How dare they want more…

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Apparently, the thing that is most disruptive to supply chains is a sudden increase in demand from customers.

That might come as something of a surprise given the natural disasters that we have seen this year, not to mention public disturbances.

The troublesome nature of customers was revealed in a survey of chief supply chain officers by the Aberdeen group. Some 45 per cent said that sudden increases in customer demand had led to disruption in the supply chain.

Customer might always be right – but managing them is clearly a critical issue for organisations.

So it is not surprising that managing demand effectively has become the key to profitability for chief supply chain officers. And there are some key questions that need to be answered:

* How frequently is demand forecasting processes performed and, how many iterations are typically performed at enterprises?

* How fast are companies able to respond to changes in demand?

* Are companies doing demand shaping and differentiated pricing as part of their demand management processes and if so what are the best in class companies doing?

* What benefits in terms of both financial and operational metrics are companies getting through demand management?

Perhaps we will get some answers at Extended Supply Chain Brussels in November, when the demand management process will be come under scrutiny by Narayanan Viswanathan, vice president & principal analyst supply chain management at the Aberdeen Group.

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