10 Must have features for a Demand Planning Software in 2023

Demand Planning Software

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Demand planners originally used Excel sheets to estimate demand. As a result, you need demand forecasting software that considers all factors that affect demand and produces insightful data that helps firms determine how much inventory to keep on hand to fulfill demand as it arises. It synchronizes all the data from the ERP, CRM, and external market data and aids in reducing erroneous forecasts, stock management mistakes, and market adaptation.

By aiding in inventory management, demand forecasting can help your retail business satisfy customer demand as it arises. You can meet the changing company needs by accurately estimating the demand for your goods and services using demand planning software integrated with sales and operations planning procedures.

Let’s examine what components must be present in demand planning software for it to yield the highest returns.

Demand prediction is based on various variables, including historical sales data, seasonality, patterns in consumer behavior, demand fluctuations, and more. Therefore, it should have some of these elements that are mentioned below which  can aid in the analysis of all the variables and the production of reliable results:

1. Interactive Statistical Forecasting

Using interactive statistical forecasting, you can predict quantities while adopting different approaches to enhance the process in an interactive, user-friendly, and flexible system. Additionally, by considering seasonality and intermittent demand, you may test several scenarios and generate projections for every given period. Based on previous sales data, a good demand planning software gives a good demand in the future. It selects an appropriate approach and evaluates the many circumstances contributing to the result. The software should suggest the best course of action and make it realistic enough for the users to carry it out successfully.

2. Workflow

A reliable demand forecasting program aids in monitoring the demand planning procedure, enables collaboration, and speeds up the procedure. It should allow you to maintain track of progress and provide updates on the prediction while sending the right emails to the right people. Demand planning procedures like handling exceptions, preparing data, interacting with the sales and operations teams, and so forth should be automated by the software. It aids in the business’ productivity and flexibility in the face of outside influences.

3. Segment Inspection

Businesses can compartmentalize different types of clients, markets, groups, and other elements using segmentation analysis to help with development and planning. It enables planners to monitor KPIs for performance evaluation and change targets for specific parts and projections.

4. Consensus Demand Planning

Software for demand planning should offer a user-friendly view that can be adjusted to meet the various needs of various business users. Plans must to be accessible in Excel sheets, on mobile devices, and online. Aggregation, cost distribution, disaggregation, and cell locking ought to be available. By incorporating the future baseline demand with marketing and sales initiatives, you ought to be able to conduct consensus demand planning that calls for several processes. It aids in achieving P&L objectives while establishing official demand planning processes. Additionally, it must offer all departments a safe, reliable way to communicate via the cloud.

5. Data Integration

You can use data integration to centralize transaction data and master data from source systems for use in various planning applications. To forecast demand, you need to link with many data sources, such as historical sales data and third-party information on current and future industry trends. For businesses to make wise decisions based on internal and external data, there needs to be solid connectivity between various source systems. Utilizing demand planning tools enables firms to take full control of all processes rather than delegating them to the IT division. The data are validated by a user-friendly interface, making it easy to correct the data as needed manually.

6. Promotion Planning

Planning promotions raises demand for retailers. Planning promotions for a product or service while maximizing marketing tools, resources, and strategies should be possible with effective demand planning software. Retail businesses can adjust in real-time to maximize returns and gain knowledge of ongoing trade promotions.

7. Product Lifecycle

In order to visualize the product lifecycle, powerful software should be able to plan new products and phase them out, as well as include fit curve modeling, like-modeling, and cannibalization models.

8. Reporting, Dashboarding, and Alerting

The best demand planning software will send interactive analyses and reports and warn and alert you to any data exceptions or modifications. Additionally, all demand plans, reports, and forecast KPIs should be visualized in dashboards and accessible through Powerpoint, Excel, the web, and mobile devices.

9. Group EOQ

It is worth giving EOQ a deeper look as this inventory planning technique greatly decreases your holding and ordering costs. Unfortunately, classic EOQ is calculated per SKU and not a collection of SKUs. Purchase orders in a real-world supply chain typically include dozens or even hundreds of SKUs. Although Streamline offers group EOQ, which goes much beyond the conventional method, it also supports standard EOQ computation, making EOQ relevant to purchase orders with groups of SKUs.

10. Master Data Maintenance

Customers, special offers, and new items should be monitored and changed in real-time, enabling end-users to change the hierarchy levels in working models. An efficient demand forecasting system uses automatic master data management to link to the data source and provides users with a simple interface for searching and changing the data. Additionally, master data needs to be updated frequently and customized to fit particular procedures. You should be able to use the system for simple data entry that involves data validation.

How Do These Features Benefit You?

With all these characteristics, a robust demand forecasting tool would be able to improve departmental collaboration, speed up the workflow, and increase productivity. Additionally, businesses may swiftly complete orders, making customers satisfied. Demand forecasting allows you to be adaptable and satisfy the diverse needs of clients and the market by predicting how the demand will be in the future. To adjust to market changes, you should have real-time knowledge about the discrepancy between forecast and actuals, any exceptions in patterns and trends, inventories, and other variables. Demand planning should increase the effectiveness of S&OP procedures and give you the information you need to make wise decisions.

About the Company

Kronoscope, an effective demand planning tool driven by AI from Fountain9, enables businesses to gain insightful information from previous sales data and incorporate additional variables like seasonality, consumer trends, and others to produce precise projections. Businesses can stock their inventory optimally while considering the forecasted demand for the upcoming period, thus reducing the complexity of managing extensive inventories. The software can precisely forecast demand for each SKU item and determine the quantities that need to be stocked to fulfill demand adequately.

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