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Demand management is a forecasting process which establishes a critical link between the marketplace and a company’s activity. Using an understanding of the market, both internally from an operational perspective and externally from a buyer or supply chain perspective, the process aims to ensure demand is met via the most cost-effective and profitable approach.
Adapting a business model using demand management delivers optimised value and competitive advantage. We combine our consulting and industry expertise with our digital platform to conduct an in-depth analysis of all potential demands, creating an improvement plan that meets the product or service need while addressing procurement costs. Implementing this demand management plan ensures our clients are using resources efficiently and enhancing profitability while being aligned as closely as possible with current and future customer demand and the prevailing commercial climate.
We take clients through several essential steps to maximise efficiencies via demand management. These include developing the improvement strategy, aligning operations across departments, generating buy-in, establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), implementing the strategy and consolidating change.
Developing the strategy
Demand management begins with a deep dive into what creates the need within a business and what areas require improvement to align with this need. Our demand management consultants work closely with our clients, using their extensive market knowledge and our data science capability to carry out a gap analysis of supply and demand, then develop a comprehensive strategy for improvement.
A key element in demand management is ensuring all departments operate together seamlessly towards a common goal. Therefore, this step is critical in identifying any conflicts, silos or gaps in awareness and bringing together departments to collaborate as one entity. With proven success in implementing demand management for large organisations, our consultants support clients with this mediation process to ensure a successful outcome.
By taking a transparent approach to communicating the demand management strategy across the company, sharing its aims and highlighting its benefits, company leaders can strengthen stakeholder commitment to the initiatives.
Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs)
The effectiveness of the demand management strategy can only be established if clear KPIs are determined from the outset. We ensure KPIs are created for each area of change, and a plan is put in place for their regular review as well as measuring and tracking the improvements in productivity and profitability that each change provides.
The implementation of the demand management strategy may include updating or creating new processes, IT systems or resources. There will likely also be the need to reprioritise or upskill staff to ensure the strategy is delivered effectively.
For demand management to succeed, it must deliver sustainable change. Communication and regular reviews with the relevant stakeholders, where the strategy and the benefits it has produced are evaluated, will help reinforce the change and strengthen motivation in its continued application
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The benefits of best practice
With our operational expertise, we can support clients in identifying areas for improvement and creating and implementing an effective demand management strategy, enabling their operations to be more in line with current demands and improving cost efficiencies and profitability. These key benefits are achieved through:
Effective forecasting of demand
The forecasting process of demand management creates a better understanding of the market, enabling improved planning of operations, reduced waste, greater cost efficiency and increased competitive advantage.
Improved product or service delivery
Understanding demand and aligning operations accordingly puts companies in a position to respond more effectively to market needs and deliver improved products or services.
Strengthened customer loyalty
By adapting to the needs of the market, either through more appropriate pricing or adjusted product or service offerings, customer satisfaction is enhanced, which, in turn, generates brand loyalty and an increased market share.
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Supply chain deficits, such as semiconductor and chip shortages, have had a huge impact on businesses in recent years.