Holiday demand planning: Three key attributes for speed & accuracy

Season’s Greetings! Brought to you by Solvanni

It is that time of the year again; and the retail, consumer goods, F&B, and logistics industries are eagerly waiting for consumers to splurge, despite the recent dip in global economies. It is also the most dreaded time for supply chain leaders across the globe, all except Santa. He’s probably the only supply chain leader who not only knows when you’ve been good or bad, but his demand forecasting system works so well that everyone receives their presents on Christmas day, every time! But for lesser mortals, this isn’t the time be bogged down by glitches, human or technical. Most CXOs would remember candy giant Hershey’s horrific Halloween of ’99 when they could not deliver $100 million worth of Kisses and Jolly Ranchers. No one would want to get caught in a spot like that. *


A recent survey by Deloitte indicated that 65% respondents preferred online shopping to avoid crowds. While this doesn’t come as a surprise in the current times, this holiday season will be a witness to new challenges and roadblocks as organizations bravely prepare to meet the demand surge. Especially when most global sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and last mile delivery organizations are not out of the rut yet. In light of the new supply chain challenges, on-time delivery will see a new low. Salesforce predicts that 700 million gifts will not arrive in time for the holidays.

The dynamics of Demand Planning

Demand planning has never been an easy job. Planners have to factor in a lot of variables, coordinate across business key business functions of Sales, Marketing, HR, and Finance, understand demand patterns and market conditions that impact those patterns. Successful demand planning demands being proactive and prepared for dynamic markets shifts, such as the impending holiday season. All of these are possible only when there is a free flow of information across the organization. There are several tools in the market that leverage historical data to generate market forecasts. However, the biggest challenge with most is their inability to deliver accurate forecasts in case of unforeseen market/economic conditions such as the current situation.  Let us look at three key attributes of a demand planning tool that are critical in the current times.

  • Address multiple types of datasets

Many commonly available forecasting tools generally use a single type of data, which is in most cases enough to deliver a forecast. Some new tools can compute with multiple types of data, delivering a more accurate prediction. Additional data sets can help create more customized forecasts, applicable to specific scenarios, with continuously improving accuracy of the forecasts, much needed to manage demand efficiently during the holiday season.

  • Run ad hoc analysis

Almost all forecasting systems available today provide an accurate picture of the future. But there are only a handful of tools that can delve into the drivers that result in a particular prediction. The ability to run such ad-hoc to perform analysis on your data is a powerful mechanism to analyze the forecast from multiple angles and thoroughly study the drivers that have the most impact on the forecast outcome.

  • Democratize forecasting

Analytics and Machine Learning (ML) have traditionally been viewed as the stronghold of data scientists and experts with special degrees. An innovative forecasting model should be able to drive AI & ML capabilities across the organization while enhancing the efficiency of the specialists at the same time. Such a tool democratizes ML forecasting, providing quick and easy access to the insights to whoever needs it within the organization, thus empowering more people to drive value and handle seasonal spikes with ease.

Powering order fulfillment beyond 2020

It is not just Santa who needs an effective demand planning mechanism; accurate forecasting is a must for successful supply chain dynamics. We will see more uncertainty in the times to come with strained geopolitical relations and economic instabilities. Resilient supply chains and empowered leaders with strong decision-making capabilities will leverage technology to drive real business outcomes in the future of successful demand planning.

Respond, Recover and Renew: The Road To Supply Chain Resiliency

“The duration of COVID-19 and the level of ensuing deaths and chaos it leaves in its wake will determine to some degree the way that supply chains evolve, but the havoc that this global pandemic is already wreaking on manufacturing, retail, and society at large will have effects that will remain long after the coronavirus — this version of it, at any rate — has come and gone.”

                                                                                         -Supply chain in the post COVID era, IDC


COVID 19 has changed the face of businesses forever. Every industry has been hit hard by the global challenge, and organizations across are working at an unprecedented pace to mitigate current risks and defend themselves against future disruptions. The past couple of months have increasingly exposed key supply chain vulnerabilities of organizations- disconnected supply chain planning systems, sub-optimized inventory strategy, and poor supplier communication. These have created a domino effect with higher stockout rates, skewed partner priorities, ineffective business decision-making, and even lower productivity of key business functions such as Finance, Sales, HR, etc. Determined to overcome the substantial business and operational upheavals, organizations are now finally analyzing their supply chains and taking restorative measures. Here we list down some of the outcomes of the renewed approach to supply chain management:

Gaining prominence of Supply Chain Governance and Security

The pandemic has forced enterprises to move operations to multiple geos for low-cost production, resulting in an increased awareness of macro trends, global risk events and security incidents. Modern supply chain approaches are increasingly incorporating the impact of politics and international policies and putting in place strong governance mechanisms to ensure the right amount of oversight on the supply chain process and allay future disruptions.

