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Demand planning, for many facilities and industries, is one of the most crucial steps to take for preparing inventory and managing the influx of new items in order to keep up with demand and ensure your warehouse or retail store always has the most popular items on hand to keep up with customers and requests.


While every business will require a different approach, if you want to try and keep up with the influx of customer requests, here’s a few tips to get your business started with demand planning:


Decide What To Keep An Eye On

The first step is to figure out what items to track. Depending on the size of your business, not everything can (or should) be tracked through demand planning, so if time constraints demand that you limit your selection, take some time to figure out what would be best for your business. Start with the most popular items or anything you feel like you run out of more quickly, and try to limit your exposure of small-demand items or anything you haven’t been able to move.


Look Ahead To Future Orders

Next, you need to take a look at any outstanding orders you have to figure out what you have incoming or what you might not have ordered enough of. Proper demand planning requires you take a look at any outstanding shipments or customer orders, and prepare accordingly – if you find yourself ordering a lot of a certain item that you don’t move nearly as much of, maybe it’s time to reconsider your incoming and outgoing orders.


Prepare Your Facility For The Change In Inventory

All the demand planning in the world won’t make a world of difference if your store or warehouse isn’t prepared to retain the new inventory. Rearrange things to meet your changing needs, reorganize items to keep the more in-demand pieces in an easier-to-reach fashion, and if need be bring in some warehouse & industrial storage such as pallet racks and storage shelves to help hang on to your increased and changing inventory.


Keep Your Staff Engaged

Finally, keeping your staff trained and engaged in your new process will work wonders for your demand planning process. Implement shipping and stock reports in as many different areas and departments as possible to keep information consistent and timely. Establish a better work order process to help orders get placed and fulfilled more quickly and keep work getting accomplished. And, perhaps most importantly: make sure your staff is well-trained and educated on your processes to help everyone keep up. All the product planning in the world won’t help a bit if your staff doesn’t know how to keep up!


Follow these tips and stick to a good process, and you should be able to keep up – or better yet, predict – with customer demand!

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