be selling 18 months from now and vice versa. So SNOP is thinking about the market more so than the customer, which is where the master scheduler has to worry that they’re the King, but it’s still a triangle that we’ve got to keep in, in position. We can’t let it stretch and not be a really good triangle anymore. Um, and I don’t know if any of you guys are engineering, but I’m thinking that’s an isosceles triangle

Scott Luton (00:58:47):

Equal lateral. I’ve never been confused for an engineer.

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:58:52):

So then down on, on one side, now we have our investment. And when we talk master scheduling and SNOP, we’re talking about the investment in the resources, it takes to create this product and the inventory as a major investment. So that’s that leg of it. The master scheduler is looking at the short term and they’re looking now at the detailed product level. The SNOP people are looking at the investments that are beyond the vision of the master scheduler. So it kind of separates that, that worry in lets each one focus differently. And then on that last angle of the triangle, that’s where we have our efficiency of how we get things done. How do we keep our costs in line? You know, at the top part with the customer and the market itself, we need to worry about, well, what’s what will our customers put up with for lead time?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (00:59:54):

Does it have to be in stock and it’s make the stop? Or can we move down a level because our customers want more choices, which means they’ve got to spend some money on lead time. So the objectives of master scheduling and SNOP are exactly the same, but where they’re different is in the horizon where you’re looking at the level of detail that you’re going into and the frequency at which you’re doing them. Master scheduling is a weekly process. SNOP is a monthly process. So they have the same objectives. They just have different views of what’s going on there. Love it.

Scott Luton (01:00:33):

Lots of clarity there Z, no wonder. I mean, I just painted a perfect succinct picture in my brain. All right. So Fred, uh, you get the last comment on as we’re illustrating the differences here, and then we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with

Anthony “Z” Zampello (01:00:45):

Yeah, just, uh, I use sports analogies, uh, companies that are good. They’re good at the basics. They are the blocking and tackling, uh, is the, is the master scheduling or the DRP processes. I mean, you’ve gotta be good at forecasting and safety stock and, uh, lead time management, that sort of thing. And, and that allows, and that frees up the time to have a longer term view. So you’re not having to use executive time trying to fight fires or come up with short term bite, short term issues, such as out of stocks and late deliveries and that sort of thing, because we want to use that process and their time to say, where should we be? What market should we be in? What products should we rationalize out of our product families? Those are the kinds of things that we look for an executive SNOP process, not a, Hey, when are we going to be able to ship part number one, two, three, four, five. Cause um, uh, if we’ve got executives in there, they’re, they’re either, you know, way overpaid, uh, master schedulers or way under utilized executives. So we, we need to look for them to be making executive decisions on executive topics, not, um, putting their 2 cents worth on the forecast or the

Scott Luton (01:02:06):

All right. So Greg, um, before we, we make sure our listeners on a connect with thee and with, uh, Fred, what your final key takeaway here from what you’ve heard? Well, this has been, as we’ve said

Greg White (01:02:20):

This, but Jay, just something Fred just said is that, that makes me feel the need to enunciate this. Yes, again yet. Again, the days of manufacturing’s producing effectively what they want and providing it to the marketplace are over the, these manufacturers. They need to be responsive to consumers. They need to be responsive to their retailers and their distributors because those are the people that really are connected to the consumer and they need to have, they need to have some inner enterprise, um, connection there as well. And they need to recognize that you can’t just mandate. This is how many cases of beer we’re going to make, and you’re going to buy it all because especially in these economic times, that could bankrupt companies and they, they are at the stage now of not being able to absorb that. And secondly, consumers are not going to tolerate that.

Greg White (01:03:18):

You know, I think back to something I said a long time ago, it used to be like the stone song. The, he can’t be a man cause he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me, right back that’s from the mad men days when your purse, your independent definition of yourself with design, by whether you were as cool as the Marlboro man. And now people are a lot more comfortable with who they are and they see the products that they select as a reflection of themselves, not a definition of themselves. And that goes all the way back up through the supply chain. And that is beginning to impact manufacturers. And because direct to consumer is becoming more and more of a thing. Manufacturers have to be much, much more flexible and responsive and connected to leave at the Greg white, the make supply chain. Cool. Again, cause stuff that Greg rolling stones is supply chain and same conversation.

Greg White (01:04:14):

Right? Love it. So, uh, XE and Fred that, uh, I know we’re just scratching the surface on a very important topic. You know, whether it’s, SNOP forecasting planning that really this whole ball of wax. And, uh, I really appreciate how, um, you ball the concepts down and your F that matter your insights down into, um, common language, right? That, that lay people like myself can really understand. So Z how can folks connect with you? And I know you’ve got an upcoming workshop, um, but how, how can folks, you know, get more information on that and connect with you?

Anthony “Z” Zampello (01:04:49):

Yeah, the easiest way is through LinkedIn. And, um, as far as I can tell, I’m the only Anthony’s and pelo, there, there is a Tony Zam fellow, but that’s my cousin who lives in Florida. Other than that, I don’t know of any others. So pretty easy to find me on LinkedIn, or you can try me at my email, which a little bit long it’s z@sampelloandassociates.com.

