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Next Generation Demand Management by Charles W. Chase

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Chapter 2The Journey

Companies are all striving to improve their ability to sense demand signals faster to changes in the marketplace, align their supply faster to fluctuations in demand, and synchronize supply with demand to improved customer service with substantially less inventory, waste, and working capital. Everyone realizes that this is a journey, not a destination. It will take time and vision to actualize. It is also understood that the journey for each company will look slightly different. The biggest obstacle in the path is change itself, and opening up to the possibilities of what might be. The challenge is the uncertain roadmap of how an organization transitions from supply-driven to demand-driven, and finally becoming digital-driven.

Manufacturers, retailers, and distributors over the past three decades have created numerous shortcuts and overrides to their enterprise resource planning and supply chain management systems in an effort to make them more efficient. Yet, out-of-stocks persist and inventories continue to climb, negatively affecting the bottom line. Old methods based on spreadsheet forecasting, alerts, expediting, and siloed best practices have forced companies to search for new ways to improve customer satisfaction and lower the cost of doing business.

STARTING THE SUPPLY CHAIN JOURNEY

Still today, many companies focus solely on a supply-centric philosophy, selling into the market channel to obtain operational excellence by matching demand to supply, ...

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