Demand Solutions

Five Things You Can Do This Week to Reduce Inventory: Part I

Demand Solutions

Want to reduce your inventory? Well, you’ve got customer service levels to think about first. And the best inventory reductions are done in a targeted, highly strategic fashion—not blindly and across-the-board. But all things being equal, your answer to my question is surely “yes.”

How Do Key Market Trends Impact Your Demand Planning?

Demand Solutions

You’ve probably read a lot lately about how to squeeze every bit of value out of your supply chain. The key principles, best practices, and insider’s secrets are all around us.

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Five Things You Can Do This Week to Reduce Inventory: Part II

Demand Solutions

In my last blog post , I mentioned that I’d be sharing five steps you can take to start reducing your inventory as soon as this week. As promised, today’s post will continue the series. If you read my first post and took my advice, you’ve already set a goal for inventory reduction.

Five Things You Can Do This Week to Reduce Inventory: Part IV

Demand Solutions

First of all, thank you for reading these articles. We’ve already covered a lot of ground on the topic of inventory reduction. I’ve explained the importance of setting a goal , fine-tuning your safety stock strategy , and reducing your high-side forecast bias.

Leveraging Supply Chain Data for Competitive Advantage

What does it mean to become a digital business or digital supply chain?

Five Things You Can Do This Week to Reduce Inventory: Part III

Demand Solutions

Where were we? I’ve already shared the first two steps you can take to reduce inventory: set a goal , and develop a safety stock strategy. My third tip will relate to forecast accuracy—always a hot topic of discussion.

Supply Chain Planning: Is Trying to Do Everything Worse Than Doing Nothing?

Demand Solutions

“If you’re not getting ahead, you’re falling behind.”. This mindset pervades the world’s most competitive businesses nowadays. It’s a hard-charging, spare-no-effort approach that drives companies to new levels of performance. Supply chain planners have embraced this attitude as much as anyone else.

Develop a Stocking Policy

Demand Solutions

One of your products had two “hits” in 2014. Should you continue stocking it in 2015? My gut feeling is “no.” But maybe you feel it’s worth keeping in your warehouse because it’s a $200,000 product with a high profit margin.

Revenues Sagging? Here's How to Thrive in 2016

Demand Solutions

I have the opportunity to travel the world with my job, and this has provided me with firsthand experience of the challenges facing many or our customers and prospects. I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling great about the global economy right now.

CIO: Here's Why Analytics is Eating the Supply Chain

Life science companies are adopting innovative cloud technology to provide a single source of truth for end-to-end supply chain decision-making.

It’s Now Twice as Hard to Find Good Supply Chain Talent

Demand Solutions

It has been a tough job market over the last couple of years. But things have definitely gotten better, especially in the supply chain field. . Last year, Demand Solutions held our user conference at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Supply Chain Planning Solutions: Are the Benefits Real? Really Real?

Demand Solutions

There has been a lot of debate in recent years about whether supply chain planning and demand planning solutions actually deliver their much-touted benefits. And I think that’s a good thing. Any time you see an industry accepting the status quo and displaying hostility to new ideas, you have a recipe for stagnation. And stagnation is the opposite of innovation. One commentator who has kept a close eye on the situation is Lora Cecere. That should be a familiar name to most readers.

Supply Chain Talent: Our Take on Deloitte’s Survey Report (part 2)

Demand Solutions

In my last article , I introduced Deloitte’s supply chain survey report and shared Deloitte’s concept of what it takes to be a supply chain Leader. It’s clear to me from the survey results that Leaders become Leaders because they have superior talent. So, how do they develop that talent?

Moving towards IBP? Crawl & walk before you run

Demand Solutions

Everyone in manufacturing and distribution seems to be abuzz about topics like Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) and Integrated Business Planning (IBP). And with good reason. S&OP has a nearly 30-year track record of helping organizations improve their efficiency and profitability. IBP is a newer strategy that helps companies go one step further by eliminating organizational silos and involving a broader coalition of executives and partners in every supply chain decision.

