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Let's say you're a large consumer goods manufacturer doing business in 160 different countries, selling your products to retail customers ranging from Wal-Mart to small stores, each with its own stocking needs. The rising amount of point-of-sale and other demand data being passed to you, particularly by your largest customers, is beginning to overwhelm your people and systems. Meanwhile, the number of products and SKUs for which you must forecast and shape demand is soaring as your company attempts to satisfy the tastes of an increasingly global customer base. In fact, since 1998, your company has increased the number of SKUs it must manage by 4,000 percent.
OK, now imagine coming up with an accurate, actionable demand plan for each of those products in each market.
Source: Managing Automation
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