Sales Planning in Supply Chain Management
Feb 12, 2024 // Andreas Schäfer
Sales planning is an important part of business planning and a sub-area of supply chain management. It is the starting point for operational planning and therefore a critical success factor for a company. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the topic of sales planning.
Sales planning is considered the entry point into the complex process of supply chain management. It refers to the forecasting of sales volumes and revenues for products, goods or services in a specific period. Sales planning is therefore an important basis for further planning and measures. Good sales planning helps companies to plan and manage production, inventory, marketing strategies and finances so that they can achieve their goals, make the best use of resources and meet customer needs efficiently. All relevant departments contribute to the company-wide planning, helping to create planning security and transparency within the company.
Types of Sales Planning
There are two types of sales planning: operational and strategic sales planning. Operational sales planning refers to the short-term planning of sales volumes, while strategic sales planning focuses on the long-term planning of sales volumes.
Precise Sales Planning through Rolling Planning
Rolling planning is a key success factor in sales planning. Forecast errors can be minimized and planning accuracy increased through continuous review and adjustment. Rolling planning is a process in which planning is updated on a regular basis. This allows changes in demand to be quickly identified and addressed. Rolling planning is an important part of supply chain management and should be implemented in every company.
Intelligent Sales Forecasting for Reliable Sales Planning
One of the key factors in good sales planning is a sales forecast that is as accurate as possible. It is the key to successful supply chain planning and control and is based on the analysis of data and can be supplemented by individual expertise. Advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to analyze all historical data. The goal is to obtain market-driven, company-wide sales forecasts on a daily basis, ideally, make all planning information from a wide variety of sources along the entire supply chain transparent.
Advantages of Intelligent Sales Planning
- Better forecasting accuracy: Intelligent sales planning uses advanced technologies to create a more accurate forecast of demand. This enables companies to better plan and manage their production and supply chain.
- Inventory optimization: Accurate sales forecasting enables companies to optimize their inventory levels. This allows them to reduce inventory costs while ensuring that they have enough products in stock to meet demand.
- Improved customer retention: Effective sales planning enables companies to better meet the needs of their customers. It helps to increase customer satisfaction and improve customer loyalty.
- More efficient production: Accurate sales forecasting enables companies to make their production more efficient. This allows them to reduce production costs while ensuring that they produce the right products in the right quantities to meet demand.
- Better decision making: Smart sales planning provides companies with critical decision support data. This allows companies to make informed decisions and adjust their business strategy accordingly.
Sales planning is the starting point for operational planning and therefore a decisive factor for a company's success. Accurate sales forecasting is the key to successful supply chain planning and management. Forecasting errors can be minimized and planning accuracy can be increased through continuous review and adjustment. This in turn contributes to planning reliability and promotes transparency within the company. Sales planning is therefore an important part of supply chain management and should be implemented in every company.
What methods do you use to plan your sales with foresight? Feel free to send me an e-mail.
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About our Expert
Expert for Supply Chain Optimization
Andreas Schäfer has been working for INFORM GmbH in the Inventory & Supply Chain division since 1999. In his role as sales manager, he supports interested parties from the supply chain sector in the decision-making process for selecting the optimal planning software.