The purpose of demand sensing is to allow your business to cope with change, remain competitive, and consistently provide top customer service. Intelligent demand forecasting expertly balances capacity with supply and demand and generates accurate forecasts in an instant. The Concurrent Planner uses real-time demand signals to create daily forecasts reflecting current market realities instead of relying solely on historical sales which are often disconnected from present conditions.
Demand gets distorted in much the same way as messages in “Chinese whispers”: as information is passed on from one person to the next or from one organization to the other, information is summarized, changed, and sometimes hardly recognizable compared to its original source.
In the supply chain, especially for order fulfillment, forecast accuracy is important when forecasting demand per item and customer for specific months or calendar weeks. For this level of planning, the accuracy of the forecast for most companies drops to 50%, where it has been stuck for decades. Traditional forecasting systems and processes have reached their limits. Unexpected demand increases and decreases in demand cause shifts in the production schedules, which lead to overstocking of some items and too little of others; this in turn leads to lower capital returns, diminishing margins and declining service levels.
Demand Sensing in the Supply Chain
A company’s supply chain can make or break the business. Intelligent demand sensing gives powerful support for better product availability and to protect against lost sales for products in high demand. It also helps to invest less cash in warehouses to protect against uncertainty reducing the working capital requirements to operate the business.
Increase in Operating Margin
On time delivery
Concurrent Planner Solution
The Concurrent Planner increases product availability, minimizes inventory, and improves on time delivery. It is a lightweight, yet comprehensive solution connected to the company’s information systems. The Concurrent Planner provides users a modern web-based solution.
The Concurrent Planner maintains consistency between sales plan and production plan at all time and plans production in real-time – even for the whole business year – taking into account the various constraints concurrently.
Reliable order promising
A key moment of truth in business is when a customer places the order and a fulfillment promise is made. Can you fill the order when the customer wants to take delivery and, if not, when can you? If planning inadequacies cause supply shortages or if customer commitments are given based on incomplete or misleading information, the order will most likely not be filled satisfactorily. For this reason, order promising is the linchpin of demand management, in which companies aim to match supply and demand over time both during and in between planning cycles.
The Concurrent Planner determines reliably promise availability in real-time and sets consistently achievable delivery dates. Your sales department can make delivery quotes with confidence. The Concurrent Planner helps you meet the most demanding customer expectations by promising delivery based upon actual supply across potential constraints, including inventory, production capacity and purchases from suppliers. Capacity and inventory are used to their fullest extent so orders can be filled when they are truly required.
The Concurrent Planner aligns a company’s tactical supply-demand plans with its customer segmentation strategies, policies, and priorities. It accurately promises and reserves product based on your strategic priorities – weather that means emphasizing certain customers, channels, or geographic regions. This optimally deploys and redeploys inventory based on changes in daily demand, therefore reducing the total inventory required to meet customer requirements.
Dynamic demand forecasting
The purpose of demand sensing is to help organizations make short-term decisions based on what just happened minutes, hours or days ago, not what happened last year. Demand sensing overcomes latency issues associated with traditional time-series forecasting methods, which assume – correctly, for regularly buying customers – that history will repeat itself over long periods of time.
Don’t let demand variability and forecast error play havoc on your supply chain. The Concurrent Planner closes the gap between your plan and what’s actually happening in your supply chain. It automatically detects changes and patterns in downstream activities by analyzing, for instance, sales orders, EDI transactions, and manufacturing orders so you continue to hit target service levels in the face of demand volatility.
The Concurrent Planner produces a dynamic, optimal demand forecast that is combined with robust inventory and replenishment optimization to reduce inventory and working capital. By incorporating detailed short-term demand signals and demand collaboration, it reduces forecast error and optimally deploys inventory. The result: improved service levels and inventory efficiencies, even for “long tail” items. You don’t just get a more accurate demand forecast, you get a winning plan that’s connected to business outcomes.
Closing performance gaps
In order to sell better, sales people need better visibility to open orders, marketing and promotion initiatives, supply status, and intelligence about customers and competitors. They must know what has changed. Real time analytics allow sales people to discover where forecasting challenges lie, track how forecasts change over time and how demand planning is benefitting your business. Today, sales employees often have to chase people across the organization or collect multiple spreadsheets to get this visibility before meeting customers or to tune their forecasts.
The Concurrent Planner serves up increased visibility at the fingertips of sales teams to help them sell and forecast better. With Concurrent Planner, your planners can see information at exactly the right level of detail—by item, customer, region, and more—simply by drilling down. Customizable dashboards provide the visibility to make quick decisions and to present sales forecasting and order information in the many formats that forecasting and demand management require.
The Concurrent Planner also notifies the sales person and their planning support group with automatic, smart alerts on everything that has changed from last planning cycle, enabling them to work through those alerts to make appropriate adjustments to the forecasts or their performance.