Demand Planning and Forecasting

Problem

An accurate forecast is a critical supply chain driver but many organizations have a limited view of what comes next. Forecasts developed by sales and customers are often inaccurate and biased reflecting sales goals or budgets. Forecasts are provided at aggregate levels leaving the supply chain to determine which items will be demanded at which locations. Planning teams are left to interpret sales figures and covert them into actionable forecasts of the item mix.  Incorporating sales feedback, determining which decades old forecast model to use, managing the consensus forecast process, and tracking forecast accuracy are manual processes.  They are often managed in complex spreadsheets that are difficult to use, share, scale, and don’t account for inherent patterns in the item demand such as seasonality and trend.

Solution

Smart Demand Planner™ is a consensus demand planning and statistical forecasting solution available on Smart’s Inventory Planning and Optimization Platform, Smart IP&O.  Smart Demand Planner aligns strategic business forecasting at any level of your product hierarchy with granular forecasts of the item mix to improve forecast accuracy.  It provides a statistically sound, objective foundation for your sales and operations planning process (S&OP).  Smart Demand Planner’s collaborative workbench enables forecast overrides to be applied, imported, reviewed, and approved by authorized users driving the consensus plan.  Forecast accuracy is measured helping ensure that the best possible forecast is delivered to the business at both the aggregate and item mix levels driving more efficient sales planning, budgeting, production scheduling, ordering, and inventory planning.

Smart Demand Planner

Accurate Demand Forecasts
Capture Trend and Seasonality
Predict Range of Future Demand
Flag Exceptions
Cleanse Historical Data
Operational Consensus
Collaborate with key stakeholders
Review at any level of hierarchy
Apply overrides and achieve consensus
Consistent Repeatable Process
Common System
No Spreadsheets
Embed and Reuse Forecast Rules
Monitor accuracy and fine tune

Who is Smart Demand Planner for?

  • Demand Planners
  • Forecast Analysts
  • Material & Inventory Planners
  • Operational Research Professionals
  • Sales Analysts
  • Statistcally Minded Executives

What questions can Smart Demand Planner answer?

  • What is my short and long term demand most likely to be?
  • Which areas of the business and products are trending?
  • What is the forecast at different levels of my hierarchy (customer, item, family)?
  • What is the likely range of future demand?
  • Which forecasts need to be reviewed (exception reporting)?
  • What is our forecast error (accuracy) for each item, group, overall?
  • Are forecast overrides adding value to the process?

What can Smart Demand Planner do?

  • Accurately forecast demand for thousands of items in any unit of measure
  • Capture trends, seasonal, and cyclical patterns at any level
  • Outlier detection and correction to enhance the quality of historical data
  • Identifies “causal” factors such as price and economic data and models their impact on demand
  • Patented Intermittent Demand Planning via APICS award winning “Bootstrapping” technology
  • Create forecasts at any level of the hierarchy – customer, item, product groups, regions,
  • Share forecasts with internal and external stakeholders such as sales and suppliers
  • Apply, document, and track forecast overrides
  • Quantify the impact that promotions will have on future demand
  • Apply user defined forecasting methods and rules
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