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8 Best Demand Planning Software Solutions [2022]

October 3, 2022
9 min read

Discover the 8 best demand planning software solutions that'll prepare your business to meet future customer demand.

Demand planning tools enable direct-to-consumer (DTC) sellers to get a handle on production planning, minimize the likelihood of stockouts or overstocks, and provide exceptional customer service. How? By accurately anticipating their needs.

Keep reading for more on the importance of demand planning software. Plus, a rundown of the 8 best demand planning solutions (and why they're worth your money).

What is demand planning software?

Demand planning software is a multifaceted system that helps DTC brands predict and prepare for future product demand. This type of software combines demand forecasting, inventory management, and supply chain management to deliver the most accurate estimates for consumer demand.

Retailers often use demand planning tools to help manage their manufacturing schedules or production timelines. This way, they can better anticipate customers’ long-term needs and ensure they always meet customer demand.

For example, Maria's Boutique ran out of its signature red dress right before last year's holiday season. With demand planning software, the team could've avoided losing sales. 

That's because the tool would've used inventory data from the previous year and real-time inventory levels to ensure Maria's Boutique had enough red dresses to fulfill holiday demand. 

Why is demand planning software important?

Demand planning software is essential to increase your bottom line and keep customers coming back for more. That's because demand planning systems keep your inventory levels where you want them. So, you can fulfill orders in real-time and improve customer satisfaction while you're at it.

Avoid having too much or too little stock

Balancing your inventory levels often feels like a Goldilocks situation. You never want too much or too little stock at any given time. The trick is having just the right amount of inventory to satisfy demand without inflating your carrying costs.

Fortunately, demand planning software makes it much easier to find that happy medium. 

With the right software, retailers can identify the right inventory levels to meet future demand. When you order exactly the inventory you need, you can avoid stockouts and stop accumulating excess inventory (sometimes called dead stock) from unsold products. 

Preventing overstocks and stockouts can even save money at the same time. After all, without those lost sales (due to stockouts) or extra carrying costs (due to overstocking), you’re guaranteed to see a bump to your brand's bottom line.

Cut down on backorders

At times, backorders are a necessary lifeline in the world of retail. This is especially true when stockouts occur with new product launches or when certain SKUs go viral on social media. But demand planning software can help you leave that lifeline for emergencies only.

 In both cases above, demand may have greatly exceeded your expectations, causing you to run out of stock completely. When this happens, selling on backorder can keep your company afloat as you work to replenish warehouse shelves.

Thanks to backordering, customers can continue to place orders while your brand preserves a steady revenue stream. Sort of a classic win-win, don’t you think?

The ability to sell on backorder is beneficial but generally serves as a Plan B. Instead, brands prefer to reduce the need for backordering by keeping their inventory stocked year-round. And that’s where demand planning software comes to the rescue. 

Demand planning platforms can help you manage your inventory levels by ensuring you order enough replenishment to avoid stockouts (and backorders).

Improve customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is central to your brand’s success. If your customers aren’t pleased with your product availability or your service level, there’s a good chance they’ll take their business elsewhere. But demand planning software can help.

It’s important to offer your customers a simple, streamlined purchase experience. That means having products available for immediate purchase and providing a clear timeline for when customers can expect those products to arrive. Then, you need to actually deliver on those expectations. 

And demand planning plays an integral role in this entire process. 

Using demand planning software, your brand can ensure it has high-demand products in stock (and on their way). Not only does this translate to faster fulfillment and delivery times, but it also provides a better customer experience.

And when customers are happy with their experience, they’re more likely to return for future purchases. In fact, 93% of customers are likely to shop with your brand again if you offer top-tier customer service. 

What to look for with demand planning software

The truth is that there’s no shortage of demand planning software on the market today. But not all of these solutions are created equal. 

So, here are a few factors to consider when determining what software best fits your brand: 

Meets your business-specific needs 

Business-specific needs are the operational requirements for your retail business. 

For instance, you may need help creating purchase orders to send to your suppliers. These are prime examples of basic business needs that your demand planning software should help you address. 

However, remember that specific requirements will vary from business to business. If your brand has seasonal spikes in demand, you'll likely have different needs than a company with a steady flow of orders all year.

The same is true if you sell perishable or time-sensitive products — you'll have different considerations than a brand whose products don't have an expiration date.

Only you know your brand's exact needs — have a clear understanding of those, so you can find the right demand software for you

Competitive price

Price influences just about every component of your retail operations. 

Pricing impacts the suppliers you choose, the warehouses you partner with, and even the product packaging you use for shipping. So, it’s no surprise that price comes into play when choosing demand planning software.

That's where things can get a little tricky since different software has different pricing models. Some forecasting software charges per user on the account, while others may charge a flat monthly rate. 

You’ll have to do your due diligence, read through the fine print, and figure out what you can expect to pay (to ensure it aligns with your budget).

