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Demand Planning Software: Features, Integrations, Benefits, Costs

Demand Planning Software - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft applies 33-year experience in AI and 10-year experience in designing and developing supply chain management software to create effective solutions for analytics-driven demand planning.

Demand Planning Software: The Essence

Demand planning software helps companies optimize inventory, production and distribution. It analyzes historical demand data and provides accurate, data-driven demand forecasts for users to spot optimal time for trade promotions and new product launches.

Such a solution is especially helpful for enterprises with a large number of product categories, complex S&OP processes, multiple teams involved in demand planning.

  • Necessary integrations: ERP, CRM, an inventory management system, order management software, etc.
  • Implementation time: 6–10 months for custom demand planning software.
  • Development costs: $160,000–$350,000, depending on the solution’s complexity.
  • ROI: 260%+.

Demand Planning Software: Key Features

Demand planning solutions offer comprehensive functionality for multiple user groups – inventory specialists, product managers, supply chain planners, pricing specialists, financial analysts, the sales and marketing team, and others – to streamline their daily workflows. Below, ScienceSoft shares a sample feature set of demand planning software.

Demand analysis

  • Time series analysis to compare historical demand data across user-defined periods and identify demand trends.
  • Multi-dimensional sensitivity analysis to assess the impact of particular variables (e.g., product price, stock availability, season) on demand changes and identify key internal and external demand drivers.
  • ML-powered analysis of the impact of non-recurring historical events (e.g., product promotions, new product introduction) on demand to identify historical demand data exceptions not to consider when forecasting demand.
  • Calculation of price elasticity of demand to measure the impact of price changes on demand across various product and customer segments.

Demand forecasting

  • Long-term demand forecasting by product or product segment, customer segment, selling channel, location, particular season, etc., based on the analysis of relevant historical and current data, such as:
    • Sales data.
    • Pricing data, including the timing of planned price changes.
    • Demand constraints (e.g., inventory availability, production capacity).
    • Planned product promotions, new product launches, and more.
  • Short-term demand sensing based on AI-powered analysis of real-time sales data, pricing data, social media sentiment, available data on current competitor prices and promotional activities, case-specific high-level types of data (e.g., weather forecast for weather-sensitive products), and more.
  • Demand scenario modeling and what-if analysis.

New product demand forecasting

  • Forecasting demand for new products, including short-life and seasonal products, by customer segment, region, selling channel, etc.
  • AI-driven reference suggestions for new products (based on the analysis of product attributes, such as category, price, brand, etc.) to use historical demand data of the reference products as a basis for new product demand forecasting.
  • Product cannibalization analysis to predict the impact of a new product launch on customer demand changes across the existing product portfolio.

Supply chain optimization

  • Rule-based demand prioritization (by product or product segment, customer segment, region, etc.).
  • AI recommendations on optimal multi-location inventory levels, production volume and schedules, product distribution scenarios based on planned demand.

Trade promotion optimization

  • Promotional demand forecasting by promotional campaign, product, period, etc., based on AI-powered analysis of promotional event type and timing, planned prices and discounts, and more.
  • AI recommendations on optimal trade promotion events and their timing, optimal product prices and discounts based on the analysis of their potential to increase demand and profitability.

Demand plan management

  • Template-based creation of short- and long-time demand plans, order delivery calendars.
  • Configurable demand planning hierarchies and demand aggregation levels.
  • Automated adjustment of demand plans as new relevant data appears.

Collaborative demand planning

  • Consensus-based demand planning based on the input data (planned promotions or new product launches, production or supply chain constraints, etc.) provided by relevant internal teams, such as sales, marketing, finance, production, supply chain.
  • An instant messaging tool to communicate with the teams involved in demand planning.
  • User-defined targets for department-specific demand planning KPIs (e.g., sales forecast accuracy for a sales team, inventory turn or fill rate for an inventory team).

Demand monitoring

  • Configurable drill-down dashboards for real-time demand monitoring by product or product segment, selling channel, region, promotional event, etc.
  • Real-time tracking of actual vs. planned demand.
  • Alerts to the demand planners on the demand exceeding/dropping below the pre-defined thresholds.
  • Real-time tracking of actual vs. targeted demand planning KPIs.

Power Demand Planning with Robust Software

ScienceSoft’s team is ready to plan, build, and support an effective demand planning solution to provide companies with accurate demand forecasting for demand-driven planning and optimization of their business processes.

Essential Integrations for Demand Planning Software

To ensure fast and precise demand planning with a view to various demand factors, ScienceSoft recommends that demand planning software should integrate with the following back-office systems:

Integrations for Demand Planning Software - ScienceSoft

ERP

  • To take into account production constraints when planning demand.
  • To leverage relevant demand data at all levels of operational, financial and strategic planning.

CRM

For data-driven omnichannel demand forecasting.

Alternatively to CRM, demand planning software can integrate directly with selling channels (e.g., a company’s ecommerce website or a point-of-sale system).

Inventory management software

  • To analyze inventory levels across various locations, generate recommendations on optimal safety stock and reorder points.
  • For accurate inventory planning and multi-echelon inventory optimization.

Promotion management software

  • For promotional demand forecasting.
  • To launch effective promotional campaigns for maximized demand and profitability.

Product life cycle management software

  • To forecast demand for new and existing products.
  • To plan optimal product life cycle, new product launch and product retirement across product categories.

Order management software

  • For accurate demand planning.
  • For data-driven planning of order fulfillment location (for omnichannel selling), picking, packing and shipping while minimizing distribution costs and ensuring timely order fulfillment.

Pricing software

  • To analyze price elasticity of demand and model demand for different prices.
  • To plan optimal product pricing.

