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Demand-Chain Management Technologies: The Next Efficiency Boosters?

Compiled By Deborah Austin Suppliers, manufacturers and distributors -- thwarted on returns from classic customer-relationship management (CRM) solutions -- are turning to demand-chain management (DCM) technologies for cost-cutting and sales-process optimization, suggests the report "What Works: Sell Side/Demand Chain Best Practices" by consulting/research provider Aberdeen Group, Boston. Some DCM technology roles in sell-side processes:

  • Brand and product information management (PIM) -- rationalizing product data, structuring/controlling content presentation, aggregating/syndicating catalog content. PIM systems have increased productivity by 20%.
  • Merchandising -- online product placement, demand forecasting, pricing optimization/execution. Digitally extending order/inventory management to field reps reduces inventory management time by 50%.
  • Order management -- including order configuration/price quotation, inventory management/order promising, settlement. Web-based self-serve repositories of order-related information reduce customer calls by 25%-35%.
  • Post-sales/aftermarket replenishment -- including order fulfillment, invoice reconciliation, reverse logistics.
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