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"Sales & Operations Planning Best Practices"

"Sales and Operations Planning Standard System"

"Lean Standard System" 

"The Right Choice"




"Sales and Operations Planning Instructor's Guide"

"Master Production Scheduling Instructor's Guide"


Evaluation points for ERP software


"Five Principles of Production and Supply Chain Management" -  by Bill Belt


"S&OP Handbook" - from John Civerolo and Don Rice


Current Books and Material From Gray Research - Full list


Earlier Books From Chris Gray


Other Books I Can Recommend


Software Supplier Lists


Biographical sketch


Contact Information: 

1 603 778-9211 





Sales & Operations Planning Best Practices


Sales and Operations Planning Standard System with Reference Software


Lean Standard System with Reference Software


The Right Choice


Self-administered Education: Your instructors, our material 


S&OP Courseware (Instructor's Guide, Visuals)   


Master Scheduling Courseware (Instructor's Guide, Visuals)  



International Affiliates and Resellers


Although we welcome your order in our shopping cart, you may save substantially on shipping charges by ordering from one of our international affiliates or resellers in your region.  All Gray Research and Worldwide Excellence Partners books are available from these sources


Australia: Phil Heenan


Europe: Delos Partnership


is proud to be associated with:


Partners for Excellence

Partners for Excellence is my joint venture with John Dougherty and Don Rice, and in which I am a Senior Partner.  


In North America and Europe 

World-Wide Excellence Partners


Gray Research recommends: 


The International Institute of Forecasters is the preeminent organization for scholars and practitioners in the field of forecasting. The IIF is dedicated to stimulating the generation, distribution, and use of knowledge on forecasting in a wide range of fields.

For more information about membership, publications, and conferences:  http://www.forecasters.org/

For a free copy of Foresight, the quarterly journal of the IIF, click here or on the Foresight logo above.


1 603 778-9211  or click on ... below to email:  cgr...@grayresearch.com

I'm Chris Gray, President of Gray Research, and a Senior Partner with Partners for Excellence. 


I help manufacturing companies who are frustrated with their manufacturing and customer service performance - who want to get better on-time delivery performance with less inventory, who want to improve teamwork and communication across their organization, who want to lower their costs and their cost structure by managing their resources more effectively, who want to make more money today but not at the expense of the future - and who want to implement changes so that the improvement is institutionalized, not a one-time event!  


I'm proud to say that I've been helping companies make their manufacturing operations leaner and better coordinated for the better part of three decades.  


I help companies implement and operate more effective demand driven supply networks using resource planning (better sales forecasting and demand management, improved planning, capacity management, and financial projections) and lean manufacturing techniques (flow and pull in the plant and with suppliers).  In many cases, the improvements that my clients are able to make require no new software at all.    


The Best Performance Requires Both Resource Planning and Lean Execution

I believe that resource planning and lean manufacturing systems work best when they work together. They do different - and very necessary - things, and you need them both.


Resource planning is a set of forward planning tools to help people balance future demand and supply, to predict capacity problems with enough time to do something about them, to create a load leveled master schedule, and to project supplier requirements well in advance. Some of these planning tools - aggregate sales and operations planning, rough cut capacity planning, supplier scheduling logic - do this better than any alternative.


Lean manufacturing's objective is to create the physical environment that will allow material to flow - from raw material to finished product to the customer. In doing this, Lean eliminates waste and wasteful practices, reduces costs and cuts lead times - while synchronizing all production and purchasing activities. Its primary components are standard work, visual management, heijunka (leveling), takt time, one-piece flow, EPE I, and the pull (kanban) system.


Lean is strong on workplace management; resource planning is strong on decision-making for the future. Lean requires workplace and value-stream transformation; resource planning can deal with the status quo. Lean scheduling and pull systems cannot work unless certain important prerequisites are met; resource planning will help you deal with nearly any kind of manufacturing environment - one of a kind handcrafted production, traditional mass or batch production, or one-piece lean flow - as you make the physical transformation necessary to achieve maximum flow and maximum results. 


Click here for a summary of how to use S&OP and Lean together.  


