There are inherent complications in synchronizing the views of sales and operations in demand planning. Demand planning aims to optimize the production and balance the trade-off between production costs and service levels. With the sales-department being likely to push for a higher sales forecast in order to achieve higher service-levels, it is important for the demand planner to have the freedom of independently evaluating information.
Despite the risks involved, the demand forecaster needs input from the sales-department in order to include the affect of upcoming campaigns and major contracts. By interacting with the sales-department, the demand planner can also plan for marketing activities on contracts that are lagging behind the plan.
So how can we incorporate the insights of the sales-department while maintaining the independency of the demand forecaster?
Through a system where input from forecast adjustments are handled remotely and then weighted by the demand planner we can maintain demand planner independency. This way, the demand planner is free to interpret information provided by the sales-department without having to disclose the magnitude of each adjustment.
The system enables a learning curve in terms of how adjustments affect accuracy as the system could track both weighted and suggested adjustments. This information is then providing feedback to the users on how to personally develop in terms of adjustment quality and weighting.
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