The RapidResponse® Demand Planning application enables:
Role-based demand input and collaboration across functions
Process owners are able to assign process tasks to various individuals, and those individuals in their respective role (within multiple functions such as sales, marketing, finance, demand planning) have visibility to the tasks assigned to them from the overall S&OP process calendar. Time phase metrics and process task flows point the way to evaluating gaps between the annual plan or previous forecast and the current forecast. Individuals can define volume/mix forecasts in either units or currency at various intersections of the defined hierarchies, automatically performing aggregation/disaggregation of forecasted values. The various participants can document and share assumptions so that others can see what key information is causing them to shape their forecasts.
Forecast accuracy and forecast value-add analysis
Demand planners are able to review the accuracy and value-add of the various forecast inputs and use that information to help in determining the weighted use of the various input forecasts to determine the proposed consensus demand plan.
Forecast input category weighting
Demand planners are able to assign weighted input percentages to the various forecast inputs either on an aggregate or time-phased basis to determine the proposed consensus demand plan.
Demand planners can utilize the simulation capabilities to present multiple consensus demand plan candidates for evaluation by the S&OP team. Demand planners can use range forecasting in different scenarios to calculate optimistic or pessimistic forecasts for consideration and evaluation.
Statistical forecasting integrated with product lifecycle management activities
Demand planners are able to:
- define which items will be forecasted,
- adjust the actuals utilized for statistical forecasting for data errors, causals and outliers,
- define statistical forecast planning parameters, including selecting which forecasting models/algorithms to utilize,
- manage disaggregation parameters,
- define new product introduction (NPI) and end of life (EOL) forecasting variables, including reference and profile forecasting, and
- generate and compare multiple versions of the statistical forecast to determine what parameters produce the optimal results.
Sales, marketing or finance users can:
- utilize the statistical forecast generated by the demand planners as a measuring benchmark for their own forecast inputs.