Success in Demand Planning Roles: Part 2 of 2


Did you have time to check out Part 1 of our Demand Planning series? We discuss the fundamentals of the role and what is required. Make sure to read it too so you have your bases covered.

Demand Planning – what’s the big deal?

Without a clear and well-managed demand planning strategy, organizations run the risk of two opposite, yet equally scary outcomes.

First, without the appropriate amount of stock to meet customer demand, your business misses out on revenue and customer confidence gets shaky.

Simply put if your competitors can meet demand they will convert (your) customers.

Poor production and demand planning can also lead to a surplus of product, resulting in unnecessary spending in both production and management of the excess.

Which skills are needed and valued most?

At TZR those who make it into our Talent Zone when we are looking for demand planners possess these skills and the ones we have summarized below:

  • Analytical capability and data modeling: At a minimum, a demand planner must have a clear understanding of the analytics ecosystem and a foundational understanding of statistics and probability. To be exceptional you must have a commanding knowledge of diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics models.
  • Character:  See what we have to say about character versus credential here. Understanding the why and being able to pivot is essential in demand planning – whether you’re navigating a spreadsheet or presenting in the boardroom.
  • Communication: Many people focus on the numbers and rightly so – but numbers mean zero if you cannot clearly communicate them; demand planners must be able to translate what they are seeing on their screens and spreadsheets to stakeholders.

TZR Takeaway:

During this unprecedented time, with a global pandemic leading to supply chain disasters bogging down several industries, finding the right people to manage the demand planning process and follow through on the program may be the single most important decision hiring managers will make this year.

Identifying experts in the field will be vital to the success of your organization during the holiday season and beyond. 

In order to successfully work through the process of demand planning, those responsible must have a unique blend of skills including the ability to process/analyze data, create models using these results, a keen understanding of the business both internally (how the organization works, logistics, etc) as well as the market externally, and the ability to sell their plan internally to senior management/stakeholders and externally to suppliers, manufacturers, etc.

We are looking for talent that have their finger on the pulse of their industry trends and forecasts, as well as the ability to work with various teams within the organization to make sure things run smoothly.

Identifying these potential hires requires an in-depth understanding of the talent pool, quality contacts and efficient hiring strategies.

Finding a good mix of expertise and experiences, paired with loyalty and longevity will make these positions most effective, in that a good understanding and investment in the past, present and future of the industry and organization will make for the most accurate demand planning strategies.

What are experts expecting for 2022?

Here is a summary from top sources:

By 2023, 50% of global product-centric enterprises will be invested in real-time transportation visibility platforms. These platforms are two-fold: they allow customers to track their orders in real-time, which satisfies the new customer expectation and eases the burden off your customer support team, and they deliver invaluable insights into your transportation costs and performance.

Leaders are beginning to recognize supply chains as a significant driver in a company’s profit margin and growth opportunities. While 44% of management executives see supply chains as a sales enabler, as well as being a cost center, the pandemic has shown that a resilient supply chain can be the deciding factor between a company’s failure and success.

Supply chain leaders anticipate a 46% decline in globalization and 61% decline in offshore manufacturing over the next five years. This change brings with it decreased lead times, varying costs, and greater flexibility to meet customer demands.

TZR’s Takeaway:

Experts predict a few large shifts that will impact demand planning moving into 2022 and beyond.

The pandemic has brought to light the importance of the supply chain to both businesses and consumers.

Organizations will continue to expect a more resilient process which will include demand for real-time tracking and forecasting.

Additionally, the significant delays/issues presented by the international supply-chain is expected to cause a decline in globalization and offshore manufacturing. Bottom line: expertise in the ever-evolving fields of logistics, transportation/shipping, product development and manufacturing will all be a key element of any organization’s success going forward and requires exceptional demand planning.

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