“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra
Manufacturers are always looking to manage uncertainty – but the only certainty is that most business will waste their money because they don’t know anything about how to judge their future needs.
To compensate, companies do everything they can to maintain superior demand planning, but these methods are typically reactive and based on outdated heuristics. When the flu is going around do you wait to get sick and then try to feel less awful while you are hanging over the toilet, or do you get a flu shot and never get sick in the first place?
Getting a flu shot is being proactive, and being proactive is a necessity to succeed in business. The ONLY way to maintain superior demand planning is by being proactive, cleaning up your mess of a supply chain, and making sure you keep it in line with your plan. Taking these few simple steps can help and might just save your ass when it is time to review your work.
- Clearly define forecasting challenges and needs. A lot of resources can be wasted in the name of forward progress if “forward” isn’t defined first.
- Create robust solutions for the drivers of uncertainty. These drivers include demand consistency, forecast variables, supply chain transparency, and the complexity of product and parts transport.
- K.I.S.S. Forge the least complicated demand planning pipeline you possibly can. If enterprise-wide solutions are unnecessary, look to stand-alone tools. If a statistical approach is overly taxing and a consensus approach will do, keep it simple.
- Prepare. Before enacting changes to the demand planning process, be sure preparation has been made in anticipation for the change. Put an agreed upon performance evaluation standard in place.
- Assume Murphy’s Law still holds. Anticipate everything will go wrong. Having a demand-responsive supply chain is critical, not optional. Vendors, carriers and other chain partners must be flexible, even when unexpected challenges emerge.
There’s no magic formula where you change one thing and quadruple your profit. At Beaird Solutions we apply operational efficiencies proven to reduce costs without damaging your customer experience. Be a proactive business leader.
Contact us at beairdsolutions.com to take your first step toward saving your business time and money.