The State of Demand Planning 2009

Will 2010 be the most challenging year to forecast and plan for in history? We have heard a lot of supply chain professionals say something along those lines to me over the past few months – and with good reason, says Dan Gilmore, editor-in-chief of the Supply Chain Digest.

For example, I sat next to a VP of Supply Chain for a metals-related company at lunch one day at the CSCMP conference in Denver this fall, and he said his company was in great angst over planning, budgeting and investing for 2010.

Play it highly conservative, and if the economy strongly rebounds, as some predict, you could not only lose revenue and profits, but possibly some market share on a permanent basis.

Play it too aggressive and we instead experience weak economic growth, and it could have a devastating impact on cash flow and the bottom line – and maybe send a company back towards the abyss if we see a double dip recession.

It all means the job of “demand planner” has never been more important – or more challenging.

Read more…