Demand Planning in 2021
By CGT Staff
While spirits may be rising and optimism growing about the proximity of a post-COVID future, the pandemic’s ramifications across the consumer goods industry will be felt for quite some time — perhaps no more so than within demand planning. Thrown the mother of all curve balls in 2020, brands are grappling with the best way forward. Last year’s unprecedented consumer behavior shifts and inventory challenges caused them to rethink strategies to become more flexible and agile operators.
CG supply chain executive Patrick Bower tells CGT that it’s just too early to declare a new normal. “I suspect we will be dealing with the implications of COVID for at least a year after herd immunity is established, and until then demand — and more importantly mix — will vacillate significantly,” he says, noting that inventory levels needed about 18 months to reset after the calamities of 9/11 and the 2008 market crash.
Brands are now paying much closer attention to consumption or take away data, with some examining consumption and trade inventory, and others looking to predictive analytics tools to identify market, cohort and consumer dynamics that have been influenced by COVID-19.
“Some are even developing scenarios around future states, such as what would happen if there was a double-dip recession on the back end of the COVID recovery,” says Bower. “Data is king right now. And for good or for bad, in the near term, consensus meetings will be [overtaking] the forward view as there is so much uncertainty.”
Source: Supply Chain Insights
Companies that strongly agreed their supply chain was working well during the pandemic
Read on to dig into some of the data surrounding the state of demand planning, how the industry is reacting and responding, and deep insight from supply chain analysts.