Demand planning: New SAS forecasting tool can aid S&OP

06/16/2008


SAS , long recognized as a leading supplier of technology for analyzing business processes, has introduced a new solution that supports the execution of demand forecasting.
The new solution—called SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting—not only allows for predicting what products customers will want to buy over a given time frame, but also offers capabilities for shaping those demand patterns, according to SAS officials.
“It allows for being proactive rather than reactive [in demand planning] by determining things like which product mix makes sense,” says Ritu Jain, SAS product marketing manager for manufacturing and supply chain solutions. The criteria for judging what makes sense can include the manufacturer’s profit margins, Jain adds.
Charlie Chase, a SAS business enablement manager, says this demand-shaping capability is just one of many features
“We introduced SAS Forecast Server [in 2005] as a front-end to other demand planning solutions,” Chase says. “It focused on analyzing data to create sales forecasts.”
The chief selling point for SAS Forecast Server was its ability to crunch numbers faster—and SAS claims more accurately—than most other forecast engines, which gave users the capability to include many more products
“They wanted an integrated solution that would also help them sense and shape demand,” he says. SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting enables demand shaping, according to Chase, because it allows users to do “what-if?” analysis to determine what strategies—such as sales promotions—would produce specific demand patterns.
While this sounds like sophisticated stuff, Chase says SAS Demand Forecasting is easy to use, particularly if companies employ the optional add-in for Microsoft Office. That option allows users to work with data generated by the SAS solutions in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
“This gives users direct access to the advanced analytics that SAS provides in a familiar Excel interface,” Chase says. “They can create forecasts by multiple business hierarchies—by geographical region, by brand, by product, or many other factors. They also can bring in external factors that may affect demand like weather or rising commodity prices.”
Chase expects many customers to use SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting as an aid to sales & operations planning (S&OP), the process that strives to correlate production plans with actual customer demand.
Chase says SAS Demand Forecasting contains a workflow component that allows multiple parties to have input into the "what-if?" analysis.
“Data also can be put into workflow templates . . . to create a weighted statistical forecast or a weighted consensus forecast,” something most S&OP efforts strive to reach, says Chase. “We stop just short of S&OP, giving companies the ability to create accurate, unconstrained forecasts."
While the solution stops just short of S&OP, Chase says it does tread on the territory of other solutions that SAS up to now has only sought to complement—specifically the demand-planning modules of ERP and supply chain management suites.
“This is a new footprint, going deep into the territory of the demand-planning modules of ERP or supply chain systems,” Chase says. “Many of the existing ERP and supply chain systems lack good planning applications, and few of them actually do consensus forecasting. Our statistical engine is more robust than most of those solutions, and are workflow engine is very robust as well.”
Chase says SAS Demand-Driven Forecasting can be used as a statistical engine that feeds data to other planning modules, “or you can shut off those planning modules and use this as your complete forecasting solution, sending the final results into downstream execution systems.”
More than a dozen customers have expressed interest in purchasing SAS Demand-Forecasting, which was unveiled the first week of June, Chase says.





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me