Demand planning is an integral part of supply chain management. In short, this process is responsible for using analytical tools to predict consumer demand for products. A demand planner strives to find the perfect balance between having enough product to meet consumer demands without having an excess that eats into the company’s bottom line.
Many factors, including labor, changes in the economy, natural disasters, and global events can have an impact on demand. The importance of a demand planner cannot be underestimated. Let’s take a look at all of the terms that a demand planner should be familiar with.
Artificial intelligence is when a computer or machine has human-like intelligence characteristics. These machines have the ability to ‘learn’ over time based on patterns. This technology is able to complete tasks much quicker than humans could ever dream of and with much fewer errors. Artificial intelligence is able to carry processes such as forecasting, data collection, report generation, and much more. All of these capabilities are extremely beneficial to demand planners.
A company’s budget is based on predicted revenue and expenses over a particular time period. Budgets can change from time period to time period. They give demand planners an idea of how much money is allotted for revenue.
This is software that is designed to run on the internet and therefore can be accessed remotely.
Exclusions refer to pieces of data that are intentionally left out of reports and analysis. This is often because the data has been deemed inaccurate or irrelevant and therefore the omission prevents inaccurate reports.
Inventory flow is the process by which products travel through a company. This process begins with the supplier and ends with consumer purchases. Demand planners use inventory flow to help in managing inventory.
Inventory positioning is the location of products from a product line. Are they in the plant, or a regional or field warehouse?
This term refers to knowing what products you have on hand and where those products are at any given moment.
Market share refers to the part of the market that a particular product or company has control over.
This is software that is designed to run on the grounds of the organization, but not remotely.
These are data points that fall outside of the norm. On a graph, these are points that are a significant distance away from the other points on the graph. Outliers can be a result of a valid piece of data that happened to fall out of the norm or it could be due to an error. Outliers determined to be due to errors are omitted from the results.
This term refers to a platform that is free from any ties to a specific system. This means users can access it from anywhere at any time.
This is consumer data that is obtained once a purchase or transaction has been made. Information collected includes consumer information, payment methods, and products bought. An order history can be started for consumers who make multiple purchases. Demand planners can then use this information to help forecast which products are most likely to be purchased in the future and in what quantity.
This is a group of products that are sold by the same company. These products are related to each other in some way and are marketed under the same brand.
Product lining is when companies offer multiple products that are related for sale as individual products. Let’s say a cosmetic company sells a product line that consists of a lipstick, a mascara, and a foundation. Product lining means that customers can purchase each product separately without having to purchase the other two.
This is the crucial process of managing the product lifecycle. The process starts when a product is first introduced and carries through to when a product is discontinued.
The product mix also goes by the name product assortment. This number represents the number of product lines that a company carries. A company may only carry one product line or it may carry hundreds or even thousands.
The replenishment cycle is the process in which inventory is resupplied. Demand planning requires implementing an efficient replenishment cycle to ensure that inventory is where you need it when you need it.
Risk assessment is the process of gathering information in order to identify potential factors that may have a negative impact on demand for your company’s products. This is useful information for demand planners when deciding how much inventory to order.
Statistical algorithms are models that are meant to provide companies with mathematical answers to their questions. Algorithms are used in a multitude of business operation scenarios including marketing, sales, and demand planning.
This refers to using historical data trends to predict what may happen in the future. This is especially useful in the supply chain because it can help demand planners forecast what the demand will be for products so that they can order accordingly. Accurately ordering products is crucial when it comes to preventing loss of revenue to overordering or loss of sales due to product shortage.
The supply chain is an intricate network of information, companies, resources, people, and processes. All of these components work together to produce products and bring these products to consumers.
Like statistical forecasting, supply chain forecasts are a prediction as to what future trends may be. This particular forecast looks at data pertaining to your suppliers. It is used to determine whether each supplier offers completed parts or if they must be assembled at a different point in the manufacturing process. This is important for understanding when suppliers will have products available and the quantity.
Trade promotion is a marketing strategy that uses special displays, pricing, demonstrations, and small gifts to generate an increase in demand for a particular product. Companies typically rotate which products that trade promotions are offered on.
This is information that is well-known within a company or a department but isn’t known to the outside world.
An effective supply chain is impossible without intelligent demand planning. Demand planners must collect a large amount of information from various places in order to make informed decisions to ensure that product inventory matches the predicted demand for those products. Demand planners play a crucial part in a company’s bottom line.
Our technologies give your demand planners the information they need when they need it so that they have a comprehensive view of your company’s supply chain. Is your demand planning as streamlined and effective as it can be? Contact us today to take your demand planning to the next level.