March 22, 2023


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Best Practices in Demand Forecasting to Meet Fluctuations

Demand Forecasting: The Complete Guide | RELEX Solutions

Making predictions is a key component of forecasting science. Demand forecasting, which measures consumer demand for goods and services, assists supply chain management. It is used in many industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, eCommerce, and retail.

As inputs for forecasting, data from sources such as business intelligence insights, sales history, seasonality, market research data, and supplier lead times are employed. Understanding what counts as a fair forecast can be crucial to your company’s success.

Demand forecasting is a difficult task with a significant amount of error. People who predict how your clients will behave when making purchases frequently make inaccurate predictions. Nevertheless, they are sometimes accurate. Their work is extremely difficult but is at the same time extremely essential for businesses to earn profits. We’ll go through a few best practices for demand forecasting to help you complete your work more successfully. By accurately estimating demand, you may increase profit margins and reduce inventory costs.

The Best Practices for Demand Forecasting

To position yourself for success, make sure your demand forecasting techniques are effective and scalable. Take into account the following demand forecasting best practices to assist you in getting started.

Establish a Monthly Repeatable Process

To increase demand forecasting accuracy, a regular, monthly process that assesses previous predictions and compares them with actual market results is required.

You will learn when your predictions were correct or incorrect as well as the market’s condition. By ranking those “variances” (the times you were right or wrong) from the highest to the lowest, you may then evaluate the top 20% to determine why you were inaccurate and how to be correct the next time.

Keep Up-To-Date, Accurate Data

The creation of a demand plan with inaccurate or insufficient data is a formula for catastrophe. Before you do anything, make sure your calculations are correct. In the future, put in place a trustworthy and effective data collection procedure.

If you use many channels, such as an omnichannel eCommerce strategy, you should combine all the data from each sales channel for each product.

You cannot anticipate demand accurately if you lack proper data. The most effective methods for predicting demand are based on data from recent sales, inventories, raw materials, and other sources.

To make intelligent forecasts, you will need data that is as up-to-date as is practical. You should also avoid calculating demand with any incomplete data points and constantly forecast demand through the best demand planning software on a monthly or weekly basis using new data. Use a platform for data management and reporting that is compatible with all of your business software.

Implement a Demand Planning Tool That Is Future-Proof

Machine learning and automation are two examples of AI technologies that are developing quickly. Demand planner positions may not be entirely replaced by robots any time soon, in our opinion. But as time goes on, this kind of technology will become even more significant since it has the ability to radically alter the way we think about supply chain management as a whole. Forecasters of demand must be prepared.

Because of this, make sure yourdemand forecasting software is flexible. Think about more than just how your program makes use of the most latest sophisticated advanced analytics. Examine its adaptability to new advances. How quick and simple are software upgrades to install, for instance? Regardless of the approach you choose, the best demand planning software should be able to grow and support you for years to come.

Gain Knowledge About Your Markets and the Current Macroeconomic Trends

When you’re in the middle of things, it’s easy to forget to take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Two instances of internal demand signals that are crucial data elements that shouldn’t be ignored are stock levels and the number of SKUs sold. They also fall short of conveying the story in its entirety.

Only 17% of study participants, according to Gartner, claimed to be able to forecast demand at the customer planning, location, and SKU levels. It is a concern because one of the main reasons for demand volatility is growing client requests.

Thanks to technological advancements, our planet is now a lot smaller than it was ten years ago. Both your supply chains and your customers operate on a global scale. Know how your products are performing on the global market. Be wary of your competitors. Consider how macroeconomic trends may impact the local business you are involved in as well. If you assess demand errors at the client level, you will be able to better understand the error’s cause and improve your workflow.

Deploy ABC Analysis

According to their significance or value, things are divided into three categories using the ABC analysis method of inventory classification. The categories, which are used to order inventory management tasks, are commonly denoted by the letters “A,” “B,” and “C.”

The most valuable or significant things fall into the “A” category, and they often make up a small portion of the entire inventory. To guarantee that they are in stock and accessible to satisfy customer demand, these items could need regular monitoring and care. Despite being less valuable or significant than “A” products, things in the “B” category nonetheless make up a sizeable amount of the inventory. The majority of the inventory’s total number of goods often falls into the “C” category because they are the least valued or significant.

To optimize inventory levels and reduce waste, ABC analysis is frequently used in conjunction with other inventory management strategies, such as XYZ Analysis. By concentrating their efforts on the most crucial things and making sure they are always in stock, firms may cut back on the time and money spent managing lower-value items.

About the Company

Organizations can produce accurate forecasts by merging past sales data with other elements like seasonality, customer trends, and others using Kronoscope, the best demand planning software from Fountain9. By optimally stocking their inventory while taking the upcoming demand into account, businesses can lessen the challenge of maintaining huge inventories. The program can determine how much inventory has to be kept on hand in order to meet demand in an appropriate manner, properly estimating demand for each SKU item.

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_Assigned to Shobhit Gaur_