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The Modern Supply Chain: Present and Future

The external manufacturing environment is a highly dynamic, ever-changing landscape. The supply chain must both anticipate and adapt to that change.

New Year’s Resolution #1 for Supply Chain Planners: Improve Performance Measurement

Demand Solutions

New Year’s resolutions: useful gimmick for getting your life in order, or standing joke? The answer to this question is entirely up to you. But regardless of whether you plan to read a book every week, go running every day at 6 AM, or finally put some money in your IRA, I believe the New Year is a perfect time to make some resolutions about your supply chain.

See the Future of Your Supply Chain with Predictive Lead Time

Demand Solutions

I’ve seen it play out so many times. A growing, well-established manufacturing company decides to take its business processes to the next level by implementing an ERP system. The company evaluates solutions, makes the best choice for its needs, and begins the implementation process. Months later, the new system is live, and the company’s planners begin building their business processes into the system.

Supply Chain Planning Systems: Why Integration Matters

Demand Solutions

Where will your business be in 30 years? That’s a tough question for any manufacturer or distributor. So, I’ll make it a little easier on you: Where will your business be in 10 years? Still not sure? Fair enough. Can you peg where you’ll be in five years? In three? No matter how carefully you’re planning your company’s future, you can’t possibly anticipate every change in your marketplace, your industry, your country, and the global economy.

Supply Chain Talent: Our Take on Deloitte’s Survey Report (part 1)

Demand Solutions

“In times of change, when experimentation tends to be rampant and results are still far from conclusive, one source of guidance can be to look at the companies who are succeeding, and discover what they are doing differently.”.

Balancing Priorities in the Supply Chain: How Data Discovery Reveals Unseen Associations and Opportunities

Leading companies are constantly managing competing supply chain priorities.

Instead of pinning the tail on the forecaster, try rewarding forecast accuracy

Demand Solutions

The brand new Demand Solutions e-book: 42 Principles of Forecasting provides practical and actionable tips for how any company can improve its forecasting process. This article is an extended version of one of those principles: “#7 “Reward Accuracy.”. I used to work in a dairy, a 99-year-old family-run business that manufactured ice cream in every flavor imaginable and every package size that our customers would take.

Five Things You Can Do This Week to Reduce Inventory: Part V

Demand Solutions

We’ve reached part five of five. In my previous articles on reducing inventory, I’ve explained the importance of setting a goal , fine-tuning your safety stock strategy , reducing your high-side forecast bias , and reducing stocking locations.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Forecasting: Part III

Demand Solutions

I’ve written previously about some of the Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Forecasting. In today’s article, we’ll look at another major misstep that many manufacturers and distributors make. It’s a mistake that seems harmless at a glance, but it can have serious consequences throughout your forecasting process. Suppose you’re creating your forecast for the upcoming quarter. After carefully gathering input from all your stakeholders and punching them into your system, you generate your numbers.

New Year’s Resolution #3 for Supply Chain Planners: Find the Causes of Forecast Errors

Demand Solutions

Missed my first two New Year’s Resolutions for supply chain planners? You can read about them here and here. Forecast error: so many companies complain about it. But so few actually do anything about it. Most companies just accept forecast error as a given in their supply chain processes.

The Sustainable Supply Chain: Realizing Costs Savings and Increased Efficiencies Through Data Discovery

The sustainable supply chain is the future supply chain.

Overcome Lead Time Variability with Predictive Lead Time Software

Demand Solutions

Order supplies too early, and you’ll have to carry excess inventory for weeks or months. This will put you at risk of inventory deterioration and obsolescence. It can also drive up your storage, cooling, and insurance costs.

New Year’s Resolution #2 for Supply Chain Planners: Purge Your Database

Demand Solutions

In my last article , I explained why I think New Year’s resolutions are important in the supply chain planning sphere—even for people who don’t make New Year’s resolutions in their daily lives. To put it simply, the New Year is always a good time to see things through a new lens. Something about the turning of the calendar makes us all more receptive to change—and change is good. I discussed the importance of putting useful supply chain performance measures in place for 2015.

