Remember there are many sources of uncertainty in supply chains, and these sources vary over time — maturity of, or changes in, relationships with the customer; market knowledge; product lifecycles; as well as the impact of competitors on demand – so demand management is a dynamic set of practices.
Some key thoughts, though, with which to move forward:
- Forecasting is the middle, not the beginning, of demand management practices.
- Planning assumptions have to be codified in order to learn and improve the process.
- Performance objectives and assurances need to be shared, monitored and refreshed in the n-tier chain.
- Sensing techniques can yield an improved competitive position. Get a jump on what the market will want next, or now, and move that intelligence into your product design and supply chain.
- Risk management techniques are now beyond "scientist methodology" and can be taught and implemented.
And most of all, in the new dynamic global business models, getting your trading partner into the mix is critical to success, whether customer or supplier. Two heads are smarter than one.