In this report, we present a new model for demand management, unique perspectives on the challenges faced by manufacturers, different approaches and technologies available, and an evaluation of existing solution providers. The audience is not just manufacturers but also suppliers, since many companies opt to have their partners provide forecasting for them. It is also intended for the myriad of partners with whom manufacturers need to share their demand processes and data.
Our audience for this report is not just manufacturers but also suppliers, since many companies opt to have their partners provide forecasting for them. It is also intended for the myriad of partners with whom manufacturers need to share their demand processes and data.
Cynicism still rules for manufacturers and their forecasting attitudes—at their peril. Statements about forecasting practices such as, “The forecast is always wrong,” or “We just use last month’s forecast and change when real life happens,” are all too common. Users feel that, for their trouble, forecasting yields small returns for their efforts. Yet, they are not giving up! Demand and forecasting projects were cited in our research as the number one investment for this year.
Forecasting, in many businesses, has been so problematic that these businesses have significantly changed their business models and products rather than revising their forecasting methods. In essence, if you can’t forecast the business, make the business more forecastable! That was a good strategy for many. Yet times and technology have changed, and even small improvements in forecasting yield big returns in corporate performance. Part of the problem, though, is that firms look at
forecasting as an isolated activity rather than as part of an overall set of Demand Management practices. And as the boundaries of business and technology expand, so do the process innovations. The result is a rich set of Demand Management practices that work across the supply chain for the life of the product, and across the time zones of integrated business events that drive us to the outcomes we seek: customer loyalty and profitability.