In supply chain circles, there are lots of exciting concepts to discuss and debate such as lean, master scheduling, theory of constraints and many more; however, we have found that our most successful clients start with the customer!
If you concur that we are in an Amazon-impacted marketplace where the customer is king (no longer is it cash!), prioritizing demand planning is essential. Do you have a position focused on demand planning? Or do you have someone who knows it is at least part of their focus? Does anyone realize its importance? Let’s discuss the value…
- Without customers, you have no company– understanding their needs and what will compel them to buy from you vs. the competition couldn’t be more important.
- Do you know how your forecast compares with the recent past?– Again, understanding your customers and why they are changing couldn’t be more important to positioning your business to succeed long-term.
- Let’s take a step back – do you have an idea of what you think you’ll sell this year?– Let’s hope so! Imagine how hard it will be for your HR resources, your operations resources (to determine which machinery to prioritize, purchase and train on), your suppliers and more to run efficiently while serving you and your customers if everything is a surprise.
- Is your sales mix changing? – We’ve seen many clients who spiral into a mess not because they don’t have a forecast but because they have no idea that the product mix has changed. Different products come with different materials, different skills, different complexity and different requirements overall.
- What is the timing?– We’ve also seen clients with predictable annual sales (actually incredibly predictable) yet the monthly, weekly and daily sales could be vastly different. Operations couldn’t keep up. The customer suffered. Margins declined. Timing matters!
We would venture to estimate that 99% of our clients can benefit from an increased focus on demand planning. Why not give it a go? If you would like an audit of your current process, please contact us.