Demand Planning: The Signal’s Coming from Inside the House!

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: your marketing team just launched a new campaign, but nobody in the supply chain has heard about it. Or maybe your web analytics guy or gal noticed an uptick in a particular SKU search term, but that statistic either hasn’t filtered out to the supply chain at large, or worse, it’s buried in the noise of some other report. 

Neither of these scenarios is an unforeseen external force, yet both of them could lead to some pretty big supply-related surprises down the road. Wouldn’t it be helpful–cool, even–if you could somehow tune into these internal signals, combine them with other signals, and operationalize them?

Demand planning might seem like it’s one of the dark arts, especially when you can’t depend on demand history to deliver the same result, but it’s really not. It’s more a matter of sifting through the different signals in your own shop and letting them guide your plan. ketteQ’s unique approach uses Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) to do just that.

La-la-la-la-la, I Can’t Hear You

The sad truth is that very few companies know how to use all the data they get in the average day, especially the data from the sales team, which can seem extra frustrating–after all, these are the people telling you what you’ve sold and now have to produce! 

But you’ve probably seen this scenario, too–best case, it might take hours for the sales team to pull together information for the supply chain in the format they want, and worst case, the sales team’s data isn’t trusted in the first place, so it ends up in a report that maybe five people read. 

So how do you make that data from the sales chain to the supply chain both reliable and trusted? Simple: ketteQ helps you pull it from multiple CRM platforms to make sure it all adds up, from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics to SAP to Oracle CX to Zoho, then helps you cross-check it and come up with an actual plan that will have both sides of the chain nodding their heads.

A Sixth Sense

You might have heard of a related demand planning buzzword called “demand sensing.” It’s not commonly used yet, but it will be–imagine being able to take sentiment analysis around a product to help your supply chain handle demand for a product. Are people talking about the product on Twitter? What about in different Amazon reviews? Now imagine combining that information with all the other information you have at your fingertips for that product–the picture’s getting a little clearer now, right?

Just like an uptick in web searches for Nike can indicate an uptake in future demand for related products, sentiment analysis is yet another signal you can use to predict where your demand might be coming from or (even better) going to. When ketteQ helps you intelligently combine that information with actual data from your own CRM systems, you’ll quickly find yourself finetuning your supply chain in a way that avoids any big supply surprises down the road–and all from your own signals, not someone else’s trends. Want to know how? Better call Saul Cy! Book some time on his calendar, and he’ll help you sift the signal from the noise.

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