To understand the supply planning process and develop a plan that supports the goals of your organization, it's important to first put together a data-driven demand plan. This will indicate the expected number of products that will be needed based on several factors such as trends, specific holidays, geographical location, customer interest, brand awareness and more. Using software to track and make sense of this data is extremely helpful and can aid in the creation of a solid supply plan. Supply chain planning incorporates everything from manufacturing and distribution to procurement and resource management and takes into account multiple factors, including the availability of raw materials and employee responsibilities. Essentially, a good supply plan answers all of the "who, what, when, where and why" questions involved in serving customers.
As products sell and move through an organization's inventory and fulfillment stages, software can be used to keep track of sales metrics and how they relate to the demand plan. These calculations provide valuable data keeps supply planning activities updated so that any changes in demand are reflected on the supply end. In the case where the organization has multiple fulfillment locations, software can also be used to keep track of supply and demand based on the geographical location of the warehouse as well as the customer base (where the orders are coming from) and then coordinate fulfillment based on the inventory at a given location.