In today’s day and age, demand planning is an integral part of the supply chain and perhaps the most crucial function of any enterprise. It is the process of forecasting demand so that products can be reliably delivered and customers are always satisfied. Without proper demand planning, supply chains wind up dealing with production delays, inventory surpluses and strained relationships across the various disciplines that make up an organization. In an ideal world, demand planners must stay ahead of the market instead of merely reacting to it, and make decisions based on near real-time market data, rather than solely on historical data. That’s not always possible. But with the advent of demand planning software, things are starting to change. Here we look at some of the demand planning software that might just change how the industry looks at demand planning in general. But first, let’s get down to the basics.
Why do you need a Demand Planning Software?
Demand planning software solutions bring the power of forecasting into a company’s processes. Demand planning software lets you serve your customer base more effectively by planning your production and inventory in advance instead of reacting to market shifts at every turn — a vital part of business success. After all, you can’t bring in revenue and keep the lights on unless you’re consistently meeting consumers’ needs in a timely manner. Demand planning creates reliable forecasts for company use, making it a critical component for supply chain planning.
Demand Planning vs. Demand Management
Even though Demand Planning and Demand Management might look similar, they are more like two sides of the same coin. Demand management software deals with short-term supply and demand issues. On the other hand, demand planning takes a long-term view into account. Using predictive analytics, it helps decision-makers look forward to future demand instead of keeping their view limited to the present. The concept of demand management includes demand sensing, demand shaping, demand translation, and demand orchestration throughout the value network.
Benefits Of Right Demand Planning Tool
Let’s look at some of the benefits you could achieve by choosing the right demand planning tool for your organization:
- Better Forecasts: Demand planning softwares give you the ability to aggregate and analyze endless amounts of information thus allowing you to expect more accurate forecasts.
- Better Efficiency: The right tool will equip you to keep the appropriate amount of inventory on hand and manage your capacity. You will be able to anticipate future demand more accurately.
- Better Synchronisation: Supply planning software also aids in communication and collaboration, with solutions facilitating information flow throughout the supply chain network.
- Better (Reduced) Costs: Having a right demand planning tool could not only save you a few bucks here and there but could optimize your entire supply chain model by allowing cost effectiveness for planned operations.
Choosing The Right Demand Planning Tool
As with any software, it’s best to invest in a system with a broad range of functions that you’ll actually use, rather than bells and whistles that cost extra but you don’t need. The focus should be on settling for a tool that aligns well with your requirements. The real focus should be on tracking demand streams and drivers so that the technology provides the right kind of support for your operations. Lastly, focus on scalability. Your needs will change over time. So, it’s essential to invest in a system that facilitates continuous improvement and growth.
Best Demand Planning and Forecasting Solution Providers
As we step into 2020, it has become more important than ever to plan and forecast your demand to keep your inventory cost in check. To help you get started and find a suitable software solution, we have put together a list of six software solution providers offering bespoke demand planning and forecasting tools:
This Gurgaon-based SaaS provider has been able to emerge into a one-stop emporium for all the three solutions facilitating logistics: supply chain management, analytics advisory services and supply chain optimization across regions. The company, with its in-house technology solutions such as Demand Curve, Visilog, i-Track and Saksham, help clients make their supply chain management and process efficient.
Kinaxis headquartered in Ottawa, Canada was founded in 1984. The company with a global hold provides with the most innovative supply chain planning systems from S&OP to supply planning, from Demand to inventory planning to capacity planning and Machine Learning. The company’s demand planning software Silo helps strike the right balance between market and customer needs against supply chain capabilities and risk.
The Bengaluru based company offers planning and forecasting software that makes the business operations planning powerful with systems that are intuitive and easy to use. The company with its global innovative provider GMDH Streamline software offers companies the technology to handle every part of the demand and inventory planning process with complete transparency across the entire supply chain.
O9 Solutions is an AI platform founded in 2009 that provides its customers with technology solutions from integrated demand management, supply management to business planning. With the help of IDM (integrated demand management) the company aims to improve forecast accuracy, alignment and accountability for their clients.
Starting from a barn in York, England the company was founded in 2006 to solve the thorny problems of conventional planning tools. Anaplan for Supply Chain takes a holistic approach to supply chain management enabling real-time visibility across the network, creating the ability to sense and drive demand, and facilitating a dynamic, collaborative S&OP process.
The one-plan S&OP visibility solution provider Arkieva founded in 1993 offer their clients with a fully integrated Supply Chain Planning Solutions. Arkieva with its software solutions separate the requirements to extract data, organize this data, and provide features to end-users.