What does Customer Collaboration & Customer Demand Forecasting enable your business to do? Do you have key customers that can significantly impact your demand for items they buy? For example, do you sell to big box retailers? Are there times when these key customers may turn on an item or turn off an item for a region, and you want to ensure you buy correctly for that demand?
For example, what if Home Depot notifies you that they are turning off an item they buy from you 6 months from now? Since they are a key customer with a significant impact on the demand on that item, wouldn’t it be nice if you could put in that date and have the system automatically adjust the customer demand forecasts when appropriate – removing the demand you are losing so that you don't overbuy that item?
Otherwise you will be stuck with excess inventory. Timing wise, you want to have your buys modified downward a lead time prior to the item being turned off so that you don’t get stuck with extra inventory.
Thrive’s Customer Collaboration Methodology
Thrive takes a customer collaboration approach, analyzing demand at the customer / location level for each item which provides several benefits:
- You can analyze sales by customer by item showing trends up or down to help with your inventory planning.
- At the item level, you can turn on or off demand for a specific customer so that the demand forecasting and replenishment logic adjusts itself appropriately. For wholesalers that sell to large retail accounts for example, this is a perfect solution that gives you the level of control over the demand that the system uses to buy, ensuring you provide the level of service that your key customers expect, yet not getting stuck with excess inventory in the process.
- If your key customers send you their forecasts over the next few months, Thrive can incorporate their forecasts into your replenishment plan for those SKU’s, further improving your ability to service those customers while doing it as efficiently, intelligently, and as profitably as possible.