Demand planners are coping with the growing complexity of consumer-goods supply chains. Most of all, they have to do a better job of getting the numbers right, says Robert F. Byrne, chief executive officer of Terra Technology.
So-called "growth through innovation" strategies continue to drive supply chain complexity at a rapid pace, making it harder for businesses to forecast, according to the 2014 Terra Technology Forecasting Benchmark Study. Data shows that demand planning has reached a performance ceiling with forecast value-added declining for a second year.
North American supply chains became more complex in 2012 as the economy continued to recover. Rapid innovation, higher seasonal sales and increased reliance on promotions contributed to make forecasting more challenging. These and other findings are contained in the Terra Technology Forecasting Benchmark Study, now in its fourth year.
The big name in cereal and snacks seeks to improve forecast accuracy through the adoption of a new tool that supplements traditional supply-chain planning processes with a broader range of information about actual customer demand.