Managing New Items in Demand Planning (S&OP Platform)

In this article we will review the process on how to manage and add new items in DemandCaster.

This process is applicable when an item has not been previously sold to a specific customer/channel or a new customer is being added and there is no item history available in to automatically generate a forecast independently.

Managing the introduction of new items can be a particularly challenging process. A planner must address two key questions:

  1. What is the forecast of the new item?
  2. What is the supply requirements of the new item?

Step 1-a: Identifying if a new item has been uploaded from ERP

The article "How do we know when a new item has been added to DemandCaster?" defines the method DemandCaster uses to identify if a new item has been uploaded from the ERP.

Alternatively, you may create a temporary item as a placeholder for a new item

Step 1-b: Alternatively, Create New Items in DemandCaster

At times a new item needs to be planned even though it has not been formally released. Often this is done to drive materials or plan capacity. The article Creating a temporary item for planning describes the steps necessary to create a temporary item so that it can be planned. Once the new item is released to the ERP and loaded into DemandCaster it may be linked to the temporary item following Step 1 above.

You may also add a temporary item by creating an incremental item.txt file and itemlocation.txt file (if DRP is enabled) and then uploading. Since the upload is incremental these items will remain even if the automated upload files do not include them.

Step 2: Verify supply parameters for the new item

Once a new item has been added, if applicable, the user should review to ensure the following critical supply related parameters are correct. If the item is created as a plug for demand planning, then the following is not required. Also, you should disable supply planning in the pareto view for plugs so supply is not driven.

  • Lead Time: If there is no lead time the user may enter a lead time in the options interface of the item or add it to the ERP to update with the next upload. In short, a lead time of 0 means the item is immediately available thus no suggested order can be made. See the article How to change the lead time of one or many items? to learn how to change a lead time.
  • Safety Stock: A brand new item will not have a calculated safety stock since there is no history to calculate a standard deviation or days on hand value. The user may either enter a safety stock value to serve as an initial trigger until history starts being built or may link the new item to an old item to use the old items history.
  • Classification: A brand new item will have a classification of "D" meaning that it has no historical demand. If the safety stock service level is tied to the classification, you may want to assign a specific classification to the new item.
  • Stock versus Non-Stock: If the item is set to non-stock (order), replenishment orders are triggered only when actual demand is generated against them. Non-stock items have an order point of 0. Stocked items (stock) will have an order point of forecast + safety stock.
  • Consumption Type: The consumption type is the model that is used to consume the forecast for requirement planning. You can read about the different options in the Consumption Type article.
  • Requirement Planning and Ordering Settings: Review any final requirements such as Periodic Order Quantity, Periodic Order Grouping, and Order Horizon. An explanation is provided in the article Requirement Planning Settings

Step 3: Associate the New Item to the Customer(s) - Optional

There are two primary methods available:

  1. Linking: This method links the new item to a similar old item to drive the forecast. The process of linking is described in the article Linking Finished Goods. The new item will be automatically associated to the old items customers. You may disassociate the new items from one or more of these customer. Once disassociated, forecasts will be driven only for the associated customers. When linking a demand plan must be run to generate forecast.
  2. Association: This is done as documented in the article Adding new or existing items to new or existing customers in demand planning. However, if the item / customer plan is uploaded as per Step 4 below, there is no need to associate. Uploads create automatic associations between items and customers.

Step 4: Create a demand plan for a new item

There are two primary methods available:

  1. Uploading User Defined Forecasts: See the article Uploading New Item and/or Customer Demand Plans. You DO NOT need to associate the item to a customer(s) prior to uploading the demand plan.
  2. Manual Entry: See the article Editing Demand Plans. Manual edits require an association first.
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