6 steps to create more collaborative conversations around forecasting

When it comes to demand planning, each division has its own set of goals and objectives. While the sales team may demand consistently high levels of availability in order to satisfy orders, the finance team may be more interested in inventory cost. This is compounded further when it comes to demand planning as there are likely to be different opinions as to what should and should not be included as part of the forecast procedure. With this in mind, how can you adopt a more encompassing approach to demand planning?

While the sales team may demand consistently high levels of availability in order to satisfy orders, the finance team may be more interested in inventory cost. As a consequence, the supply chain team are under constant pressure to strike the balance between service levels and investment in stock. This is compounded further when it comes to demand planning as there are likely to be different opinions as to what should and should not be included as part of the forecast procedure. On one hand, if sales are in advanced talks with a hot prospect, it would be hugely disappointing if the business was unable to deliver in a timely manner due to the fact that the additional demand had not been taken into account. Equally however, if you were to respond to expected demand by increasing inventory levels, the supply chain team would no doubt face a difficult discussion with the finance team as to why there is so much excess stock. With this in mind, how can you go about developing a more collaborative approach to demand planning?

Why collaborate?

While demand forecasts are typically based on rational supply chain data such as historic demand and confirmed orders, there is a strong argument to encompass further insights from the sales and marketing teams. After all, with greater insight into anticipated demand your business will also be better positioned to guarantee customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the more readily and reliably you can respond to customer demand, the greater advantage you will have over your competitors. However, there is a big difference between a confirmed order and interest to buy from a hot prospect.

6 steps to collaborative success

In order to demonstrate how you can enhance internal collaboration within your organisation, this article explores a number of steps you can adopt to get the business talking about the supply chain. Download the full article to overcome the following challenges:

  • Budget: How much does the customer really have to spend?
  • Authority: Who has the final say?
  • Need: How urgent is demand?Timing: What timescale is the customer working on?
  • Timing: What timescale is the customer working on?
  • Execution: Are you able to deliver?
  • Requirement: What do your customers really want?

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