Merchandise Planning can be a time-consuming exercise, allocating the right stock to the right store or channel. Yet translating the latest stock and sales forecast updates into an efficient plan to distribute goods across your network is essential to maximize sales potential. With a top-notch WSSI (weekly sales and stock intake) overview, you will know what is your open-to-buy and what are the lead times of either waiting for goods to arrive or be produced. Merchandise Planning will harmonize your go to market strategy and optimize your decisions.
Supply Focus starts from the demand sensing concept, allowing planners to start from the opportunity and plan by exception, using a driver-based approach. Planners can review a base prediction starting from an automated proposal and focus on the exceptions and manual overrides of things that only the planners know. No time is wasted keying in numbers. Focus can be on discussing the underlying drivers, marketing initiatives and product launches. Accuracy is the end goal that drives instant profitability.
Throughout the organization different planners and departments will work with different forecasts and numbers at different levels (by product group, family, SKU, …) or from different angles (by channel, by shop, by country, by distributor, …). Consistent messaging requires a happy marriage of all these different aspects into a single composite plan.
Leverage all types of (Big) Data and Advanced Analytics, to predict who wants which product, where, and when. Predicting demand does not have to be limited to internal structured data. Demand sensing has the ability to take into account unstructured (e.g., social media, etc) and external data (e.g., market data, competitors, consumer info, etc). As opposed to standard or out-of-the-box time series algorithms, the Demand Sensing algorithm includes your business dynamics as well as your data structure to produce more accurate results. This approach allows you to maximize opportunity.
Evening out the requirements to deliver the correct products at the right time and working in the most efficient manner is treading a very thin line. There are plenty of constraints ranging from staffing, machine capacity, raw material availability, storage capacity, and what is the most efficient way to run the production. Decision optimization will not only balance constraints but target everything from on time delivery to stock levels and margin optimization. In an ever-changing reality with quickly evolving demand plans, production planning needs to be able to respond immediately, automatically, and optimally.
Inventory Planning means having the goods ready when clients ask for them as well as having the raw materials ready when production starts. In any integrated supply chain process, inventory planning takes a central role in between demand planning and production planning. It leads to the correct decisions being taken within the bigger picture such as whether to increase or decrease storage capacity or finding an equilibrium between storage buffer and stock investments.
Planning and optimizing the distribution will be a very specific challenge and is different for every organization. With a wide spectrum of choices to be considered across all networks ranging from local to global distribution is a delicate balance between efficiency and meeting commitments and client expectations.
Keep track of your suppliers: their quality, delivery time, volume conditions, and rates. Are your buying commitments in line with your demand plan, raw materials requirements, and overall purchasing strategy? When to buy and when to build, safeguarding your flexibility and delivery needs is integral to running a successful operation.