Cloud-Based Demand Planning on the Horizon, Looking through the Uncertainty

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Uncertainty related to the current coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders have threatened future revenue streams for businesses across the globe. Without warning, this pandemic has caused planners to re-evaluate the strategies they have to take to endure future market turbulence. With the help of cloud-based demand planning, modeling the uncertainty just got a whole lot easier.

While everyone has their focus on the health and safety of the world’s population, planners must still focus on continuing operations when and where it is possible. Even in such a time of crisis, and all the uncertainty that comes with it, it is still possible to forecast and plan sales and revenue trends. Continuing operations and pursuing reliable sources of revenue ensures your company’s economic stability and positions your business to bounce back stronger when markets improve.

Product and service demands are increasingly hard to predict, especially in times like these, and buyers wield knowledge and control through digital media. To compete, demand planners must become nimbler and more customer-focused.  How best can organizations handle uncertainty? With cloud-based demand planning tools that excel in uncertainty modeling, like Vanguard Predictive Planning.

Manual spreadsheet modeling cannot handle today’s manufacturing process challenges. You end up with a bunch of different forecast versions, all with their own unique and untraceable errors. Nor can they predict the probabilities of those versions becoming reality. You end up overspending on labor hours dedicated to formatting documents and manual what-if analyses. Additionally, Marketing, Procurement, Demand Planning, and Finance activities are not integrated, which is the point of Integrated Business Planning (IBP).

With the right cloud-based demand planning software, organizations can gain a consolidated view of demand and supply across facilities, product families, and lines of business that position your business for recovery and success in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. This vantage point takes into account promotions, advertising, new product introductions, seasonality, competitor actions, and all of the other drivers that shape both short- and long-term forecasts. Every team in the organization sees and contributes to forecasts and plans on a single, unified platform. The software helps your entire team model scenarios, review projections, discuss what-ifs, and align goals with expectations.

No matter what happens regarding the pandemic in the coming months, the only certainty is that global markets have changed. The economic impact of the current pandemic will be harsh for nearly every business. That is why it is more important than ever to take control of your demand planning and build contingency plans, prepare for worst-case scenarios, and work to position your business for recovery.