Demand Solutions

Recognizing Culture at the 2020 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards

Demand Solutions

It's common knowledge that your employees are your greatest asset. If that's true, that means corporate culture is critically important to your bottom line. So then, how are you shaping your company's culture to empower your employees?

Rising to the Challenge: How MAXAIR Systems Helped Protect Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

Demand Solutions

What’s the first thing you picture when you think about the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s probably masks. The shortage of protective devices made everyone uneasy—especially healthcare workers on the front line of the fight to overcome the deadly virus.

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How Your Business Can Improve Sales and Operations (S&OP) Planning With Software

Demand Solutions

Sales and operations planning, also known as S&OP, is a key business activity for production heavy firms. It integrates sales & marketing strategies with supply chain considerations, allowing for a more unified mission across multiple departments of the business. So how can your firm improve your sales and operations planning? This is a short guide on how to do so. Why Focus on S&OP?

Quick Guide to Improving Fashion Supply Chain Management

Demand Solutions

The fashion industry is well known for being a tough business. With big companies like Forever 21 having solvency problems, it becomes apparent that any weakness in supply chain or demand forecasting can seriously hurt a fashion company.

Just in Time vs. Just in Case: What’s the Way Forward for Supply Chains?

Just-in-time supply chains worked just fine — until they didn’t. Is more inventory the answer? It’s not a binary solution. Read this latest GEP paper to learn how enterprises can ensure adequate supplies without running excess inventory.

Medical Manufacturing Under Pressure: How Encompass Group Is Responding to COVID-19

Demand Solutions

COVID-19 has most of the world on lockdown. It’s not only our daily lives that have been disrupted—it’s also our businesses. Even many medical manufacturing companies are wondering how they can help.

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How To Manage Your Supply Chain During COVID-19

Demand Solutions

COVID-19 came seemingly out of nowhere, and within a few months of us hearing about it in China, governments all over the world had locked down. Borders were closed, workplaces were shuttered, and travel was restricted to only the most necessary. As a result, supply chains all over the world took a hit. Shortages in raw materials and manufactured goods appeared. Nobody is unaffected. However, you still have a business to run. So what is there to do?

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Understanding Your Safety Stock Calculations

Demand Solutions

If you manufacture or distribute products, it's safe to assume that you have a specified safety stock level— or at least we certainly hope you do. If you're on the fence about whether or not to hold safety stock, we recommend reading up on why it's critical to overcoming variability in your supply chain. At this point, you may be saying to yourself, "but carrying excess inventory is expensive!" and you would be right.

Step by Step Guide to Production Planning Software

Demand Solutions

If your business relies on proper supply chain management systems, then you’re going to want help with your production planning. Production planning software is an excellent way to make your supply chain planning more efficient and effective. What is Production Planning Software?

Why Safety Stock Is So Important to Your Supply Chain

Demand Solutions

Managing a supply chain is not easy, although the job description is seemingly straightforward: Ensure that the right products are available at the right location at the right time. Sounds easy, right? That's because you haven't considered the factors that constantly get in the way — factors such as inaccurate forecasts, transportation delays, and inclement weather.

Leverage SAP IBP to Drive Planning Transformation

Today, traditional SAP IBP deployments are not enough. You need to assure you are leveraging its maximum potential to truly transform planning. And to reduce costs, improve visibility and insight, and advance digitalization to gain competitive advantage.

The Seven Step Process to Reducing Supply Chain Lead Times

Demand Solutions

Are your lead times too long? Are customers and retail partners complaining that you move too slow? If you believe your firm’s lead times could be shortened, then they probably can. With these seven simple steps, you can work to optimize your supply chain and make the process more streamlined. Choose Suppliers Closer to You. Many firms choose to source outside their home country in order to take advantage of lower labor costs.

How To Do Proper Retail Demand & Sales Forecasting

Demand Solutions

Being able to accurately predict customer demand, and act on those predictions, is a key skill for any business. Yet, most businesses do not know how to do this correctly. Retail businesses can be very difficult, as well, as there’s so much data to collect. If you’re a wholesaler, then much of the data doesn’t belong to you.

Guide to Effective Strategic Capacity Planning

Demand Solutions

What is strategic capacity planning? Strategic capacity planning is how companies figure out the production capacity needed in order to meet consumer demand. It’s a highly difficult process because of several reasons. The first reason is because it relies on accurate demand forecasting. Most businesses do not do demand forecasting very well, often due to a lack of understanding of how to use the data at their disposal.