Success Factors for Demand Planning Software

Relying on 10 years of experience in designing and building supply chain solutions, ScienceSoft’s consultants have defined important factors, which help bring the customer additional value across demand planning processes.

The use of the maximum of data sources

including social media, competitors’ websites, relevant governmental and legal portals. To forecast demand taking into consideration all available internal and external demand factors.

AI-powered prescriptive analytics

to get AI recommendations, for example, on optimal product pricing, production scenarios, omnichannel stock levels for maximized demand and profitability.

Demand sensing functionality

to create precise short-term demand predictions based on the current realities of the supply chain and the product market.

Automated demand plan adjustment

as new relevant data appears. To eliminate low-value manual tasks of demand planners and speed up the demand planning cycle.

Role-based access control

to adjust the right to create, edit, view or share demand plans based on the user role (a sales rep, an inventory specialist, a category manager, etc.) to protect sensitive demand data.

Demand Planning Software Development: Success Story by ScienceSoft

Supply chain e-collaboration network for 1,700-store retailer

  • Advanced analytics for demand planning.
  • Real-time monitoring of inventory levels across warehouses and stores.
  • Template-based creation of purchase orders.
  • Role-based access control for category managers, store managers, suppliers, accountants, etc.

Customer’s benefit: Faster and more accurate demand planning.

Demand Planning Software Costs and ROI

Demand planning software development costs vary from $160,000 to $350,000, depending on the solution complexity.

Custom demand planning software may bring 260%+ ROI.

Benefits of Demand Planning Software

  • 50 – 70%

    faster demand planning due to advanced analytics

  • Up to 3%

    increase in revenue and 3 – 5% increase in margin for large enterprises due to accurate demand planning and demand-driven optimization of business processes

  • 30%+

    improvement in accuracy of short-term demand predictions due to real-time demand sensing

  • Improved

    customer satisfaction due to a company’s enhanced ability to fully meet customer demand

  • Off-the-Shelf Demand Planning Software ScienceSoft Recommends

    Infor Demand Planning

    Best for

    Collaborative demand planning.

    Features

    • Seamless integration with Infor Ming.le for facilitated collaboration on demand planning with remote teams, suppliers, contractors, and customers.
    • Configurable demand planning dashboards and KPIs for different user roles.
    • Automated generation of aggregated demand forecasts for integrated business planning.
    • ML-powered demand forecasting across the product life cycle.
    • Demand scenario modeling and what-if analysis.
    • AI recommendations on optimal safety stock across multiple locations based on the planned demand.
    • Alerts on user-defined events, such as rapid demand spikes.

    Pricing

    Upon request to a vendor.

    Logility Demand Planning and Optimization

    Best for

    Comprehensive demand analytics.

    Features

    • AI/ML-based demand analysis and forecasting.
    • AI-powered analysis of social media sentiment for various brands, products, product segments.
    • AI recommendations on optimal product pricing, production levels, multi-echelon inventory optimization.
    • Demand forecasting for new, short-life, seasonal, end-of-life products.
    • Promotional demand forecasting.
    • Real-time demand tracking and sensing.
    • Configurable demand plan templates for different teams (e.g., sales, marketing, logistics, finance).

    Pricing

    Upon request to a vendor.

    Kinaxis Demand Planning

    Best for

    Promotional demand planning.

    Features

    • Native integration with Rubikloud for end-to-end demand-driven promotion planning and optimization.
    • Automated analysis of promotional demand forecast accuracy using Volume Error, MAE/Mean, Bias, and other methods.
    • Modeling and analyzing the impact of promotions, holidays and new product introductions on demand.
    • Real-time demand tracking and sensing.
    • Consensus-based demand planning.
    • Real-time monitoring of actual vs. targeted demand planning KPIs for supply chain, S&OP, marketing and finance teams.

    Pricing

    Upon request to a vendor.

    When to Choose Custom Demand Planning Software

    ScienceSoft recommends building a custom demand planning solution in the following cases:

    You have large teams involved in demand planning and want to avoid a considerable subscription amount for platform-based demand forecasting software, which scales with the number of users.

    You need a flexible demand planning system that is easy to evolve with advanced analytical capabilities, e.g., for real-time demand sensing, when required.

    You need demand planning software providing case-specific functionality, for example, dynamic demand forecasting for companies that rely on a dynamic pricing model or demand forecasting for products with no demand history for startup businesses.

    You need to integrate demand planning software with legacy internal systems (ERP, CRM, inventory management software, an order management system, a pricing solution, etc.).

    Implementation of Demand Planning Software with ScienceSoft

    In supply chain management software development since 2012, ScienceSoft helps companies build reliable demand planning solutions.

    Demand planning consulting

    • Analysis of your demand planning needs.
    • Suggesting optimal demand planning features, solution architecture, and tech stack.
    • Preparing a plan for integration with ERP, CRM, an inventory management system, pricing software, etc.
    • Implementation cost & time estimates, expected ROI calculation.
    Go for consulting

    Demand planning software implementation

    • Demand planning needs analysis.
    • Demand planning solution conceptualization.
    • Architecture design.
    • Demand planning software development.
    • Integrating the solution with existing corporate systems (ERP, CRM, an inventory management system, pricing software, etc.).
    • Quality assurance.
    • User training.
    • Continuous support and evolution (if required).
    GO FOR IMPLEMENTATION

    About ScienceSoft

    ScienceSoft is an international IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We provide consultancy and development services to help organizations build effective demand planning software. Being an ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified company, we apply a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security. If you are interested in getting a reliable demand planning system, feel free to turn to ScienceSoft’s team.