Netsuite Expands Cloud-based Inventory Management with New Demand Planning Capabilities

New features leverage align front-office demand with back-office supply

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SAN MATEO, CA — June 7, 2011 — NetSuite Inc., a provider of cloud-based financials / ERP software suites, has extended its cloud-based business management suite with new demand planning features.

Designed to enable wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to achieve best-in-class inventory management practices, NetSuite Demand Planning enables companies to forecast peaks and troughs in demand and minimize capital tied up in inventory. Leveraging NetSuite's integrated business management suite, NetSuite's new demand planning bridges the gap between the front-office and back-office, allowing companies to tightly align sales forecasts with inventory replenishment plans. This supports businesses with minimizing excess inventory, eliminating stock outs, and improving customer satisfaction.

NetSuite Demand Planning provides flexibility for building an operational demand plan. Businesses can use sales forecasts to build an inventory plan and even augment the plan with special predictions, such as marketing input on new product launches. Alternatively, inventory plans can even be built using statistical forecasting models such as linear regression, moving averages and seasonal averages, based on historical sales data. As part of a fully integrated supply chain, these projections can even be automatically delivered to upstream providers, ensuring that the entire flow from raw materials to end customer is managed with minimal disruption and optimal inventory levels at each step in the chain.

In today's competitive world, businesses need to run lean in the current economy. But, only one in five companies has adopted a demand planning solution (source: Gartner, “Business Case for Demand Planning,” March 18, 2011), demonstrating the weakness and difficulty legacy ERP tools have had in addressing this key business concern. Businesses have struggled with legacy disconnected ERP, inflexible tools, and out of date spreadsheets to try and management demand. The result has meant high IT overhead, and infrequent, inadequate and out-of-date plans.

According to the Gartner study, intelligent, integrated demand planning can increase inventory availability up to 30 percent, reduce obsolescence by up to 15 percent and boost gross margins up to 5 percent.

"NetSuite's new Demand Planning capabilities will allow Valutek to automate our previously manual spreadsheet-based planning exercises, allowing us more timely forecasts and better inventory management," said Kirk Mathers, VP of Finance, Valutek. "Demand Planning specifically leverages the power of the suite based approach allowing us the ability to closely align sales forecasts with our inventory planning."

NetSuite Demand Planning enables companies to:

  • Improve inventory forecast accuracy by automatically building inventory forecasts from real time data, businesses can reduce demand planning cycle time, lower risk of error, and operationalize the demand planning process.
  • Reduce excess inventory or risk of stock outs by ensuring the right amount of inventory is kept on hand to effectively meet demand rather than having to tie up unnecessary capital in inventory.
  • Minimize manual restock processes by automating the actual inventory replenishment plan and creating the necessary purchase orders and work orders to meet anticipated demand, NetSuite demand planning frees up stakeholders to focus on more strategic activities.