Maximizing Demand Planning in Retail: A New Vision

anticipation, prévision, commerce de détail, détaillants, achat

Due to the quantity of back orders in many sectors, consumer habits have significatively changed. Unavailability of certain products pushed consumers to buy alternative products and brands, which enabled them to discover other available options. The question is will they continue to buy these products and brands in the future, or will they go back to their old habits?

Consumer behavior will certainly be very different according to the sales sector, especially when considering the important price increases that affect buying trends. For example, for the food and beverages industry, buying habits might remain mainly unchanged, whereas the purchase of clothing, and sporting goods, etc. might evolve very quickly according to the needs and financial situation of each family. It is therefore extremely important for retail companies to monitor any changes in their clients’ purchasing habits, in order to react very quickly, in a way that will be beneficial to companies.

Digitalizing Purchasing Processes

These past years have propelled us towards a fast acceleration in online sales, thus adding an important challenge to companies that were not prepared for this phenomenon. Digitalizing purchasing processes represents an advantage for all companies, it simplifies tracking of their clients’ purchases. Diligent monitoring of their website activity can help them understand the evolution of the demand, thus enabling them to place the necessary orders with their suppliers in order to meet their demand.

One thing is for certain, it is never too late to review tools and processes. Companies need to have the right tools and efficient processes in place to meet their specific needs. This is important in order to manage and plan demand accordingly and place orders months in advance, as requested by many suppliers. Several tools using artificial intelligence and machine learning are available on the market and are gaining in performance and popularity. Companies that are willing to improve their demand planning and maximize their profitability might have an interest in them. In addition, a study conducted by Gartner demonstrated that machine learning is most used for demand planning, in the whole supply chain.

Reviewing Processes for Better Agility

Changes, disruptions, challenges, and unexpected events have occurred in all organizations since 2020, increasing the need to perform complete efficiency audits of all processes. In fact, what we are realizing is that many companies are not ready to adapt to the new reality they are facing.  Process improvements can allow companies to target the best tools suited for them, in order to be as efficient as possible. The goal is to increase the organizations’ agility and proactivity to exceed their clients’ needs, a target that all retail companies should thrive to achieve in 2022. In fact, according to Gartner, 96% of retail companies plan to invest to make their supply chain more agile in 2022, while 90% want them to become more resilient. Counter to what many organizations might imagine, a return to your old « pre-pandemic » habits is neither realistic, nor desirable. What better time to bring your company back on the right track?

C2.0 analyzes and implements tangible solutions that have an impact on the entire supply chain. We support you in sourcing, organizing public and private tenders, selecting and managing suppliers, improving your Procure to Pay (P2P) process, optimizing your strategic purchasing, inventory, and implementing purchasing policies and procedures.