DemandCaster: Turning Demand Planners into Superheroes

Tom Nessen, GM
Consumers are fickle. It’s a fact. According to research from Accenture, people are switching brands more frequently today, despite the fact that brands are investing $90+ billion in loyalty programs. As channels expand, competition increases, and customers increasingly expect extraordinary experiences, it’s getting harder and harder for companies to predict demand. Demand Planners can’t keep up without advanced supply chain planning technology.

Ara Surenian, DemandCaster’s Founder and Head of Product and Engineering, understands the challenges all too well as Ara was a former supply chain planning professional and consultant to the industry. With a deep appreciation for the intricacies of forecasting and planning, Ara designed DemandCaster to work the way a planner works and launched the application in 2007 as the industry’s first cloud solution for integrated demand forecasting and supply planning.

According to Tom Nessen, GM of DemandCaster, “There is both an art and science to supply chain planning and when done effectively can fuel company growth by freeing up cash for expansion initiatives. With DemandCaster, planners become organizational heroes armed with data-driven insights and operational agility that enables them to plan for the unexpected, delight customers, and optimize what matters most to the business.”

DemandCaster provides powerful, yet intuitive capabilities for agile, end-to-end supply chain planning. The system is easy to implement, integrates with a wide range of data sources, and delivers rapid results. Within months, DemandCaster customers typically realize improvements such as 20–30 percent reduction in inventory, increases in on-time/in-full (OTIF) shipments, reductions in stock-outs, and notable margin increases.

The DemandCaster software suite supports inventory optimization, integrated demand/supply planning, sales and operations planning (S&OP), MPS/MRP, and capacity planning. All modules are fully integrated within in a single cloud-based platform that allows for collaboration across a distributed planning organization. According to Nessen, while many companies currently have processes in place for these functions, they haven’t invested in the proper tools to ensure forward-looking, consensus-based planning.


DemandCaster turns planners into heroes armed with insight and agility that propels their organizations into thriving, highly competitive enterprises


“We’re still seeing a lot of companies trying to execute S&OP with spreadsheets which are not only error-prone, but they become a roadblock to achieving organizational alignment. A lack of collaboration between interdependent business functions results in planning failure.”

ASK Power, an electrical distributor, is one customer reaping the benefits of DemandCaster. When ASK Power found their on-time delivery taking a nosedive, the company realized that their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system was lacking detailed capacity planning and support for S&OP. With DemandCaster in place, the company achieved 99 percent on-time performance, increased inventory turns, reduced lead times, and increased profit margin from two to over 10 percent.

Knowing that a planner’s role will continue to evolve, the cornerstone for DemandCaster’s product roadmap is one of continuous innovation that is informed by feedback from customers as well as industry trends. “One area of focus for us is injecting artificial intelligence and machine learning into the planning process. As a first stage of enabling planners to harness the power of these emerging trends, DemandCaster is building a set of analytic tools that will be delivered through comprehensive dashboards in the coming months,” says Nessen.

Companies around the world—ranging in size and supply chain complexity—rely on DemandCaster to help them tackle their toughest supply chain challenges. Nessen states, “Forecasting and planning are complex functions that when done right deliver big dividends. At DemandCaster, our mission is to make the complex simpler through advanced software that delivers continuous value and transforms the planning function into a growth driver for the enterprise.”

Company
DemandCaster

Headquarters
Troy, MI

Management
Tom Nessen, GM

Description
Helps companies of all sizes and complexity to accurately forecast demand, optimize inventory, support sales & operations planning, and efficiently execute day-to-day operations