Demand Planning, Forecasting and Optimization

Within a company, the capabilities of an IT-supported solution to support users in digital analysis and planning are more and more in demand.

"Demand Planning, Forecasting and Optimization" describes all capabilities of an IT-supported solution in the company to support users in digital analysis and planning. On the one hand, this is achieved through comprehensive functions of a digital planning solution such as IBM Planning Analytics, which facilitate the planning itself (e.g. aggregation & hierarchies, distribution, rules, comprehensive authorizations as well as comments, processes and approvals). On the other hand, by integrating modern capabilities such as Data Science and Mathematical Optimization (e.g. by integrating IBM Watson Machine Learning / IBM Watson Studio).

The digital planning solution includes all of these tasks: Through central data storage with all dependencies and distributed access, all data is networked and mutual influences are defined. Thus, effects, e.g. from sales planning on cash flow, can be identified immediately, compared by means of the scenario function and, if necessary, planned in a targeted manner by Mathematical Optimization.

Data Science adds statistical methods to manual digital planning

  • Comprehensive forecasting algorithms automatically recognize historical trends
  • With AI and ML dependencies are recognized and taken into account in planning
  • The statistical procedures can be used separately from manual planning or as a supplement
  • Example: Consideration of seasonal factors for sales planning, or connections to advertising measures

Mathematical optimization provides decision templates and limits variants

  • The previous procedures provide one (or more) planned scenarios that must be implemented under given circumstances, e.g. production capacities
  • Mathematical optimization calculates the optimal solution under the given parameters from thousands of options
  • Example: Calculation of a production plan considering sales planning, production capacities, costs of raw materials and distribution, markets
Try it yourself with a demo!

Interested in a more in-depth introduction? We would be happy to discuss this or other application cases with you using our demo data. After a short preparation time we can also provide you with a test environment with your data!

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Marc Bastien
TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbHKontakt

From analysis and planning to forecasts and optimization – examples:

The planning solution forms the nucleus of the application: "IBM Planning Analytics" (formerly "TM1"). The solution is optimized for planning applications: the central data storage does not only ensure common consistent data access across all access options, but also a powerful engine for all types of calculation: aggregation distribution (spreading), rules, etc.

For more information about IBM Planning Analytics, click here.

Benefit from our experience in numerous projects:

  • Understand customer requirements quickly

  • Implement requirements adequately in IBM Planning Analytics

  • Rapid deployment of an application

  • Predefined data model for the use case "Sales planning  production capacities  production planning and optimization and evaluation of financial data". 

  • Gain valuable insights in a short time

Forecasting or Data Science is a special discipline in Data Processing, which uses mathematical methods (statistics or Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning) to identify connections or calculate time series into the future. We use the integration of IBM Watson Studio and IBM Planning Analytics to calculate forecasts in real time from past data.

Here you can find out more about Data Science with IBM Watson Machine Learning or Watson Studio.

Whether with or without Data Science, different scenarios often have to be considered and evaluated in course of planning. Above all, framework parameters must be adhered to: production capacities, unit costs and prices, transport routes, etc. Often there are many  sometimes competing  inputs on the way to the goal, with millions of possible combinations. Mathematical Optimization uses all parameters and boundary conditions to determine the optimal combination to achieve the business relevant goals in a very short time. 

Here you can find out more about Decision Optimization with IBM Decision Optimization.

Use the advantages!

In uncertain times, digital planning can help companies to make quick decisions. Scenarios are considered, dependencies resolved, consequences presented. In seconds, large teams are supplied with necessary information, while globally active teams supply the company with vital data. Spreadsheets cannot cope with these tasks, at best they serve as a frontend. Logic, documentation, data management can only make sense centrally.

Data Science, either Forecast or decision optimisation, is a useful supplement to digital planning. Hidden connections become visible, potential alternatives for action are shown. Integrated into the planning process, these additional possibilities create comprehensive intelligence that directly benefits the business process.

Our Success Stories:

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Marc Bastien
TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbHKontakt