Demand planning is the linchpin of an effective supply chain, serving two essential functions — which makes it doubly important to business.
First, there always exists the fundamental drive to protect the sale and ensure that expected revenues are generated. But retailers can’t sell what they don’t have in stock. And it doesn’t take long for today’s consumers to develop a lasting impression of a company, and whether it can meet supply demand. Demand planning works to see that retailers have exactly the right amount of inventory at the right place to avoid stock-outs and remain prepared for that next sale.
But protecting sales isn’t enough anymore. It’s also about running businesses more efficiently. Demand planning assists with efficiency, by helping manage inventory space smarter. Why should companies invest in more physical space than they need? Demand planning can help businesses avoid the perils of overstocking — such as increased inventory carrying costs and financial situations that require the use of product discounts or other temporary measures to alleviate overstocking by selling inventory as quickly as possible.
Demand planning and forecasting is more crucial than ever, especially since so many outside forces — such as weather events, economic trends and global emergencies — can end up shaping and reshaping demand.