Harness the potential of your sales forecasts with Demand Planning

When sales fore­cast­ing soft­ware accu­rate­ly antic­i­pates demand plan­ning, then it is a key ele­ment in the effi­cient man­age­ment of your business. 

With ever-increas­ing infor­ma­tion sources and data vol­umes, it’s essen­tial to use high-per­for­mance tools to man­age and fore­cast demand accurately. 

That’s where Infor Demand Plan­ning comes in. 

Withyears of expe­ri­ence and ongo­ing devel­op­ment, it offers a robust solu­tion for antic­i­pat­ing your com­pa­ny’s future needs, with­out the need for a crys­tal ball.

A crystal ball on a beach illustrates the difficulty of forecasting sales.
1 point of fore­cast reli­a­bil­i­ty equals a 10% reduc­tion in inven­to­ry!

Sales forecasting software — Infor Demand Planning

Devel­oped by Mer­cia Soft­ware and merged with Agilisys when acquired by Infor, pre­vi­ous ver­sions of Infor Demand Plan­ning are known as MLE — Mer­cia Lincs Entre­prise and Infor MLE Demand Planning.

Demand Plan­ning is an essen­tial mod­ule in the Infor Sup­ply Chain Plan­ning suite, designed to sim­pli­fy the man­age­ment of sales fore­casts for companies.

This mod­ule offers advanced fea­tures to meet the chal­lenges of demand plan­ning. With Infor Demand Plan­ning, you can eas­i­ly process large vol­umes of data, with up to 5 mil­lion dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and chan­nels

Thanks to the use of prob­a­bilis­tic fore­cast­ing meth­ods and machine learn­ing, this soft­ware guar­an­tees opti­mum accu­ra­cy in your forecasts.

This mod­ule pro­vides orga­ni­za­tions, fore­cast­ers and sales teams with a fast, high­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive demand plan­ning plat­form to solve fore­cast­ing chal­lenges once and for all:

  • Auto­mat­ed devi­a­tion detection
  • Alert-based oper­a­tion, to focus the fore­cast­er’s atten­tion on what counts: his added value
  • Opti­miza­tion of con­sis­tent and sea­son­al demand models
  • Real-time mon­i­tor­ing of changes to adjust forecasts

Sales forecasting software features — Infor Demand Planning 

Managing special cases

Infor Demand Plan­ning enables effi­cient man­age­ment of spo­radic requests and spe­cial cas­es such as pro­mo­tions, spe­cial events and spe­cial offers.

You can mon­i­tor their impact on future fore­casts, and obtain rel­e­vant fore­casts by quick­ly detect­ing vari­a­tions in the behav­ior of items with errat­ic demand

Even with lim­it­ed or non-exis­tent his­tor­i­cal data, such as a new prod­uct, the soft­ware uses sim­i­lar­i­ties in behav­ior, either his­tor­i­cal or pre­dict­ed, and deliv­ers qual­i­ty fore­casts. This also works for slow-mov­ing items.

What-if simulation scenarios

With the what-if sce­nar­ios fea­ture, your fore­cast­ers can sim­u­late dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and com­pare results to make informed deci­sions

Whether for esti­mat­ing dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, shar­ing sce­nar­ios with stake­hold­ers (man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing, pro­duc­tion…) or facil­i­tat­ing the sales and oper­a­tions plan­ning (S&OP) process, Demand Plan­ning offers a pre­cise and rapid approach to eval­u­at­ing options.

Machine learning for reliable forecasting 

Demand Plan­ning uses machine learn­ing tech­niques to con­tin­u­ous­ly improve the accu­ra­cy of your fore­casts

These tech­niques include:

  • tra­di­tion­al, sim­ple meth­ods such as mov­ing averages, 
  • or less sim­ple regres­sions such as lin­ear, Cros­ton, HoltWinters.

The fore­cast­er also has easy access to more advanced mod­els such as :

  • Bayesian meth­ods,
  • or arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence such as Machine Learning, 
  • Fac­tor­iza­tion Machines — Deci­sion Tree models, 
  • as well as mod­el com­pe­ti­tions, to let the tool sug­gest the opti­mum solution.

It’s the fore­cast­er who val­i­dates and commits.

By ana­lyz­ing past trends and iden­ti­fy­ing the off­set­ting effects of non-recur­ring events, this intel­li­gent, well-con­fig­ured sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly learns as it goes along, guar­an­tee­ing increas­ing­ly accu­rate and reli­able fore­casts.

Simplified integration

Demand Plan­ning inte­grates seam­less­ly with the oth­er mod­ules in the Infor Sup­ply Chain Plan­ning suite. In par­tic­u­lar, Sup­ply Plan­ning uses its data. 

This seam­less inte­gra­tion makes it easy to exchange large vol­umes of input data, giv­ing you greater vis­i­bil­i­ty across your entire sup­ply chain. 

What’s more, Demand Plan­ning inter­faces with Infor’s ERP solu­tions: Infor M3 and Infor LN, sim­pli­fy­ing your man­age­ment processes.

