17 Resolutions for a Demand Planner in 2017

Plan your 2017 and adopt 17 resolutions to improve your demand visibility!

Following are 17 suggested resolutions for your demand planning in 2017!

1. Trust the Stat Forecast . Although there are caveats, if tuned correctly, Stat can do wonders.

2. Spend time on Data Analytics. Even though the big data was unable to predict the presidential elections, a right direction for digging into the data mess can bear fruitful results. { Warning – Data Analytics is not for the faint-hearted. As you dig deeper into the data, you must be prepared for skeletons in the closet. }

3. Measure the error correctly. To improve accuracy, focus your efforts on reducing the forecast error.

4. Define the performance metrics correctly. WMAPE, Bias, and SKU Mix Error, each holds rich information. Plotting a Bias over a period can help you gauge your organization’s tendencies when it comes to over-forecasting and under-forecasting.

5. Plan by exception. As the Pareto rule says 80% of the revenues are driven by 20% of the products. Identify those 20% of the products.

6. Define a monthly process of activities.

7. Talk to Sales – Although they love to over forecast, they bring critical information for forecast value add. This can be a tall order but try to get an event/promotion calendar from them. Have a beer with them if needed.* {Drinking alcohol can be dangerous to your health as well as your forecasts. Don’t drink and forecast!}

8. Talk to Marketing – Apart from having information about new initiatives, they are closer to new products too.

9. Have visibility to average selling price. Ensure coordination with finance to evaluate the revenue forecast.

10. Assist/Present in the Consensus Meeting – make the presentation crisp.

11. Demand Consensus First, S&OP next.

12. Involve the Corner Office. Believe me, they have a crystal ball!

13. Stay close to the News – You never know what drives your demand and how global events impact your operations.

14. Talk to Supply Chain – We know this can be a tough task but communicate the Forecast Delta to them. People love surprises in parties, not in business! Communication with Supply Chain makes sure they are not alarmed by any change coming their way.

15. Be sure to spend time on your master data elements – identifying roll over and discontinuing items. Make a habit of visiting master data on a quarterly basis, if not more often.

16. Be patient and wear a smile. (Fake one if you can’t!) Remember, a Demand Planner’s job can be a thankless one, try not to let it impact your enthusiasm in achieving the above resolutions.

17. Above all, being a new father, the one thing that I can say is spend enough time with your family!