Operations & Sales: Playing on the Same Team with Accurate Forecasts

As a Demand Planning Manager, a key responsibility is ensuring Sales has product to sell. Keeping inventory low to control capital and reduce out of date potential, limiting floor space to store inventory, and having good production practices to keep lines running efficiently and seasonality– all these present a fine line between success and failure. How do you keep yourself on the right side of that line? Metrics, metrics, metrics!

By tracking the past, you can prepare the future. Key point indicators are a critical piece to the S&OP process. To improve this process within my own company, I narrowed it down to the core, Supply Chain supports Sales, and the best way to accomplish this? Accurate forecasts!

The most effective way to best support Sales is to have pertinent sales information in a timely and accurate manner. Since the real world is rarely timely and often inaccurate; getting Supply Chain & Sales playing on the same team is a must.

To accomplish this team spirit, I created a weekly scorecard which captures forecast accuracy for each regional sales manager. The card tracks total accuracy for the week, prior week, same time prior year, and total percent good. This data is formatted into a “sports themed” scorecard, and is sent out every week detailing results of prior week. Let the competition begin!

I’ll be sharing more on this at IBF’s Supply Chain Planning & Forecasting: Best Practices Conference Orlando including the results of the scorecard test. You’ll learn what has happened to our overall accuracy. Are things really better? What has Supply Chain gotten out of this? Did the competitive edge drive better communication? Are Supply Chain and Sales working on the same team? I look forward to sharing the answers. See you there.

 

 

 

Wallace M. DeMent Jr.
Demand Planning Manager
Pepsi Bottling Ventures

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