To Improve Working Capital Management, Focus on Inventory

Demand Solutions

If you’ve known me for longer than five minutes, or if you’ve read more than one or two of my blog articles, you’ve heard me say it before: Improving the way you manage your supply chain can have a dramatic impact on your working capital. And let’s face it—what could be more important than enhancing working capital? After all, we’re not in this business just to make our lives easier. We want to improve the bottom line.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Forecasting: Part IV

Demand Solutions

In my last article, I wrote about companies that commit the Deadly Sin of entering excessive forecast overrides. In a nutshell, they make forecast adjustments based on “gut feel,” not facts. They run forecast collaboration meetings in which forecast planners are allowed to look at forecast numbers, say “That doesn’t seem right,” and change the numbers to reflect their own (mostly nonfactual) opinion on how future sales will go. I’m happy to tell you that not every company makes this mistake.

Machine Learning: A Quantum Leap in Forecast Accuracy for the Modern Supply Chain

Whether you realize it or not, Machine Learning is having a profound impact on your everyday life.

Top 8 FAQ about S&OP (and Our Answers)

Demand Solutions

Got questions about sales and operations planning (S&OP)? We’ve got answers. And at the end of a recent webinar, we picked the brain of the “Father of S&OP,” Dick Ling. Here are some of the questions we got from the audience—and our answers. Who usually wants S&OP software? The people who want their companies to implement S&OP software are usually the ones in the trenches who have become frustrated by poor communication.

Why S&OP and Integrated Business Planning Start with the Cloud

Demand Solutions

As we noted in our last article , Gartner has found that the public cloud market is doubling every four years. And because IT spending is only increasing by 2.2 percent per year, we know that companies in all industries are actually diverting their IT budgets from traditional IT to the cloud.

How to Prepare Your Supply Chain for the Internet of Things

Demand Solutions

Thanks to the cloud, there has never been a better time to be a manufacturer or distributor with a vision for rapid, profitable growth. Cloud technology puts powerful supply chain planning technology at your fingertips , with no major outlay for software licenses and extra hardware.


Integrated Business Planning: Five Steps Beyond S&OP

Demand Solutions

If you’ve been in the supply chain game for long enough, you may remember when sales and operations planning (S&OP) became the next big thing. Even if you’re a relative newcomer, you know that S&OP is a longstanding and highly trusted way to increase alignment and collaboration throughout the supply chain. You’re probably waiting for me to say that S&OP is somehow flawed—or to make a bold proclamation that S&OP is dead. Well, it’s not.

Digitizing the Extended Supply Chain: How to Survive and Thrive

The digital economy is upending all industries and processes, placing a premium on speed, customer satisfaction, personalized products, and collaboration.

How the Cloud Has Changed the Game in Supply Chain Planning

Demand Solutions

The old barriers are gone. Suddenly, anything seems possible. Even five years ago, starting a manufacturing or distribution business—or aggressively growing an existing one—meant making a major financial commitment to computing technology.

In Tribute to Steve Johnston: Demand Solutions’ Founder

Demand Solutions

Steve Johnston, who founded Demand Solutions in 1984 and retired in 2004, passed away this past January. Bill Whiteside, now a Principal in Demand Solutions Northeast, was an early Demand Solutions customer, and was one of the company's first sales representatives. Bill wrote this tribute to Steve.

Is Your Production Management Software Up To Par?

Demand Solutions

Too often companies jump into making a decision on software in their company due to a lack of time spent in the essential process of consideration of needs.

How Predictive Lead Time Technology Helps Companies that “Don’t Need It”

Demand Solutions

We’ve written about predictive lead time before. It’s a powerful new capability for supply chain planners and it’s available only from Demand Solutions. It can help you hit customer service targets more consistently without holding excessive safety stock. You may have spoken with colleagues who are dipping their toes into the predictive lead time pond and have been encouraged by the early results. But at some point, you may have decided you don’t need predictive lead time (PLT) technology.

5 Steps to a Smart Supply Chain

Industry leaders are 3.5 times more likely to take advantage of analytics. This drive toward intelligent business is redefining how organisations need to operate if they hope to be successful.