Excellence in Demand Planning Study 2015

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Substantial room for improvement in aligning demand planning with market requirements

New BearingPoint study reveals the majority of companies do not receive adequate demand signals in advance

Frankfurt, October 5, 2015 – In the new BearingPoint study “Excellence in Demand Planning,” the authors analyzed the findings from a survey of 168 demand planning professionals on the fit of planning complexity drivers with demand planning maturity in organization, process, methods, KPIs and tools. The results show that even though participants expect the importance of demand planning to increase significantly, more efforts must be made at their companies to deploy more sophisticated planning methods: not even half (45 percent) of respondents said that their planning process delivers a realistic plan.

Matthias Loebich, Partner at BearingPoint and global leader for Production Industries, commented: “It is clear from the study that most companies need to implement an efficient demand planning process based on internal and external collaboration. This includes suitable IT tools to gather the right demand signals and deploy state-of-the art predictive methods to better identify where the business is heading.”

Despite the mega trend of digitalization including the use of predictive methods and big data analytics tools for, i.e., the mass processing of customer data for sales planning, according to the study, Microsoft Excel is still the most commonly used primary planning tool. Nearly half of respondents said their companies use either Excel or Excel with advanced functionalities through add-ins. Satisfaction with the performance of planning tools is perceived as high (55 percent are satisfied) as well as with the availability of up-to-date historical operational data (72 percent). However, only 42 percent state that their tools meet planning requirements and only 37 percent rate the usability of the tools as good.

Only 29 percent of those surveyed said that their plans are accurate, i.e., that plan and actual figures deviate only to a limited degree. The majority of participants (55 percent) stated that they do not receive demand signals adequately in advance, with only 19 percent saying that they are able to evaluate alternative scenarios. Only 4 percent of participants use statistical calculations with external indices as their first-ranked planning method, which could be a significant reason why only about one-third of respondents are satisfied with the accuracy of their plan.

About the study

Companies of all sizes took part with roughly half (48 percent) of all participating companies generating annual revenues higher than 1bn Euro. The study was conducted across different industry segments. Participants came primarily from different industry clusters with a focus on industrial products (37 percent), consumer goods (32 percent) and automotive (16 percent).

For a comprehensive breakdown of the study, please find the full report here:

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