Getting demand right – or getting it wrong – can have a significant impact on customer perceptions of your brand, particularly in this age of instant gratification.

The need for agile, accurate demand planning has never been greater. Predicting forward-looking demand signals and shifting consumer demand patterns to recommend balanced, profitable commercial plans across all channels and customers is crucial.

As a result, businesses are turning to software as a service (SaaS). SaaS eliminates hardware maintenance and data storage issues and provides a complete software solution that a company purchases on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud service provider. 

A cloud-hosted demand planning solution that is agile, resilient and automated will help keep demand plans up to date and enable you to quickly spot unexpected disruptions. But wait, there's more.

1. Reduced time to return on investment

In a cloud-hosted environment, software is already installed and easily configured. No time is wasted getting to analyzing the data and producing demand-planning insights. 

2. Cost savings

Cost savings result from a shared environment known as a multi-tenant environment. Therefore, the hardware and software costs to license the service are lower compared to traditional purchase and deployment.

3. Scalability

As business needs change and grow, including unexpected spikes in demand, cloud scalability allows for a quicker response. SaaS provides the flexibility to scale applications up and down based on your needs. Typically, scaling can be done quickly and easily with little to no disruption or downtime.

4. Lower new release and upgrade costs

The provider makes new releases and upgrades available to all its customers. The costs associated with new releases and upgrades are lower than an on-premises installation because the service provider absorbs the installation costs.

5. Ease of use

When migrating demand-management analytics to a cloud-native solution, might experience a short learning curve. Fortunately, most SaaS offerings are easy to use. Luckily with SaaS, you can run more than one version of the software to smooth the transition from the old version to the new version.

6. Enhanced Security

When data is stored offsite in the cloud, it’s secure and less vulnerable to break-ins. Additionally, SaaS providers have strict security measures in place to protect their customer data and must adhere to government compliance rules.

A demand planning cloud-native solution helps companies properly plan and forecast demand for their products and services. In turn, companies can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to meet customer demand faster and more efficiently.

Discover how to transform your demand-planning capabilities with SAS.


About Author

Charlie Chase

Executive Industry Consultant/Trusted Advisor, SAS Retail/CPG Global Practice

Charles Chase is the executive industry consultant and trusted advisor for the SAS Retail/CPG global practice. He is the author of Next Generation Demand Management: People, Process, Analytics and Technology, author of Demand-Driven Forecasting: A Structured Approach to Forecasting, and co-author of Bricks Matter: The Role of Supply Chains in Building Market-Driven Differentiation, as well as over 50 articles in several business journals on demand forecasting and planning, supply chain management, and market response modeling. His latest book is Consumption-Based Forecasting and Planning: Predicting Changing Demand Patterns in the New Digital Economy. To learn more, please see his Author page.

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