By Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP
80% of companies are not in front of their demand. How can you decide what to plan for if you don't know where you are going? You don't! Thus, it makes sense to spend time upfront to determine your best estimate for customer forecasts and your demand plan. Don't worry about perfection as the definition of a forecast is that it will be inaccurate; however, you can get in the ballpark. By achieving this goal, you will better serve your customers, grow your business and improve margins.
If you are unsure where to start, consider digging into the following:
1. Talk with customers: Pick up the phone and find out what is happening with your customers. Are they promoting certain items? Or focused on specific locations? What are they seeing in terms of demand further down the supply chain?
2. Talk with Sales: Certainly Sales should be staying on top of what is important to customers. Ask Sales which products, categories, and/or customers should be the focus.
3. Talk with Customer Service: Customer Service can often be overlooked as they might not be perceived as strategic; however, they can have
Read the rest of the article