Scott Luton (01:05:18):

Perfect. And listeners as always we’ll are going to make it easy for you. We’re gonna include the links in the show notes, so you can connect with gurus such as Z and Fred. All right, Fred, tell us, how can we connect with you? Um, I’m easy to track down link. LinkedIn is the best way, like Azizi and I pass messages back and forth on, uh, LinkedIn, uh, very often, uh, as well, email F Talbert demand, solutions.com Greg, I, I, um, you know, sometimes we feel like we took a deep dive and other times we feel like we’re just scratching the surface, but Tom always runs out. Um, good to good cut right conversation here, right? Yeah, I think so. I mean that, what I just said about being connected with the consumer requires you to have this SNOP process dialed in and to be able to be flexible and support it in a, I don’t want to say automated way, but you need to support it in a very efficient way.

Scott Luton (01:06:16):

Yep. Right. And you need to maintain the discipline if there’s any theme that I heard coming from both XE and Fred it’s, you have to be able to maintain that discipline, do whatever it takes to get back to the basics frequently. Yeah. Well put, well, you know, uh, I, I’ve known both of these gentlemen for quite some time. So to our listeners, if you’re looking to really get trained and learn more and get coached on SNOP, you have to check out, uh, Z and his training, his workshops, he comes very highly recommended. Uh, you know, uh, having been a long time in that, in that community where he does a lot of his training, uh, you gotta check that out. So connect with him and, you know, Fred, uh, he is an open book and I know Fred and Z both take phone calls, compare notes with, uh, organizational leaders that are, Hey, they wish they had, we all wish we had more answers than questions, but these are great resources.

Scott Luton (01:07:07):

And really thank them for their time here today. Anthony Z some pillow again, consultant, educator, and apex master instructor, and Fred Tolbert principal with Southeast demand solutions, Fred and, and Z. Thanks so much. Right. Thanks. Thank you guys. So it was fun. All right, Greg, thank you. Cause I know you are, you are in particular looking forward to today’s conversation. This is a passion around this topic. Yeah. We’ll have to we’ll we’ll we’ll continue the conversation in a subsequent episode. This is really, uh, important, um, uh, skill sets and strategies for your forward looking, uh, successful supply chain leader needs to know so good stuff here on behalf of Greg white and our entire team here at supply chain. Now, uh, Scott Luton here signing off wish our listeners nothing but the best in the weeks ahead. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Fred Tolbert & Anthony Zampello to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Anthony “Z” Zampello Following a long career in manufacturing and materials management, Z now serves as a consultant, educator, and trainer to the operations and materials management profession across many industries. He’s been involved for over thirty years in a broad range of industries, product types, and market environments. He has held senior management positions with Fortune500 companies and has consulted with companies ranging from small, family owned to large, multinational ones. During his long tenure in industry, Z has managed a wide range of initiatives, including: S&OP and ERP implementations, lead time reduction projects, offshore sourcing efforts, reorganization of materials management organizations, and inventory reduction programs. His years of experience give him a broad perspective in his consulting and teaching work in the United States, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of The Netherlands, China and Great Britain. He has been active in APICS since 1982, and holds the following certifications: Production and Inventory Management (CPIM); Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP); Integrated Resources Management (CIRM);APICS Master Level Instructor for CPIM and CSCP; APICS Lead Level Instructor for Principles of Operations Management; APICS Master Instructor Sales & Operations Planning Certificate Program.

Z is a subject matter expert, participating on exam committees for APICS. He has been utilized by various APICS chapters, conducted training sessions for major APICS corporate accounts and is the Sales & Operations Planning Certificate Core Workshop speaker. As a speaker, he has appeared often at the APICS International Conference, Chapter engagements and various industry symposiums. He has held various leadership positions in APICS, including: the Corporate Board of Directors, and President of the Providence, New Bedford and Monadnock Chapters. Z teaches as an adjunct instructor for CPIM and CSCP at Fox Valley Technical College. He has been an adjunct professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Bentley University.

Fred Tolbert has over twenty-five years of supply chain management experience. He is Principal of Southeast Demand Solutions, LLC, the Southeastern channel partner for the Demand Solutions suite of supply chain planning software. In this position, he leads the Demand Solutions sales, consulting and training activities in the Southeastern United States.

Fred spent ten years as a Principal Consultant with The North Highland Company, an Atlanta-based management consulting services firm. He was Director of Operations with Sun Data, a distributor of IBM computer hardware. He held systems development management and inventory management positions with Contel Corporation. Fred began his business career as a Senior Consultant with Andersen Consulting. Fred has BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Georgia. He is a member of the University of Georgia Supply Chain Advisory Board. He is active in ASCM, the Association for Supply Chain Management (formerly APICS) and served two terms as president of the Atlanta APICS Chapter. He served as the ASCM Southeast District Director, representing ten southeastern states on the ASCM society Board of Directors.

Greg White serves as Principal & Host at Supply Chain Now. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory: www.trefoiladvisory.com


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here: https://supplychainnowradio.com/


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