According to the Consumer Goods Supply Chain Forecasting Survey by ToolsGroup (A leading supply chain planning software provider) and the Global Market Development Center (GMDC), even though two-thirds of companies in the consumer goods supply chain consider demand volatility and forecast accuracy a high businesses priority, half still rely on Excel spreadsheets for forecasting. The survey responses were gathered from a sample of GMDC members during May 2012.
There was also clear survey evidence of a corporate focus on achieving high service levels and fill rates. A full 58 percent of respondents identified these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as high priority.
Eighty-one percent of respondents say they now achieve 95-99 percent service levels based on fill rates or in-stock at the shelf and 5 percent are topping 99 percent levels.
The survey identified a distinct difference between companies’ priorities and the relatively simple systems they are still deploying. For instance, while 74 percent of respondents would find it helpful to develop a bottom-up forecast (SKU-Location) by key customer and leverage point-of-sale (POS) data, more than half don’t have a forecast system in place to plan collaboratively with their partners, beyond home-grown Excel-based solutions.
The survey also confirmed the importance of trade promotions to supply chain planning. Forty-one percent of the survey respondents reported that at least one-third of their volume is driven through advertising and trade promotions, which directly impact baseline forecasts.