Demand Planning Inputs, Members & Values

Inputs are the "Data Streams" (ODP) or "Series" (Demantra) that can be collected and loaded into Forecasting Solutions. Inputs are pieces of information obtained from ERP, Legacy or Third Parties that can be used to create, compare and adjust Forecasts. There are virtually unlimited inputs to a Demand Planning Solution but some of the key examples can be identified as follows:

Historical Data Streams

  • Bookings
  • Shipments
  • Invoices
  • Returns
  • Inventory
  • Previous submitted Forecasts
  • Distributor Actuals
  • Syndicated Data

Forecast Data Streams

  • Statistical Forecast
  • Annual Plan
  • Revenue Forecast
  • Sales Forecast
  • Sales Pipeline
  • Manufacturing Forecast
  • Customer Forecast
  • Backlog / Future Orders
  • Incoming Supply
  • Forecasted Costs
  • Forecasted Prices

Causal Data Streams

  • Stock-Outs
  • Seasonality
  • State of Economy
  • Marketing Events / Promotional Activity
  • Weather
  • Labour Problems
  • Price Changes
  • Distribution Method Changes
  • Consumer Earnings
  • Production Capacity
  • Style or Fashion
  • Direct and Indirect Competition
  • Political Events

Members

Members are the Items, Customers, Warehouses, Sales Reps etc. that you view in your inputs. What Members do your Planners need to see? All Customers and Items or just a selection? The Standard collections process might bring into your OLAP cube things all "items" (Toilet Rolls, Coffee Vending Support, Scissors etc.) rather than the things you need to Forecast. Members will need to be grouped (see Levels) for Collection, Reporting and Forecasting.

Values

Values usually means the number associated with the Members that have been collected in the Inputs. Typical Demand Planning Values will be Qty and Price - but what price? Average Selling Price, Future Selling Price, Cost, Margin.... The more values required the more streams of data for the Planners to review not to forget the setup and maintenance.

More Inputs & Outputs

Having defined the Inputs, Members, Levels and Values of your Plans you will then find that more data is required: KPI's and Exceptions will need to be calculated. Promotional and Historical adjustment Activity will need to be measured for effectiveness. Forecast Variance to prior Months and alternative Forecasts will be necessary. Don't forget the final Outputs - at the end of each cycle the Forecasts will be sent to Finance and/or Manufacturing and/or Purchasing. These extra streams of data will need to be defined and stored and might be wanted in more than one Value (Qty, Price, %, MAPE etc.)

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