A leader in the competitive world of cardiac software, equipment and services is under constant pressure to keep costs down while enhancing sales and service. A proven way to reach these goals is through the continued refinement in sales forecasting capabilities. In fact, research shows that companies committed to eliminating challenges impacting sales automation are usually the fastest and smartest investors in the people, processes and technology that helps them quickly align supply with demand, and maximize enterprise-wide confidence in forecast data.
Strongly committed to the above goals, the company had invested heavily in planning and forecasting tools, and was constantly measuring the value that those applications provided. However, the company determined that it’s traditional approach—combining homegrown, Web-based tools with a best-of-breed demand planning solution—was not producing the functional fit or user acceptance that the organization needed. The core weakness was low forecast accuracy that, in the build-to-order environment, was causing component-supply problems, delaying deliveries and upsetting customers.
Clearly, the company’s forecasting technologies and processes needed an overhaul. CHScottEnterprises was selected to help the company develop the business strategy and technology requirements necessary to eliminate challenges impacting success by improving planning and forecasting.
Figuring most prominently in the choice was the business strategy expertise CHScottEnterprises demonstrated during an initial technology selection phase, and its ability to leverage cost optimized local and remote resources, split evenly between its multi-region sales force and it’s San Diego Headquarters.
The two organizations worked together to map out a strategy for retooling the planning and forecasting processes and the technology landscape supporting those processes. This effort resulted in a CHScottEnterprises-developed “strategic re-design” showing how process and technology interrelate; where flaws and disruptions occur; and how downstream and upstream operations are subsequently affected.
Also, CHScottEnterprises and the company tested a new approach: streamlined planning and forecasting processes supported by an industry respected enterprise software provider with demand planning (DP) features incorporated to help the company to excel at predicting demand through the advanced modeling of customer and product requirements.
These efforts encompassed migration from older processes and technologies to new, and improved existing processes and tool usability by accelerating system response times—thus increasing data availability and tightening the organization’s integration with source systems.
The ability to accurately forecast demand— and subsequently formulate precise and well integrated procurement, manufacturing, inventory, distribution and transportation plans—should be a priority at most any company. CHScottEnterprises’ implementation and the concurrent redesign of related processes, has helped the company excel at specific achievements such as:
– 33 percent decrease in target forecast error.
– 50 percent reduction in non-conformance costs—resulting in savings of US$5 million.
– New ability to perform statistical forecasting on an aggregated level-fully incorporating input from customers, product groups, geographic areas and numerous supply chain functions.
The potential for better and more streamlined data flows between forecasting and planning. Connecting its new forecasting and demand planning capabilities with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, the company’s planning and forecasting professionals can now access a single source of product configurations.
The company’s new planning and forecasting processes have improved the organization’s ability to collaborate; increased user acceptance at the headquarters level; revealed new opportunities to access and share information across divisions and customers; and enabled faster detection and remediation of anomalies across the supply chain.
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