Is Your Demand Planning Process too Demanding?

And Yet, It’s Still Not Supplying the Results You Need?

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Demand Planning is all too often a painstaking exercise that struggles to involve the multiple stakeholders and ultimately yields less than optimal results.

An accurate demand plan is crucial to a company’s operations performance because it drives supply, inventory, and production planning. However, many companies struggle to determine the ideal demand forecast simply because there are so many variations of it – from sales, marketing, finance – and it is difficult to keep it aligned with the ever-changing demand situation.

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While sales and operations planning (S&OP) software and traditional demand planning solutions build a better plan, the challenge in today's volatile environment is that the plan will never be completely right. With this in mind, companies must combine demand planning with a strategic capacity to monitor and adjust the portions of the demand plan that present a variance.

Demand Forecasting

Produce a constrained, consensus forecast that combines the statistical demand forecast with multiple functional forecast perspectives, weighted and adjusted as part of a highly collaborative process, and all orchestrated and documented with a single planning system.

Demand Variance Response

The real value is in the ability to respond rapidly when the reality begins to deviate from the demand plan through iterative analysis and collaborative what-if analysis to simulate the necessary course corrections.

Demand Conversion

You must understand demand from multiple perspectives, which means looking at and analyzing demand at different product hierarchies (tying the highest level demand signals – product family forecast – to the very lowest level raw material component) with the ability to aggregate and disaggregate at will. It also requires presenting demand in the appropriate context for different stakeholders; therefore, representing it interchangeably in units or currency.

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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.

Multi-scenario planning
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.

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Kinaxis RapidResponse meets the demand planning challenges of today's manufacturers by ensuring integrated and collaborative processes.

THE RESULTS?

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Improved demand forecast accuracy and process improvement.

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Demand collaboration across functions (sales, marketing, finance, demand planning) for holistic planning and analysis across a range of planning and action alternatives.

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Ability to integrate demand functions with other supply chain planning functions, including product lifecycle management for example.

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Better visibility into demand trends with an ability to maximize revenue opportunities to drive growth and resolve demand and supply risks to minimize costs.

Demand Forecast Response Rate Customer Quote

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Cross Functional Supply Chain Visibility Customer Quote

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Duncan Klett - The Limitations of Supply Chain Planning Optimization

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Hubbell - Managing Demand Variability

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Hubbell - RapidResponse and Demand Forecasting