Uploading a User Defined Forecast / Demand Plan (S&OP Platform)

This article will describe the steps to upload a demand plan as opposed to editing directly in DemandCaster. This method is only applicable in the S&OP Platform.

This article focus specifically on the upload process and not the approach described in the article Downloading, Editing, and Re-Uploading a Demand Plan.

Please note that DemandCaster will not process the user defined forecast file if the demand plan or pricing columns are not correctly configured and when there are nodes which are not assigned to a parent node. In theses cases, the errors need to be addressed and file re-uploaded for the changes to be applied.

DemandCaster has a requirement that uploaded text files have UTF8 encoding. If your text file has anything other than UTF8 encoding, when saving the file from excel, check to make sure the encoding is UTF8. If not, change to UTF8 and save.

Prepare the demand plan upload (item level demand plan)

  1. Only upload the context item demand plans that you would like to change.
  2. If you wish to not change a period, leave the period blank in the file. Making the value 0 in a period will change the demand plan or price to 0.
  3. Cell A2 can be named whatever "customer" name is assigned in the field.
  4. Cell A1 will determine the level the forecast will be uploaded which in the example below is the item.
  5. The customer code and item code followed by the unit plan by weeks or months and then unit price by weeks or months will follow.
    1. The unit upload date header must be the date period followed by "-unit" i.e. 8/1/2017-unit. The date format will follow your companies date format (U.S. or European)
    2. The price upload date header must be the date period followed by "-price" i.e. 8/1/2017-price. The date format will follow your companies date format (U.S. or European)
  6. Pricing may be uploaded above the item level as an average price.
  7. Whatever your planning bucket is set at is the bucket you upload. Upload months, if your demand planning process is in months, weeks if your demand planning process is weeks. If in weeks make sure it follows your week start day i.e. Sunday or Monday.
  8. Make sure there are no empty columns being saved in your excel. At times excel may add invisible columns and rows that are saved in the text file. These will cause errors in the upload. If you run into this issue, we recommend moving the data to a clean spreadsheet prior to saving as a text file particularly when using a downloaded files as the basis of your data.
  9. You may also enter new customer/item demand plans that do not currently exist. These will be automatically created as part of the upload.

The upload file at the item level should look like the image below.

Save the file as a tab delimited text file with the name userdefinedsopforecast.txt

Zip the converted file

Upload the zipped file

Follow the upload steps as described in the Manually Uploading Data article and then check for any errors per the article Reviewing Upload Files for Errors

Uploading to a Level Between Customers and Items (i.e. product category)

As stated in the Upload Planning Hierarchy article, the hierarchy is a top down build. As a result, the upload above the item level follows a top down approach as well.

In the example above, we are loading a demand plan to a level named "style" to a customer. In this case, the style is in column A and Customer is in column B.. Cell A-1 will call out the level in which the forecast is being applied - which, in this example, is Style.

Please remember that the uploaded file must be a zipped tab delimited text file named userdefinedsopforecast.txt

Uploading to Customer Level

When uploading to the customer level, there is a minor change.

  1. When uploading to customer level, cell A-1 will have to be filled with “customer” (regardless if the customer level is renamed).
  2. The the first column is the customer code, and the other columns contain the forecast of the customer. There is no lower level in this case.
  3. Levels above the customer are named the level name in both cell A-1 and A-2.
  4. When uploading to levels above the item level, the pricing should be removed from the upload file since pricing is only applied at the item level.
  5. Follow steps above to save and upload.
  6. Please remember that the uploaded file must be a zipped tab delimited text file named userdefinedsopforecast.txt

NOTE: DemandCaster does not allow user defined forecasts to be uploaded above the customer level.

Uploading total demand forecasts

In some cases, a user may wish to plan demand based on items total demand as opposed to be customer. If this is the case, the customer needs to be grouped as "other" per the article S&OP Pareto Process. Thereafter, when uploading a demand plan, replace the customer number with the word "other" per the image below and follow the steps to upload the file as defined above.


DemandCaster flags the periods that are overwritten with a user defined value and the change log makes an entry named 'UDF Change Uploaded'. The upload also logs an error if the upload tries to edit a forecast with forecast flag disabled.

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