NetSuite Demand Planning Guide

NetSuite Demand Planning is generally precision and flexibility in inventory management and forecasting. Businesses must therefore maintain the right figures of inventory to meet anticipated demand in an effective way for them to get best-in-class inventory management. Organizations those are not able to maintain this particular balance end-up carrying excess inventory and spending a huge amount of money on unplanned replenishment and emergency or expedited shipments.

Due to such consequences, business companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their inventory management through various models of Demand Planning, which tend to give the right inventory balance. Unfortunately, this process only relies on manual inputs and spreadsheets from sales teams for most organizations. The manual nature of this particular process leads to forecasts that are not timely and inaccurate. Additionally, the process itself can sometimes be very expensive, consuming both resources and time, which could be better used in the right way, understanding how to effectively leverage the results.

The new Demand Planning module for NetSuite helps solve such problems by enabling inventory and purchasing managers to establish the demand projection of products in the coming days based on trends or the sales forecast information and historical data. This delivers the insights, which departmental mangers require to plan inventory and create work orders and purchase to meet their anticipated demand accordingly.

Since this Demand Planning for NetSuite is fully integrated with CRM and NetSuite financials, you can combine supply and demand planning to very crucial processes to operate a leaner business with relatively higher customer satisfaction levels.

NetSuite Demand Planning Guide 

Key Benefits

  • Accelerate and streamline supply-side processes particularly with work and purchase orders
  • Improve top-line revenue via a better understanding and knowledge of the demand for every top-selling item
  • Increase productivity by getting rid of manual work and tying sales forecasts to the demand
  • Minimize risk, delays, cost and lost sales while enhancing customer satisfaction
  • Meet the challenges of all Demand Planning scenarios, even the most complex ones
  • Optimize levels of inventory to anticipated demand and reduce overstocks and stock-outs.

Key Features

1. Supply Plan – Streamlined Replenishment 

This module of NetSuite Demand Planning offers you a list of all recommended work orders or purchase orders based on certain parameters set on the product record such as lead-time and re-orders point in calculating the supply plan. However, the preferred vendor from this item record can be used on a purchase order particularly if these purchase orders are generated.

When there is an involvement of assembly items, the factors of supply plan in every level of a multi-part plan and assembly the work orders for every sub-component of the build and purchasing of needed raw materials. This gives you the flexibility required for Demand Planning environments, even the most complex ones.

In addition, this supply plan enables the user to choose which items to directly calculate ordering requirements that provide flexibility especially when different approaches might be needed. The system automatically considers outstanding quantities in all non-posting transactions, including work orders, purchase orders, and transfer orders. It also considers outstanding in all posting transactions such as item fulfillment, invoices, and item receipt and cash sale. All these are to ensure that the supply plan perfectly reflects existing orders and inventories.

2. Demand Plan – Flexibility in Forecasting

When calculating your demand plan using NetSuite, you can choose the time-frame of future forecast or historical data to be used to determine seasonal fluctuations in your inventory. Additionally, you can easily incorporate preferred levels of stock set on a per-item or company basis when creating the demand plan. Projections are all calculated based on each location of the item, giving you the much needed flexibility to perfectly project demand in a given location. In this case, once the demand plan is created, you can easily review and edit any individual inventory needs for a certain time-frame of the plan. For example, you may decide to improve the level of inventory for any month if you plan to initiate a promotional campaign that particular month.

This module of Demand Planning and NetSuite allows the users to analyze their stock demand requirements based on a range of packaged projection approaches such as:

  • Moving Average – Uses the previous demand in calculating the overall average level of stock required, then projects future levels of stock using the same overall average.
  • Sales Forecast – If you’re using NetSuite for the sales operations, this plan uses forward-looking data of sales forecast to project the inventory demand.
  • Linear Regression – This option also uses previous demand to easily project all future inventory needs on the basis of steady linear growth.
  • Seasonal Average – Also uses previous demand in examining the seasonal trend of the inventory flow and then projects the same seasonal trend for future levels of stock.

3. Gross Requirement Inquiry – Levels of Modeling Inventory

Gross requirement inquiry is yet another important feature of this module of NetSuite Demand Planning that allows the user to model how exactly expected purchase and sale orders will impact future inventory levels. Modeling inventory levels is very important to ensuring that the user can easily model various aspects of their businesses and fully understand the consequences.

To leverage NetSuite and Demand Planning, the organization can lead to the achievement of best-in-class inventory management. It also helps maintain the right quantity of inventory to meet the anticipated demand to achieve the critical balance of the needed inventory in an effective manner. By doing this, you can easily avoid the situations of carrying very little inventory or tying up high amount of capital in unnecessary inventory, and reduce the risk of customer dissatisfaction or missed sales simply because of stock outs.

Last yet importantly, streamline supply chain processes and optimize inventory management – Managing Demand Planning using spreadsheets usually lead to untimely and inaccurate forecasts. In fact, you can sometimes end up having excess inventory, alienate customers, waste money on unnecessary emergency shipments, and even suffer costly stock outs. The capability of NetSuite Demand Planning puts you on the right position to lean business operations and best-in-class inventory management.

In conclusion, once you’ve a satisfactory demand plan for your organization, NetSuite will definitely allow you to come up with a supply plan, which is against the demand. However, this is made easy and simply by the module of NetSuite Demand Planning.

Brooke Nelson is the Lead Author & Editor of NetSweets. With more than 20,000 customers, NetSuite is a fascinating platform! It is the major player in ERP, CRM, and ecommerce.