Lanham’s Demand Planning solution helps you manage your largest and most costly asset – your inventory. By streamlining purchasing workflows, the software’s dynamic capabilities allow users to focus on business issues rather than manual tasks. And, by tightly combining demand planning and replenishment, Demand Planning ensures your inventory is at the right place at the right time.
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A forecast is useless unless your replenishment system is designed to work in tandem with it. That’s why once the forecast is established, Demand Planning’s unique dynamic replenishment method monitors usage, and automatically adjusts for events such as unusual spikes in usage and over-consuming a forecast.
By tightly integrating dynamic replenishment with inventory forecasting, Demand Planning can provide your company with real, tangible advantages that can lower your inventory, increase customer service levels, and directly enhance your bottom line.
A forecasting tool must start with good formulas, but is only as good as the accuracy of its historical data. Demand Planning’s Advanced Forecasting feature provides several ways to improve the accuracy of its historical data, including filtering usage, smoothing usage, redirecting usage, cloning, and collaborative input.
Using machine learning and 18 forecasting formulas, Advanced Forecasting reviews previous forecasts against usage, and chooses the best forecasting formula for each item in each warehouse. The result is a forecast extended up to 52 periods, typically 12-15 months, but also 52 weeks for those in food or similar industries.
Long –Lead-Time & Seasonal Items
Long-Lead-Time Items: When making forecasting and replenishment decisions, Demand Planning factors in the impact of long lead times, ensuring that you have the items you need when you need them. Changes in the forecast are addressed as they occur, with dynamic replenishment, so you have visibility to reorders for long lead time items earlier than you would otherwise have them.
Seasonal Items: The base formulas provided include multiple formulas that identify seasonal trends and provide more accurate forecasts. Safety stock is also dynamically adjusted for seasonal items, protecting against in-season stockouts and surplus inventory at the end of the season.
Buyers have unprecedented visibility into all of the calculations behind the system’s recommendations. While Demand Planning uses state-of-the-art algorithms, it never takes the “brains” out of the equation. Buyers can always apply their industry, environmental, customer or product knowledge to validate or improve the system’s recommendations. These types of changes are tracked by user.
Through the use of dynamic controls, Demand Planning reacts to changes related to inventory, demand, or to the demand plan itself. This allows the system to automatically make adjustments if it detects an over-consumption of the forecast. Having the ability to react quickly, Demand Planning can minimize the chance of a future stockout by increasing the suggested order quantity.
Suggested orders can be created either automatically or on-demand, providing a recommendation of the items and quantity to purchase. Buyers always retain the control to decide whether or not to execute a purchase order.
In addition to creating a suggestion for what is needed, Demand Planning also compares the suggested order to the vendor’s targets. These targets can be set by dollar amount, weight (net and gross), or volume.
Multi-warehouse environments often have an inventory need in one warehouse and a surplus in another. Demand Planning eases this dilemma by presenting buyers with the availability of surplus quantities by warehouse, allowing them to choose to transfer all, part, or none of the quantity.
Hub & Spoke
Demand Planning greatly simplifies multi-warehouse planning by offering the flexibility to set up a replenishment path down to the item level. This allows businesses to have any warehouse function as a hub for any item or vendor combination. By periodically creating inventory balancing transfer orders, the system can move inventory from the hub to the spoke as needed.
Analyze Surplus & Excess
Demand Planning analyzes every item in every warehouse daily, and divides the on-hand quantity of each item into “good,” “surplus,” and “excess” categories. It then extends these quantities to dollars, which means you can see exactly where your inventory dollars are invested.
Collaborative Forecasting users can import customer-provided forecasts and make them part of the overall forecast. Alternatively, this feature can create a forecast specifically for a customer and export it to Excel, so it can be shared with them for their input.
Collaborative forecasts can be very valuable if they are more accurate than the statistical forecast. For this reason, Demand Planning compares customer collaborative forecasts to actual to determine accuracy, which can also be helpful in analyzing customer fill rates.
This feature also creates a collaborative forecast, showing your company’s anticipated demand over the coming months, which you can provide to your suppliers.
Plannning for Production and Assemblies
In today’s environment where many components and raw materials are imported, lead times are much longer and often much more uncertain. Even most traditional distributors have assembly needs today.
Additionally, customers have an increased expectation of immediate availability, leaving the manufacturer or distributor stuck in the middle, and often forced to over-purchase components and over-produce finished goods to meet customer demand.
Demand Planning’s Production feature can bring relief to manufacturers and distributors with assembly needs, by offering complete visibility to the following information on the suggested order:
This inefficient use of cash and resources highlights the urgent need for more timely information, as well as both dynamic and integrated planning across the supply chain -- from the component sourcing phase, through the manufacturing process, and the deployment of the finished goods to where they are needed.