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A demand signal repository is a collection of customer data from many different sources that can provide users with a comprehensive view of sell-through activity on their products - knowledge that can be used to align supply planning with actual demand.
In a retail environment, a DSR might be populated with point of sale data, shelf prices and information around planned promotions, says Guy Yehiav, vice president-sales and strategy at Oracle. It may also gather information on shipments and inventory depletions, he says.
"Basically a DSR takes the pulse of your customers and tells you what they are doing with your products and how your products are moving through the value chain," he says. "Then you can be much more agile and nimble with your supply planning."
In addition to collecting information in one place, a DSR needs to have the right plug-ins to load and rollout the solution to as many of customers as possible, Yehiav says. A typical manufacturer would start with the 30 percent of customers that represent 80 percent of revenue.
If a company pulls the right information into a DSR, it can translate that data into power, says Yehiav. For example, account teams will be able to understand how marketing dollars are impacting demand or the supply chain factors affecting key customers. When companies are able to actually sense demand in the field, sales and operations planning becomes much more effective, he says.
In addition, every function within accounting can have its own scorecard, he says. "The supply chain guy in accounting will be able to see how many days of out-of-stocks are occurring in a certain retailer's store. Then he can drill down on the scorecard to find the root cause of why that issue was occurring."
"If you look one year back, most people didn't know what DSR was, but now most understand it and understand the value," he says. Once a few implementations are up and running, companies will start funding DSR projects, he predicts. "Oracle already is getting, on average, one request a week related to the technology," he says.
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