Are you still using Excel for Forecasting and Planning?

In recent interactions with many companies, we have observed that people don’t use any specialized tool for forecasting. Yes, they do most forecasting in EXCEL, even when they have invested in multi-million dollar SCM/APS applications. There were a few who think they have successfully implemented a high end expensive ERP system, but not successful enough – and continue to use EXCEL for forecasting. Here is a cross-section of companies in this category –

  1. Some companies don’t have their operations large enough to implement an expensive ERP particularly for planning. They don’t have any software tools at all except for a legacy system that is home grown from the Flintstone age.
  2. Some companies use their ERP as an expensive typewriter where they enter the Excel forecasts into the SCM/APS system to satisfy their management. A sad situation that resulted from poor and unusable implementation.
  3. Just poor training of the end users. There are many cases where the system is implemented in coordination with the Top Level Management but with little training or coordination with the actual users.

 

Demand Planning LLC Approach to these kind of situations- We at Demand Planning LLC have been working across various industries globally for a number of companies including the Fortune 500 to improve their Planning Processes. We do a detailed diagnostic and suggest the best practices that will work in any particular client situation.

  1. For the companies who do not use any particular planning tool, we offer two options:
    1. Outsourced Planning and Forecasting – provide STAT forecasts and help facilitate the monthly cycle
    2. Provide an inexpensive software package that will get you up and running on best-fit models. We will help you tune the models and design the planning process.
  2. We have done a lot of work in the case of implementations gone wild and unusable. We essentially repair the implementations and address usability challenges and restore the full functionality of the system. We can do this for SAP APO (the industry favorite), Oracle Demantra, JDA I2 and Manugistics, Logility etc.
  3. We are the best known Training company when it comes to tool-focused training that is customized to the user needs. We organize a workshop at the end of every implementation/repair project. We interact with the actual users and make sure everyone has optimum knowledge of the tool.

 

Some of the big names who have used our services and expertise include Honeywell, Pepsi Foods, Brown-Forman, Labatt, Yaskawa, Coleman, McCain Foods, Lindt and many other small and medium size companies. We can be reached at www.demandplanning.net. You can also contact our Business Development Manager at hatimr@demandplanning.net . We would be glad to have an initial call for a short diagnostic of the current processes and pain points.