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Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

The Advantages of Demand Planning in the Cloud

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Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are more successful when they can streamline and optimize supply chain management (SCM) process. Therefore, demand planning must improve, so that growing companies have visibility into their forecasts, including the ups and downs of demand. The goal is to laser-target revenue forecasting and maximize profitability for each channel in the supply chain.

This is particularly important for small-to-medium high-growth companies. Every SMB wants to drive growth and profitability and find an edge over larger competitors. Optimizing the supply chain (across various geographies) is a great way to do just that. Cloud-based demand planning tools provide the tactical advantage to drive operational success and help with the achievement of strategic goals.

When Demand Planning is Done Right

With the right cloud-based demand planning solution, your company can accurately predict customer demand, efficiently deliver products to customers, boost cash flow, and profitably manage an ever increasingly complex global supply chain. As forecasting accuracy improves, SMBs will benefit from better inventory turns and order fill rates.

How that is achieved, though, differs by company since each business has unique needs, goals, and processes. For many firms, the cloud offers the best way to move forward with enterprise-level demand planning. It is the new default choice for any company, particularly SMBs, when considering game-changing demand planning solutions.

Cloud demand planning delivers four significant benefits, regardless of the industry:

  1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – When your demand planning solution is hosted in the cloud, you are no longer responsible for the management of the IT infrastructure that supports it, or for the costs associated with on-premises upgrades, patches, and general management.
  2. Streamlined Operations via Real-Time Integration – Your team accesses the exact data they need, when they need it, without worrying about how timely or accurate the data is. Why? Systems are seamlessly connected to one another, which also reduces operational costs and boosts collaboration.
  3. Laser-Targeted Market Demand Responses – Because you can access real-time demand signals, your company can quickly and efficiently respond to demand spikes/drops, even in the most volatile market conditions.
  4. Seamless Upgrades – On-premises upgrades can lead to business interruption, which affects fulfillment, which affects profitability. With cloud solutions, upgrades are quickly rolled out during non-peak times, or otherwise, take place with as little business interruption as possible.

But the benefits do not stop there. Doing demand planning in a cloud environment is a massive advantage for any industry that requires accurate and comprehensive planning for demand. And what industry doesn’t? With the cloud, demand planners leverage a common foundation to support supply chain planning with demand planning activities to create customer-centric solutions. Streamlined operational efficiencies, productivity improvements, improved user experiences, and tight data security are also key benefits.

Oracle Demand Management Cloud

Oracle Demand Management Cloud offers advanced capabilities, such as:

  • Enhanced statistical capabilities
  • Configurable hierarchies to support aggregation and disaggregation of demand
  • Configurable metrics and workbenches
  • Enhanced analytics
  • Management-by-exception capabilities to streamline demand management daily functions
  • Simulation capability

Additionally, users of Oracle Demand Management Cloud can tailor their application experience without the assistance of IT. This drives down costs (as compared to on-premises solutions), as well as a more empowered user base. Coupled with very effective ROIs and robust functionality, the economic argument for Oracle Demand Management Cloud is hard to ignore.

Align Operations with Strategic Goals

SMBs are under increasing pressure not just to grow, but to profitably grow while moving into new markets, territories, and products. This requires the dovetailing of day-to-day operations across supply chains with strategic goals. Demand planning is an integral part of this exercise. The capabilities of Oracle Demand Management Cloud lets your company analyze consumer demand at its most granular level in real time and drive forecast analysis closer to consumption points. All while providing an intuitive, tightly integrated user experience.  

The bottom line for high-growth SMBs? With Oracle Demand Management Cloud for demand planning, companies can rapidly gain a competitive edge once available only to large enterprises. With this tactical tool in the cloud, it becomes easier to quickly reach strategic goals regardless of an SMB’s supply chain depth and complexity.

Learn how Oracle Cloud is helping growing companies prepare for the future.

By Brad Van Zeeland, Senior Solutions Architect, CSS International, Inc.

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