Many people are looking for the best demand planning software for their needs, but not everyone knows how to find it. This search can lead to wasted time and money as most companies don’t have the same needs, meaning one company’s solution might not be suitable for another. The following article will give you several tips on finding the best software that will assist you with better demand planning.
Figure Out What Exactly Your Company Needs
The first tip is that you need to figure out what exactly your company needs. This can be tricky, particularly if you don’t have a well-defined process. It would be best to start with a basic understanding of the tasks and activities you will require for demand planning in your organization and how they fit into the bigger picture.
The second tip is to shop around to find the best price, functionality, and service provider. Before you even talk to anyone about software, write a list of companies that offer demand planning solutions and contact them for information. There are many different companies, and most provide a range of solutions. The market is quite saturated, so try to narrow down your list by eliminating too expensive vendors or don’t feature basic functionality that your company needs.
Identify The Type of Solution You Need
The third tip is to identify the type of solution you need. For example, you might need global planning or operational planning, or you might want different tools for different parts of your organization. Depending on the type of software you need and the complexity of your business, there will be a variety of solutions available. You may also be able to customize a solution to fit your needs.
Compatibility Of the Software
The fourth tip is to ensure that the software you consider is compatible with your existing tools. For example, you may have a customer relationship management tool or a warehouse management system that you are happy with. If the new demand planning software is incompatible with other existing software, the investment will likely not be cost-effective.
Get Quotes from Different Companies
The fifth tip is to put together a shortlist of companies and get quotes from each one. The quotations should include all the hidden costs like installation, customization, training, and total costs over an extended period. The cost comparison will give you the lowest-cost provider that offers the features you need. It would be best to do your research before buying to understand what you are getting.
Ensure The Provider Is Familiar with Your Industry
The sixth tip is to make sure that the provider is familiar with your industry and the business processes. This means they should either have a strong presence in your industry or a strong partner network to share knowledge and expertise.
Ask For References
The seventh tip is to ask for references and check them out thoroughly. It is always good to contact a company that the vendor has worked with before. The best way to do this is by emailing in advance and asking for permission to contact their references. You should also be ready to ask for case study information from proposals or previous contracts with the vendor. This will give you a sense of how flexible the vendor is regarding pricing and implementation strategies.
To conclude, there are many things to consider when looking for the best demand planning software solution. Most importantly, you have to identify your company needs, shop around and shop smart, identify your requirements and needs, confirm compatibility with existing systems and services, source the best quote, and ask for references. Once you have done this, there will be a much better chance of picking the best solution for your business.