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Developed sales and operations planning (S&OP) with soft OR approach and organizational learning within pharmaceutical industry

*Corresponding author
Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran


The pharmaceutical supply chain (PSC) is well known as one of the most complex industry which requires effective integration between demand and supply. Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is a vital business process which is used to adapt customer demand with supply capabilities. It has a key role on making ideal decisions in organizations. Through using soft operations research, a framework has been proposed in this paper to define the problem from different perspectives. It defines required executive actions for more effective implementation of S&OP process. A better support for S&OP process implementation and knowledge management (KM) has been provided by using soft systems methodology (SSM) and cognitive mapping.


The pharmaceutical supply chain is well known as one of the most complex of any industry. 

Although much progress has been made in various areas of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, many pharmaceutical companies are still far from efficiently and effectively satisfying market demands in a consistent manner (1),(2)inventory and distribution planning, capacity and production planning and detailed scheduling. Only a small proportion of this work directly addresses the issues faced in the pharmaceutical sector. On the other hand, this sector is very much ready for and in need of sophisticated supply chain optimisation techniques. At the supply chain design stage, a particular problem faced by this industry is the need to balance future capacity with anticipated demands in the face of the very significant uncertainty that arises out of clinical trials and competitor activity. Efficient capacity utilisation plans and robust infrastructure investment decisions will be ...

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