skip to Main Content

Data—Our New Natural Resource

Demand Planning   Events & Announcements  

As I walked the floor at this year’s APICS conference and sat through a variety of educational sessions, I was reminded of a phrase I heard recently:

“Data is becoming a new natural resource.”

The statistics are quite mind-boggling. According to Domo, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and it’s only going to grow from there. By 2020, it’s estimated that 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth.

Unfortunately, when it comes to demand forecasting, a large part of this data is going underutilized.

The complexities of demand forecasting have challenged businesses for decades. Traditionally, the process tends to be more of an art than a science and one that often relies heavily on outdated historical data. But today with vast volumes of real-time data readily available, demand forecasting should, in theory, be getting easier and more accurate. But it’s not.

Why? Well, the fact remains that most businesses aren’t equipped to leverage the volume and diversity of today’s data. For the most part, it seems that manual work and spreadsheets are still impeding companies from capturing the value of available data.

Take the furniture manufacturer I met at the show who sells products online through partnerships with major e-commerce companies. At one point in the not so distant past, this organization’s demand forecasting involved working with limited internal data that could be easily manipulated on a spreadsheet. Today, it involves working with slews of both internal data and external data provided by their various e-commerce partners. Doubling their data rapidly overwhelmed this company’s old way of planning by spreadsheet.

Imagine what will happen when this organization and others like it realize that they need to integrate other big data like weather forecast and economic outlooks into their planning processes. Things get exponentially more complicated.

What today’s organizations need in order to take advantage of our “new natural resource” are advanced supply chain planning solutions. Platforms that create a common planning language across the entire spectrum of supply chain planning—inventory forecasting, planning, and optimization; sales and operations planning (S&OP); demand forecasting and planning; supply planning; production and capacity planning; and multi-location planning. Software that can integrate and store vast amounts of data and use rules and advanced algorithms to turn that data into knowledge and action.

The time has come to go beyond traditional forecasting methods so that today’s companies can capitalize on the excessive amounts of readily available data to solve real business problems. I’m looking forward to helping current and future DemandCaster clients harness the power of their data and begin exploring with advanced technologies like AI and machine learning might mean to them in the very near future.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about DemandCaster and how it can help you forecast and plan demand with consensus and data-driven insight.

Watch our video.

Related Articles

Thinking through digital supply chain

Going digital in supply chain takes knowledge and careful planning.  As Gartner said, "While any organization can throw technology at planning, it makes more sense to pause a minute and think about what type of digital technology is appropriate." Think [...]

How accurate are your forecasts and how accurate do they need to be?

A forecast doesn’t have to be correct to have value. In fact, the Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning said, “We need to continually remind people that a forecast is not going to be 100% accurate, and that it does [...]

How do you choose your aggregation levels?

When it comes to aggregation you could traditionally choose top-down or bottom-up. That is not necessarily the case anymore. The Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning said, “Middle-out forecasting is another option, starting somewhere in the middle of a hierarchy; [...]

Forecast vs. Demand Plan – do you know the difference?

Do you know the difference between a forecast vs. demand plan? A forecast is a prediction of demand based on numbers seen in the past. Demand plan starts with the forecast but then takes other things into consideration like distribution, [...]

Seven Advantages of Integrated Demand and Supply Planning

A championship football team reaches such heights because of teamwork, practice, and a clear strategy.  Both offensively and defensively, team members are drilled over and over to work together and know the plan so that on game day, everyone is [...]

What makes a great demand planner?

What characteristics does a great demand planner have? First of all, they can solve problems. Being creative and objective is a vital part of their job! However, they can also communicate their problem solving methods very well. It’s important for [...]

Making your demand planning the best it can be

If your demand planning isn’t going as well as you hoped, there are a few things you can do! First, make sure you are really committed to demand planning and you are not just doing it out of perceived obligation. [...]

The laws you should really know about demand planning

How confident are you in your demand planning knowledge? Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning says there are a few laws you should follow. First, there are a few times that your planning gets less precise - when you get [...]

Demand Planning: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Estimating future demand is one of the most valuable activities your organization can undertake. A demand plan’s impact is felt throughout the business, from sales and marketing to manufacturing and distribution. When done correctly, demand planning can put you in [...]

Demand Management: Linking the Market to Operations Management

All businesses, whether they be commercial, profit-seeking companies or not-for-profit altruistic enterprises, manage demand. It is so common, that we might not even be aware that we are doing it. We do it in our everyday lives, as we manage [...]
Subscribe to our Blog
Back To Top