A supply chain is what you call the spine of a business. With the evolving technology, the way the supply chain is perceived has changed. Today, it has more small fragments that, when combined, make a complete process. Managing these fragments efficiently is vital for a business to devise a path of undeniable growth.
Typical supply chain management begins with planning, and the entire process comes full circle with the final product getting delivered to the consumer. Until then, the whole transit process is effectively called a supply chain. Between planning and delivery, there are various steps like logistics for stock of raw materials, production or manufacturing, marketing, and logistics (taking products from the warehouse to different customer touchpoints like retail outlets, franchisee outlets, etc.). It ends on delivery if the consumer does not return it.

According to old sayings, the stronger the foundations of your skyscrapers are, the more difficult it will be to shake them from the top. Taking the expression and drawing a parallel make planning very crucial for the success of your supply chain. The planning here is usually referred to as “Demand Planning.”
Demand planning is a simple, robust process that increases accuracy and reduces the time taken to complete the entire process from forecasting to delivering. The sweet spot of unifying workflow, data, and technology is where demand planning gets maximum efficiency and can work according to your desire. You cannot achieve these superior efficiencies without Demand Planning Systems.
However, before we get into how you can do successful demand planning, there are two questions that you need to ask yourself as a business. One, when to do demand planning, and secondly, for how long do you need to plan?
When to do Demand Planning?
Usually, it would be best if you did demand planning when maintaining a balance between sudden changes in demand and your capability to react to that market change becomes necessary.
These sudden changes can be a result of some dramatic uprise or downfall in your sales, or due to the competitive promotion that you need to counter, or you are facing stock-outs, etc. The sudden ascent in sales reverberates the entire supply chain (also called the Bullwhip or Forrester effect). The unexpected rise must be handled gently, or it could disrupt the complete process.
The main objective of demand planning is delivering products to the right place and at the right time. It would be best if you choose your timing perfectly.
For how long do you want to plan?
Before you begin planning and putting all the pieces together, you must decide how long you will do the demand plan. In other words, you need to decide on a time frame for the demand planning. There are numerous examples where the planners need to forecast and plan daily; in some cases, the frequency goes to months, quarterly, and then yearly. To get the answer to this question, you need to solve the earlier puzzle, i.e., when to do demand planning.
On another note: Avercast’s Demand Planning Software can help you plan and forecast demand for up to five years in the future.
Follow these tips to create a successful demand plan
Here is some critical information you can follow to form your demand plan. These tips have been utilized by various demand planners before, and they have given successful results
1. Create a cross-functional team
You cannot achieve success with just a mere team of planners; you need to choose a team full of people from different sectors that can contribute to making plans. These team members can provide an unbiased approach to the whole planning process.
2. Utilize the right software
The success of your demand planning depends on its accuracy, and you cannot get precise results without the right demand forecasting software. The software comes with essential Demand Planning Tools which ensure the accuracy of your demand plan, track the complete process, and give you real-time updates.
3. Get the right and precise data
Your decision depends on the quality of the data you provide the software. Suppose you provide raw data to the system. Now, even if you have the best demand planning software, the results will vary, and there will be no accuracy. Contrastingly, if you have filtered data and have the data you believe can be utilized to get some logical information, then the demand planning system can work wonders for you. You must authenticate and validate the data before feeding it into the software.
4. Always be ready for sudden deflections
The only thing sure is the uncertainty; it is highly advisable to never get comfortable. You should always be ready for sudden defalcations, especially in the erratic time we are in today. Some examples of these unexpected changes are a surge in demand during holidays, catastrophic natural calamities, or artificial hazards
5. Always set goals
It is argumentative and understandable enough because you plan to set a target. However, there is nothing more joyful in the supply chain than getting your numbers right. Once you complete all the planning and sketching, make sure you set a goal for yourselves and your team. It is more than certain that you will not get the numbers right at first occurrence, but the thrill of meeting the numbers will keep you driving.
With the rise of technology and the hunger to evolve, it is more likely that someday in the future, you do not even have to set targets or feed data. It will all be done automatically. Then also, Avercast will be the guiding light for you, just like it has been for numerous brands globally for decades now. With more than 250 statistical algorithms and a supply chain experts’ team full of energy and years of experience, the difference we create is inevitable.