Demand Forecasting & Planning

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Most companies we talk to are fully aware of the growing need to deliver a better customer experience in a multi-channel world and the complexity this adds to the supply chain.  What is not so clear, is how they can take real advantage of the huge increase in customer data that is now available to better plan their forecasts. 

Using data more intelligently

Legacy systems have some fundamental challenges. They still use approaches based on cumbersome old algorithms and aggregated sales histories in Excel which means they cannot easily identify demand signals and don’t solve the difficult problem of measuring the impact of external factors on baseline demand. The process is manually intensive and time consuming and the output is disappointing with significant forecast errors.

The latest technology uses a data-driven approach in more intelligent software that has been shown to achieve big improvements in forecast accuracy, demand visibility and the level of forecast detail. This translates directly into improved service levels and inventory efficiencies, particularly for “long tail” items. You don’t just get a more accurate forecast, you get a better plan.

SO99+ has embedded technology in its forecasting solution to solve problems that planners face every day. Rather than a “pick best” approach, we utilise a far more accurate self-adaptive demand forecasting algorithm that creates a reliable baseline. Machine learning can adjust the baseline by identifying the effect of stimuli and demand indicators at a detailed channel level. This “demand modelling” approach analyses all the relevant variables and the complex interactions among them in a highly automated fashion producing better, more accurate results faster to help the business meet rapidly changing market conditions.

“The flexibility of consultants during all this change was world-class … So far this project has gone far better than we ever could have imagined … We’ve actually managed to grow our revenue and reduce our inventory costs, so I’m very pleased.”
- Chris Clowes, Supply Chain Manager, Costa Express
"Brookes Retail has proven to be an ideal partner in helping O2 plan a supply chain that can respond to changes in demand"
- David Flaxten, Demand Planning Manager, O2 UK

Brookes Supply Chain Solutions

use collaborative data from multiple sources for more accurate demand forecasting
optimise in-store and warehouse inventory levels to reduce inventory costs
improve demand forecast accuracy using signals from data and AI, including seasonal variations, long tail and intermittent demand products
reduce out-of-stocks and increase on-shelf availability

About Brookes Supply Chain Solutions

Brookes Supply Chain Solutions, the official UK distributor of ToolsGroup SO99+ supply chain software, brings together the best supply chain people, processes and technology to create sophisticated, highly automated demand-driven solutions which deliver measurable and sustainable business value.

We offer market leading consultancy, software and managed services for inventory optimisation, demand forecasting and product replenishment planning.

We understand the challenges enterprises face in a digital economy with high customer service and investor performance expectations.


Related Resources


For most businesses, the “long tail” is growing. Read Mastering the Long Tail & Intermittent Demand.

Read more >

Service Level Excellence

Excellent customer service levels up to 99+ percent are now achievable, find out how in our Executive brief, Service Level Excellence.

Read more >


Improvements in forecasting are most dramatic when there is a fundamental change in the approach to forecasting.

View Infographic >

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