Every function in a company wants to add value to the organization but in a siloed environment where different functions don’t communicate, they can end up hamstringing each other in this goal. In this article I reveal how I, after an unexpected promotion, was taken from a Marketing Analytics role into a Supply Chain role and suddenly realized the need for a process that supported joined-up decision making. I reveal how S&OP at an East Coast contract manufacturer of consumer goods helped solve persistent cost problems in Operations and Supply Chain, and allowed Sales and Marketing to grow revenue, allowing both sides to meet their targets.
The emergence of artificial intelligence has revolutionized the way businesses are run. It has affected every aspect of business planning including demand, supply, and logistics. Two key objectives of demand planning are to grow and manage demand to maximize revenue and profit. In this article I dive into the role of artificial intelligence in achieving these objectives, by both sensing demand and shaping demand, so that we have clear understanding of what we will sell and the ability to move demand according to our supply constraints. This demand shaping brings demand planning closer to marketing, with AI powering sophisticated target marketing that drives efficiencies in supply chain and has the potential to really improve ROI.
As COVID-19 disrupted consumer behavior, many companies found their existing forecast assumptions were rendered invalid, posing serious challenges to their supply chains. In this article, I reveal how Hilti, a global manufacturer of professional tools and systems for the construction industry, mitigated the impact of COVID demand disruption. I share how the expertise of a global, centralized statistical forecasting team and the development of a collaborative process allowed us to return to high levels of forecast accuracy in 2021, giving us a clear sense of demand in the post-COVID environment.
This article deals with a strategic planning approach first developed during the MIT Supply Chain 2020 Project. It is deals with long-term planning under uncertainty, in contrast to risk. The business process begins with developing uncertain futures that are likely to occur without the probabilities of their occurrences. A Scenario Planning Decision-Making Framework is introduced for making decisions and updating plans over time as the future unfolds. I discuss how, by assembling data over time, planning becomes under risk as the future possibilities become estimable; and how ‘muddling through’ can also be applied to tactical and operational Quick-Response planning under uncertainties, such as those due to natural disasters.
Having recently found myself on the job market for the first time in 14 years, I found job hunting in demand planning/supply chain to be much changed. In this article I share my experiences of job hunting in the post-COVID world in an attempt to help others find the job that is right for them. With insight from demand planning recruiter Jason Breault, I discuss how searching for a new role is now a numbers game, how close relationships with recruiters are a thing of the past, how LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with recruiters, and the buzzwords recruiters want to see on a resume. I urge caution against settling for low salaries and jobs that may seem attractive but are ‘kitchen-sink’ roles, and to be prepared for corporate ghosting.
When issues arise surrounding inventory (excess stock or stockouts), as a planning/procurement professional, all fingers point at you, even if you have done everything correctly. It’s easy to blame the forecast or incorrect planning parameters, but the problem is often due to flawed logic of the planning software itself—specifically regarding Planned Order Dates. In this article I reveal how this common programming flaw manifests itself and the options available to you to remedy it or mitigate its impact on your inventory management.
In 2020, COVID-19 exposed significant weaknesses in global supply chains, placing unprecedented pressure on companies to meet consumer demand. Combine that with increasing cost of labor in off-shore locations like China and exorbitant trade tariffs, the concept of off-shoring that has defined supply chain management for nearly 5 decades looks decidedly shaky. Are we about to see a mass repatriation of manufacturing to the U.S? In this article I address the impact that re-shoring of manufacturing would have on demand planning, how it would change the role of the Demand Planner, and the skills we will need should it happen.
The current global economic growth outlook is based on more complete source data for 2020 than were available in the first quarter of 2021. The forecast for 2021-2023 visualizes better the desynchronizing effects of Coronavirus on the global economy and the impact of monetary and budgetary changes designed to strengthen economic recovery. Worldwide real GDP declined by 3.3 % in 2020, led by significant falls in GDP in the European Union (-6.1%), and South America (-6.6%).
Despite nine million job vacancies, the U. S. unemployment rate continues to decline, standing at 5.8 percent in May of 2021, well below the high of 14.8 percent in April 2020. The initial recovery was triggered by aggressive monetary policy followed by massive fiscal stimulus. Until the pandemic, the U. S. economy relied heavily on ‘helicopter money’ or Modern Monetary Theory. The infusion of liquidity through the credit market and multiple fiscal stimulus packages has been rapid and massive, which, given the lockdown restrictions, exceeds the spending power of millions of people.
Dr. Nahavandi is Associate Professor of economics at Pfeiffer University School of Graduate Studies, specializing in Business Economics, International Business, and Healthcare Economics. The information in these forecasts is gathered by the Journal from sources it considers reliable. Neither the Journal nor the individual institutions providing the data guarantee accuracy, nor do they claim that use of the data appearing herein will enhance the business or investment performance of companies or individuals who use them.
Dr. Evangelos Otto Simos is head of predictive intelligence at Kefallonia, Inc., a private research and consulting firm, and professor at the University of New Hampshire. This report does not purport to be a complete description of global economic conditions and financial markets. Neither the Journal nor Kefallonia, Inc. guarantee the accuracy of the projections, nor do they warrant in any way that the use of information or data appearing herein will enhance operational or investment performance of individuals
or companies who use it. The views presented here are those of the author, and in no way represent the views, analysis, or models of Kefallonia, Inc. or any organization that the author may be associated with. You can contact Evangelos at email@example.com
Successful forecasting is about more than just extrapolating historical sales data.
Qualitative information from our colleagues, particularly in Sales and Marketing, are highly valuable in improving forecast accuracy. Getting this valuable information, however, is often a challenge. In this article I present methodologies for building strong and genuine connections with your Sales team by using the language they use and metrics relevant to them. I explore how salespeople think, with useful activities that tap into their competitive nature to get them to engage, and what it takes to
get them to trust you and consider you one of their own. I reveal how, when they consider you a trusted ally, they will provide valuable information that helps you drive real business value
Assuming a new role as a Demand Planner, whether it is your first job or a new job at a
different company, presents a steep learning curve, and it is crucial to have a plan for building the relationships and acquiring the knowledge that will allow you to succeed. In this article I discuss how success in a demand planning role requires a deep understanding of the product line, forging relationships with key stakeholders, and learning how to communicate the forecast to executives. I dive into practical ways to build trust with sales and marketing and other business partners to
facilitate the S&OP process, how to communicate with each department and executives using their own language, and the questions you should be asking in your first six months to truly understand demand for each product and the underlying demand drivers.
This article describes Covid-19’s profound impact on the overall retail market. Essentially, the
strongest e-tailers got stronger, and the weak ones got weaker. I discuss how food shortages played a key role whereby successful brick-and-mortar retailers were able to co-fulfill grocery pickup and delivery orders with online orders for household goods, especially cooking implements as more cooked at home. Given retailers are the leading industry in integrating omnichannel businesses, we in other industries have much to learn. This article reveals how companies have survived and thrived during the pandemic so that we may learn from their example and improve our own supply chain planning and order fulfillment.
Walmart’s new OTIF requirements that were announced in September 2020 pose real challenges for supply chains. These new rules are forcing organizations to improve operations to avoid fines for failing to meet the new 98% compliance threshold. I asked several supply chain leaders how they are reacting to these harsh new metrics. Those insights, combined with my own experience, are detailed in this article, complete with practical tips to improve your own OTIF metrics. Key responses include Root Cause Analysis to identify corrective actions, making the order process “lean”, revisiting your logistics strategy, and inventory optimization.
Integrating demand and supply for optimal supply responses is the core objective of S&OP. Designing and implementing such a process is a challenge, however—even for the most experienced planning practitioner.
Understanding the strengths that facilitate implementation and weaknesses that act as barriers is key to building an effective and sustainable process. In this article I reveal how SWOT analysis assists with this, and, when combined with outputs from an S&OP maturity model, helps build an extremely effective roadmap for implementation, complete with actionable insight.