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Demand planning hasn't gotten the attention that Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have received in recent years. But that's not to say it isn't a sore spot for many in the manufacturing and distribution communities. "When I speak in front of industry groups and ask how many people are happy with their sales forecasts, I don't see any hands at all," says John Pavain, President of Norwalk, Connecticut—based MaxQ Technology, a developer of demand management systems and a Microsoft® partner. "Demand planning is an area that most companies need help in."

Demand planning software packages can help manufacturers to:
  • Establish baseline sales forecasts, incorporating multiple inputs
  • Perform sophisticated analysis that improves their use of human and capital resources
  • Optimize pricing capabilities
  • Better understand their markets and customers

Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation White Paper, Demand Planning: Optimizing Operations Across the Supply Chain, supply chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP, customer relationship management, CRM, manufacturing, distribution, manufacturers
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