The Quick Reference Guide to Supply Chain Planning

Demand Solutions

If your business relies on key supply chain elements to provide products or services, then supply chain management will be one of your key considerations. Intelligent businesses can save millions of dollars per year and build a sustainable competitive advantage through proper supply chain management. This relies on proper planning, and without it, you can’t manage your supply chain properly. What is supply chain planning?

Rethinking Supply Chain Risk: New Threats Demand New Tools and Strategies

Companies like Bayer AG and Akamai coped with recent supply chain disruptions much better than their peers. What did they do differently? Read this new HBR – GEP report on new tools and strategies to mitigate supply chain risk.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant: Why Should We Care About This Research?

Demand Solutions

Full confession: My team is small, yet diverse – I work with boomers and millennials, and the great generation in between. While I find the boomers tend to be more reserved and reticent in their remarks, millennials are quick to provide commentary with little filter engaged. When we discussed licensing the Gartner Magic Quadrant and offering it as part of our value proposition – the boomers said “OK”, and the millennials quickly asked “Why?”

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. Order supplies closer to when you’ll actually need them, and you’ll keep inventory costs lower—but you’ll run the risk of having your production grind to a halt because of a simple shipping delay.

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.

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. And that leads me to the point of this article: your company needs a clearly defined stocking policy that guides decisions like these.

A 5-Point Strategy for Digital Procurement Transformation

Today, your entire supply chain must embrace change and accelerate digitalization. When it comes to procurement, focusing on digital transformation now can dramatically reduce costs, improve visibility and insight, and give you a significant competitive advantage.

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. For my next tip, we’ll shift our focus from the strategic to the physical. What does it take for your company to stock an item in one of your distribution centers? Do these decisions require lengthy discussion?

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. That wasn’t so hard, was it? So, what comes next?

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. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the rock star paraphernalia up on the walls with all the rock star supply chain pros we work with. I, for one, genuinely enjoy being around our users because they are all so very good at what they do for their companies.

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. Their catchphrase is “constant improvement.” They seek to optimize processes continually. Identify and obliterate pockets of waste. Tighten the screws on underperforming suppliers.

Supply Chain Evolution: Digital Transformation Is the Way Forward

A new study by The Economist shows that 54% of enterprises want to rethink their supply chains. Make them more agile and resilient. How would supply chains evolve from here? And what should supply chain leaders be doing differently? Download the report today!

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. You’re not going to make any lasting headway on inventory reduction unless you can get your sales forecasts under control. Most companies expect the forecast to run low from time to time and are prepared to deal with that.

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. Still, I can understand why manufacturers and distributors—typically conservative businesses—might be hesitant to move their business processes to the cloud.

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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. The fifth thing you can do this week to reduce inventory is to spin the A’s. I’m talking about those “A” items that are the bread and butter of our businesses.

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. And cloud technology removes the barriers to implementing sales and operations planning (S&OP) and integrated business planning (IBP) across your extended supply chain. There’s more to this story.

The Business Costs of Supply Chain Disruption

Supply chains have weathered a lot recently: a pandemic, natural disasters, trade wars and more. The Economist and GEP surveyed 400 senior execs to find out their real business impacts. The results? Shocking, but not surprising. Read the report now.

Five Reasons Why S&OP Software Beats Spreadsheets and Email

Demand Solutions

Ever been involved with launching a new manufacturing or distribution company? Or have you ever joined a small but growing company in one of these industry sectors? If so, you know what it’s like to work under pressure to contain costs. Smaller companies often see major business software platforms as overhead. So when they’re first starting out, they’ll ask their employees to make do with the basic applications that are already installed on their hard drives.

Integrated Business Planning vs. S&OP: What’s the Difference?

Demand Solutions

I’ve previously shared my thoughts on the need for a shake-up in the supply chain management realm , and my assessment of what integrated business planning really consists of. All of this begs the question: Is integrated business planning really something separate from sales and operations planning (S&OP)? Or is IBP merely the latest evolution of S&OP? Let’s look at what some of our leading industry minds are saying.

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.

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.

GEP Outlook 2021 Report

It’s 2021, and many enterprises are still reeling from the unprecedented disruption of last year. Get a leg up with the GEP Outlook 2021 Report, featuring eight critical leadership themes that will help you navigate uncertainty and thrive in the new normal.