A word from the integrator

Demand fore­cast­ing soft­ware brings the most mea­sur­able finan­cial ben­e­fits. In fact, the ROI in terms of inven­to­ry cost of own­er­ship is excel­lent, thanks to improve­ments in fore­cast­ing reliability. 

Demand Plan­ning also provides : 

Performance and stability

Its speed of cal­cu­la­tion exe­cu­tion, sys­tem sta­bil­i­ty, data vol­ume man­age­ment and soft­ware avail­abil­i­ty dur­ing crit­i­cal peri­ods val­i­date its Best of Breed posi­tion­ing

Final­ly, the soft­ware’s abil­i­ty to han­dle sim­u­la­tion sce­nar­ios and deliv­er accu­rate, reli­able results is high­ly appreciated.

Data accuracy and integration 

Demand Plan­ning’s abil­i­ty to man­age and inte­grate data from var­i­ous sources, such as : 

  • ERP systems, 
  • his­tor­i­cal sales data, 
  • exter­nal data: mete­o­ro­log­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, etc, 
  • and infor­ma­tion on pro­mo­tions and spe­cial events.

The pre­ci­sion of the fore­cast­ing meth­ods used by the soft­ware and the abil­i­ty to man­age updates in real time or at reg­u­lar inter­vals is a real plus.

It’s a tool that exhaus­tive­ly and eas­i­ly col­lects all the data need­ed to pro­duce a good forecast.

7 benefits of implementing sales forecasting software — Demand Planning

Improved forecast accuracy

Usingadvanced algo­rithms and sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els, Demand Plan­ning ana­lyzes your his­tor­i­cal sales data and mar­ket trends to improve the reli­a­bil­i­ty of your fore­casts

This trans­lates direct­ly into reduced over­stock­ing, few­er out-of-stocks and improved cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion.

Efficient inventory management

By antic­i­pat­ing demand, you can adjust your inven­to­ry lev­els more pre­cise­ly. This avoids cost­ly stock-outs, min­i­mizes obso­lete stock and opti­mizes your inven­to­ry car­ry­ing costs. 

This inte­grat­ed inven­to­ry opti­miza­tion is native to the appli­ca­tion.

Effec­tive inven­to­ry man­age­ment also improves your cash flow and work­ing cap­i­tal requirements.

Greater visibility throughout the supply chain 

By using Demand Plan­ning, you ben­e­fit from increased vis­i­bil­i­ty across your entire sup­ply chain. You can ana­lyze precisely :

  • demand behav­ior,
  • iden­ti­fy bottlenecks,
  • and stream­line your processes.

This in-depth knowl­edge enables you to make informed deci­sions and con­tribute to the over­all improve­ment of your sup­ply chain.

Cost reduction and ROI

The ROI fol­low­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of Demand Plan­ning is rapid:

  • sup­ply chain costs reduced by up to 25%.
  • reduced ship­ping costs

What’s more, bet­ter plan­ning of pro­duc­tion, pro­cure­ment and logis­tics man­age­ment all con­tribute to improv­ing your com­pa­ny’s over­all profitability.

Augmented collaborative planning

Thanks to the use of a com­mon, cen­tral­ized plat­form, all depart­ments (sales, mar­ket­ing, logis­tics, oper­a­tions, finance, etc.) sup­ply­ing data work togeth­er to pro­duce fore­casts

Visualization screen of Infor Demand Planning collaborative software for sales forecasting

This col­lab­o­ra­tion improves data accu­ra­cy, and facil­i­tates the align­ment of cor­po­rate objec­tives. The social col­lab­o­ra­tion plat­form elim­i­nates silos. 

It enables con­sen­su­al plan­ning both inter­nal­ly and externally.

Evolution and growth 

Demand Plan­ning eas­i­ly adapts to the expan­sion of your prod­uct port­fo­lio and oper­a­tions. The soft­ware’s flex­i­bil­i­ty enables it to han­dle any increase in data vol­umes and com­plex­i­ty, thanks to its chan­nel and prod­uct hier­ar­chies.

This adap­ta­tion to busi­ness needs makes it a robust tool. It sup­ports growth with­out sac­ri­fic­ing fore­cast accu­ra­cy or inven­to­ry man­age­ment efficiency. 

Ergonomic reporting and on-board analytics

Demand Plan­ning fea­tures a user-friend­ly inter­face. It allows you to gen­er­ate overviews, track key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs) and pro­duce reports for effec­tive decision-making. 

By sup­port­ing 100% of your analy­sis and report­ing needs, the soft­ware facil­i­tates your com­pa­ny’s con­tin­u­ous improve­ment processes.

Infor’s figures on the benefits of Demand Planning

Accord­ing to Infor esti­mates, imple­ment­ing Demand Plan­ning sales fore­cast­ing soft­ware gen­er­ates tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits:

  • Reduce sup­ply chain costs by up to 25%.
  • Increase fore­cast accu­ra­cy by up to 30%.
  • Up to 40% reduc­tion in costs asso­ci­at­ed with var­i­ous types of waste

Stand out from the crowd with demand fore­cast­ing software!

Con­tact ALOER to find out how Infor Demand Plan­ning opti­mizes your sales fore­cast­ing and sup­ply chain management.