Professional Development: Demand Excellence

One of the greatest challenges facing supply chain professionals today is creation of a quality demand plan


  • Step 1: Define the Demand Excellence process model elements appropriate for your company, and then use the model to assess your current state of process maturity.
  • Step 2: Develop a roadmap to (re)implement the process and tools for demand planning excellence.
  • Step 3: Determine the competencies required to support a version of the Demand Excellence model suitable for your business.
  • Step 4: Conduct a skills assessment of demand planners within your organization using a competency matrix as a rubric for scoring.
  • Step 5: Identify training required to elevate the competency level of your demand planning organization or individuals.

While the Demand Excellence model serves as a roadmap for best practices in demand planning, it will fail if not supported by focused attention on the capabilities of your demand planners and on strategic training to improve their skills. As you engage in a redesign of your demand planning process or systems always remember: It's people that make the difference.

About the Authors: Patrick Bower and Willem (Buks) Van Zyl are employed by Plan4Demand Solutions, a supply chain management consulting services firm specializing in demand planning, fulfillment, transportation management, warehouse management, sales and operations planning, and customized training. Mr. Bower is S&OP practice director and the architect of Plan4Demand's Demand Excellence model; Mr. Van Zyl is Demand Excellence practice manager. For more information, visit www.plan4demand.com

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