Getting the results you want from your planning and scheduling systems


I can help you understand whether your existing systems can give you the results you want.  You may know of me from some of the work I've done in the area of manufacturing software - it's no exaggeration to say that I've helped more people resolve manufacturing software issues than any other individual in the field.  Along with Darryl Landvater, I defined the standards for resource planning software: The MRPII Standard System.  I continue to consult and do workshops for management teams trying to understand what kinds of software functionality is required to support both planning and lean execution.  If your organization needs help in understanding what functions are key in planning and execution software and which are not important at all, you may need my help.  


I've also rolled up my sleeves and worked with hundreds of management teams over the last 3 decades - helping them improve communications between manufacturing, marketing, and finance; create teamwork across the entire organization;  drive down inventory and increase customer service; improve supplier delivery performance; and slash lead-times across the value-stream - by helping them implement new system solutions.  


I consult on on sales and operations planning and resource planning; on rough cut capacity planning, master scheduling and sales forecasting; on the management challenges of integrating effective planning processes with pull systems for execution; as well as the software requirements for both resource planning and lean manufacturing (kanban/demand pull/Toyota Production System).  


I do sales and operations planning (S&OP) workshops and seminars; resource planning and lean manufacturing education seminars and workshops; sales and operations planning consulting; consulting on resource planning (S&OP, forecasting and demand management, master scheduling) and lean manufacturing (lean execution systems like the kanban component of the Toyota Production System); performance assessment and Class A Certification; sales and operations planning software; and software selection services to companies trying to create a lean enterprise.   


If you are interested in improved performance and making more money, and you want maximum performance from your enterprise and plant level execution systems, I'd like to work with you.  


Review the materials here, and then give me a call or send me an email:  

1 603 778-9211,  cgr...@grayresearch.com


Having advice from someone who's been successful is the best insurance that you are on the right track.  


About this web site:  


This web site provides products, services and information to help anyone who wants to: 


Make things  better, faster, and at lower cost.

Hold less inventory.

Give  better customer service.

Make more money. 

Have fewer surprises.   


Effective planning and lean execution are a reality for companies around the world who are trying to implement demand driven supply networks.  This is where you can get basic information about how to make them reality in your operations.  


If you need specific help - briefing your executive management, training your people in the most recent concepts in manufacturing management, implementing new planning or pull execution systems,  selecting planning or lean execution software that's appropriate for your processes - call me.  I can help you get the results that you want.  


1 603 778-9211 











New Books 



My latest book Lean Standard System  (with reference software, shown above, is the second in a series.  If you are wondering how software can support Lean Manufacturing, you need this book.  


Read a description of the book and comments from some of its early reviewers.  


You'll benefit from this book if you are evaluating commercial lean software or writing/enhancing your own.  


For more information or to order Lean Standard System on-line.





The Right Choice (my book on software evaluation) now revised and updated.  



You'll benefit from this book if you are evaluating and selecting manufacturing or supply chain application software.  



For more information or to order The Right Choice on-line.  






Available Now



Sales and Operations Planning Standard System  (with reference software).  Special pricing when ordered with Sales & Operations Planning Best Practices.  



You'll benefit from this book if you are evaluating commercial S&OP software or writing/enhancing your own.  



For more information or to order S&OP Standard System on-line.    



Have you seen our book on S&OP best practices? Sales and Operations Planning - Best Practices from Chris Gray and John Dougherty.  





Available in hardcover and paper-back.  



For more information or to order S&OP Best Practices online Special pricing when ordered with Sales and Operations Planning Standard System.   



You'll benefit from this book if you are planning to implement or upgrade S&OP in your own company.   


Also Available: 


S&OP Handbook by John Civerolo and Don Rice


Tools and techniques to simplify the implementation or improvement of a Sales & Operations Planning process in your company.


Samples, examples, specific step-by-step instructions, and internal audit data are provided to help your company start or improve your S&OP process.  


S&OP Checklist What you need to do to organize and implement for a successful S&OP process in your company.  Two parts - how to implement, and what to implement.  This checklist outlines my basic approach to implementing sales and operations planning.  (FREE) 


Global S&OP Checklist - evaluate your performance


1 603 778-9211  or click on ... below to email: 







Education  Consulting  Software Books  Articles  Affiliates  Gray Research   

Contact Chris Gray at cgr...@grayresearch.com   or 1 603 778-9211 for a quote on your consulting, education, S&OP software, or software research needs.