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American technology research

Companies are increasingly investing in their sales and operation planning (S&OP) process and tools. Gartner, an American technology research and advisory firm, considers demand planning accuracy at the top of the list of key supply chain performance indicators.  

Demand planning is becoming more sophisticated. Powerful statistical tools can model consumer demand patterns, while demand shaping and demand sensing are on the rise, and are placing demand planning in a more proactive position with the markets. These developments will yield service and working capital benefits in supply chains which use forecasts to set inventory levels — commonly known as make-to-stocksupply chains. 

This emphasis on demand planning resonates strongly with companies that must respond very quickly to consumer market forces with immediate fulfilment of B2B orders from retailers or B2C orders through omni-channels.  

Project supply chains are often forgotten when we discuss today’s supply chain trends. Project supply chains are chains that provide products that are for a unique customer, and must be configured or even designed from scratch. Think of a new power station, an airplane or a telecommunications network. These supply chains have a global footprint, several internal and external production points, lead times that are several months long, and most importantly, critical links with engineering and commercial teams.