Supply chains driven by Connected Planning

The current pandemic has brought into focus the heightened need for supply chain resiliency. In a bid to build stronger long-term operations, organizations are replacing disparate spreadsheets, standalone systems, and disconnected point-to-point solutions, with a single cohesive solution that combines processes across Finance, Sales, Supply chain, Marketing and HR, for quicker and better decision-making.

In such an integrated business planning approach, organizations can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and business priorities, enabled by the end-to-end visibility into supplier historical performance as well as needs and goals of internal business units and processes. A unified platform from Anaplan that enhances internal collaboration are leading to highly agile supply chains.


Better preparedness with Ecosystem Partners

For enterprises evaluating supply chain technology and solutions, the right guidance on how to re-assess supply chain stability, how to introduce and select a pilot, how to enable connected planning across the organization, etc is vital for supply chain success. This is where ecosystem partners come in, helping organizations do all these as they adapt to the new normal with a robust supply chain that delivers new levels of productivity, quality and service.

Case in point

Let us take the case of a global, US based beverage company who had to transfer their bottling plants to 70 independent companies. Managing the diverse product categories, with 100 new SKUs launched in a year and maintaining 300-tab spreadsheets for every product launch was becoming a major challenge. In addition, the company also had to adhere to stringent technology implementation timelines.

Taking a connected planning approach, the global enterprise partnered with a supply chain experts from Solvanni to align procurement activity leveraging a common platform. The solution brought together multiple components such as Supplier Collaboration for direct materials procurement, Product Cost management, Pricing Optimization, Long-Range planning, CAPEX, Revenue & OPEX, Income Statement Forecasting and finally Demand, Sales & Operations Planning. By facilitating end-to-end supply chain visibility, they were able to roll-out forecasts for seventy new products in just three months. Enabling 150+ users at 68 bottlers to submit forecast data, the robust processes and timely communications have strengthened the supply chain and minimized supply disruptions.

Future supply chains

Manufacturing companies across automotive, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, industrial and consumer goods sectors are now investing heavily in technology and partnerships to transform entire supply chains. The new world supply chains are highly resilient and sustainable and take into account multiple dimensions of socio-political conditions. Trade wars, global politics and national policies are now essential considerations of supply chain structures of the future. And so are service providers like Solvanni who can scale up aggressively to meet the ever- evolving demands and react quickly to change.



How transform-national can you be is the challenge in this new age of Supply Chain and the disruptions.

Solvanni delivers the Future State Supply Chain Visibility, Predictive and Prescriptive Platform for the Manufacturing, Retail, Process, CPG, Automotive, Agriculture Industry as this Platform embeds all the most talked about and futuristic Artificial Intelligence and Learning Supply Chains that the Industry wants for tomorrow’s business needs.

We are here to solve your business problems and that why we call us as Solvanni “Solving Any Business Need”

Wall Street wants to know where they can play their bets… Solvanni is here to change the paradigm in the thinking of how better the wall street can play their bets towards “Connecting the World”

Call us for a demo to unleash the potential of how you can predict the future of your business and inform your investors and the Wall street of how you are going to be part of an initiative and an Eco system that is transforming the connected world of supply chains

We are here to transform the current and the future state of supply chains



Solvanni Corporation CEO Bharani Rang was privileged to speak along with top Industry leaders of Supply Chain, Logistics & Procurement in the prestigious Global Supply Chain Innovation Summit April 10th – 11th 2017 at Gurgaon India. Bharani Rang was one of the panelists along with Supply Chain leadership from Carlsberg, Cargill, Future Retail and moderation by Atul Patel of Anaplan to speak on the topic “Value Chain Planning – Is it a key differentiation in a Omni Channel Environment”



Visibility to your manufacturing process is key to achieving perfect order fulfillment which determines your organization’s ability to fulfill a demand on time. While supply chain processes have matured leaders also demonstrate the convergence of B2B and B2C capability. Orchestrating a closed-loop integration between planning and execution is imperative. With all the automation in planning […]

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