Dark blue Rockfarm logo patten.

Breaking Down Demand Planning: Part 3

Go to Home

This is part 3 of 3, as Seth Pacha, our demand planning guru outlines data integrity elements and system automation.

Processes – automated reviews that handle 5-10% of exceptions

  • Economic and market intelligence
  • Suppliers
  • Operations
  • Sales programs/warranty issues
  • New model / new product introduction
  • End of life

Focus on building processes to manage these exceptions and allow experts to manage inventory with technology that customizes to the business and adapts over time. Business users need the ability to query data and set up daily, weekly, and monthly processes that drive business value. Any scripting or statistical language allowing the ability to schedule programs to run and generate output for review helps business experts manage these exceptions. As an example, new product launches require a tremendous amount of collaboration across the organization. Integrating this intelligence correctly into the planning system may require multiple processes such as a process to locate similar items, a process to apply changes to the planning, and a process to monitor backorder situations to highlight any adaptations to the other processes.

Performance management – “what teams measure, teams improve”

  • Customer fill rate at the facing and network level and measuring order and line fill
  • Inventory changes over time compared to part characteristics
  • Supplier performance and performance to promised/planned lead-times
  • Forecast compared to demand including accuracy
  • Stocking policy changes
  • Impacts after system changes
  • Tracking of purchase orders and transfer orders
  • Backorder changes over time

Monitoring of performance is vital. Tracking this performance over time allows for the identification of trends that potentially lead to indicators that impact performance. Finding these leading indicators allows quicker reactions to conditions in the marketplace. Good business intelligence or data analytic tools now allow the presentation of these trends in a more simplified visual aligning all necessary parties. If the team does make changes to improve performance, the team must develop a baseline to track success. For example, if making a change to plan more parts in the facility, tracking the baseline allows the team to make sure the changes hit the targets established. This in turn provides confidence to the rest of the organization in the planning team’s ability to fine-tune the system to produce results.

Frequent pain points exist when building inventory to stock in anticipation of future demand. Having the knowledge of the key data elements and the cleanliness of that data helps reduce some of this pain. Understanding the main system configurations and automating the system to manage 90 – 95% of the part population also decreases pain. Finally, establishing consistent, automated processes that manage the 5 – 10% of exceptions while developing proper performance management also lessens pain. To improve performance and lower pain, build repeatable, automated structures around data, systems, and processes.

For further insight into our coaching services please reach out to Seth Pacha, Director of Product Development, at seth.pacha@rockfarm.com.

To keep up with Rockfarm and the latest supply chain industry news, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Contact Us Today

Error: Contact form not found.


Brad Stewart, President

By Brad Stewart

Co-Founder, CCO

Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena.  As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.

“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”


Previous ArticleBreaking Down Demand Planning: Part 2 Next ArticleClarity on LTL Notifications