The major question being addressed by CTL's Demand Management activities is: "What strategies, principles, and methods can be leveraged to optimally match supply and demand over time?" To address this question a comprehensive data base of DM practices and survey results across a multitude of industries will be created. The focus is on the exchange of information, practice profiling, interviews with experts, and industry surveys.
The processes within the scope of DM include:
- Setting customer service expectations in the long run by segmenting the customer base to offer tailored programs and differentiated services. These services might include differentiated order cycle times, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), and Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR), as well as leveraging the Service Window Management principles.
- Tactical and medium-term planning, for example, the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) and Merchandize Planning and Allocation processes. Advances to be researched include incorporating new product launch and promotional plans, global (worldwide) planning, the use of downstream and upstream external data (such as POS and RFID), the use of optimization and risk management techniques, and the leveraging of demand-shaping principles.
- Promising a customer order fulfillment date which involves gauging all current and future supply that might be used to satisfy a customer's order, in the context of anticipated demand from other customers. This includes the Available-to-Promise (ATP) and Capable-to-Promise (CTP) processes.
- Using decision support information to optimally enable the above processes. This information includes Activity-Based Costing, Cost-to-Serve, and Customer/Product Profitability reports.
- Integrating the above processes so that they act in concert with each other to optimally match supply and demand over time.