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There's nothing new about the idea of demand planning. Phoenician wine traders, 2,000 years ago, were savvy about staying ahead of fluctuations in demand via a network of merchant informants, and planned supply accordingly. The advent of vastly expanded computer data-processing power, along with the connectivity of the World Wide Web, has been offering for 20 years or more the attractive proposition of using technology to track and predict demand for goods more accurately. However, with a corresponding rise in the complexity and geographical spread of most supply chains, along with the need for speed in bringing new products to market, supply chain managers have struggled to harness the demand-planning capabilities modern technology offers. Arguably, that is now changing, and demand planning technology has finally come of age.
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