Expect monthly prices for demand planning tools to range from a flat $69 (for a solution like Cogsy) to several thousand dollars (Netsuite, for instance, costs a 5-stakeholder team ~$1,500 a month).

Integrations

Ideally, your demand planning software integrates with the tools you already use. That way, your demand planning process can seamlessly merge with the rest of your operations. 

Integrations allow all your crucial retail tools to communicate and collaborate. And they give you a more holistic view of your product movement, sales data, and so on.  

When all your retail tools work in conjunction with your planning software, you can create more accurate forecasts for future demand and replenishment cycles.

Look for common integrations with the inventory management, fulfillment, analytics, and omnichannel or multichannel logistics tools you already use.

The best demand planning software for retail brands

Overwhelmed by how many demand planning solutions there are out there? We get it. 

That’s why we’ve rounded up the best demand planning software for 2022, so you can easily compare features and check out all the benefits each one offers. 

Here are the top 8:

1. Cogsy

Cogsy is a demand planning software that supercharges how you meet customer demand. And it's built to be the source of truth for all Shopify and Amazon brands.

With Cogsy, brands can place orders faster, reduce the frequency of stockouts, and minimize the amount of excess stock hanging out at their warehouse.

To do all this, the Cogsy platform monitors your stock levels around the clock. That way, you always know how much inventory you have available (what’s just sitting there and when you need to replenish).

Cogsy then uses that data to build 12-month demand forecasts with pinpoint accuracy. You can even run "what-if" scenarios within the tool to find your best-case, worst-case, and most profitable inventory strategies.

Cogsy planning feature

Best part? As new information becomes available, your demand forecasts update automatically, improving your forecast accuracy. 

That way, you can make smarter, more informed decisions, respond faster than your competition, and hit your most audacious revenue goals. In fact, brands like Caraway that use Cogsy generate 40% more revenue and save 20+ hours a week. 

Best for: Shopify merchants and Amazon sellers of all sizes

Key features: Real-time inventory management, forecasting, demand management, integrations

Pricing: starting at $69/month

👉 Don’t take our word for it! Try Cogsy free for 14-days, and see first-hand why it’s a leader in demand planning. 

2. RapidResponse

Kinaxis’ RapidResponse has all the analytics capabilities your brand needs to manage multiple, interconnected supply chain processes.

Regarding demand planning, RapidResponse creates consensus demand plans by merging various forecasting models. As a result, retailers get a more holistic view of their sales to generate more accurate demand predictions. 

RapidResponse can also help you with inventory planning by determining the best strategy to support your customer service levels.

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Demand planning, inventory planning, sales and operations planning (S&OP)

Pricing: Contact Kinaxis RapidResponse for a quote

3. Luminate

The Luminate Platform by Blue Yonder offers real-time insights into demand patterns and buyer behaviors. That way, your brand can make accurate plans for sourcing raw materials and finished products. 

Plus, Luminate's fulfillment feature maps highlight supply and demand curves. That way, your business can place replenishment orders at exactly the right time to reach optimal stock levels and maximize revenue.

Luminate also comes with built-in tools for supply chain management and predictive scenario planning, which gives brands complete visibility and control over their inventory.

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Demand planning, inventory optimization, allocation, replenishment

Pricing: Contact Luminate Platform for a quote

4. Oracle

Oracle specializes in distribution, manufacturing, and inventory management. Like a supercomputer, Oracle analyzes large data sets on behalf of your business almost instantly. This way, you have all the visibility needed to decide what, when, and how much to reorder.

Oracle SCM also assists with shipping, invoicing, and other fulfillment tasks — thanks to its convenient drag-and-drop functionality. 

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Inventory management, order fulfillment, data analysis, invoicing

Pricing: Contact Oracle for a quote

5. Logility

Logility’s management software is specially designed for inventory optimization. The Logility platform helps retailers increase revenue, respond to changes in customer demand, and easily manage complex forecasting processes.

Like the above demand planning tools, Logility uses advanced analytics to automate demand planning, increase inventory accuracy and provide greater visibility into your product movements. 

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Inventory analytics, automated inventory changes, replenishment planning

Pricing: Contact Logility for a quote

6. Netstock

The Netstock system is an inventory optimization suite that handles all kinds of daily retail operations, from generating forecasts to creating purchase orders to improving supplier relations. 

Not only does this software save you time (and money) on demand planning, but it also integrates with some of today’s most popular enterprise resource planners (ERPs). That way, you can complete end-to-end processes within a single, unified platform.

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Inventory dashboards, order recommendations, automatic data collection

Pricing: Contact Netstock for a quote

7. SAP

SAP automates critical demand planning processes (like procurement and payment). For instance, you can use SAP to streamline how you forecast, invoice, and sign contracts. 

SAP also supports brands in managing large amounts of data. That way, you can make better decisions about future purchases (and ensure you meet demand).

Best for: Enterprise-level brands

Key features: Supply chain planning, product lifecycle management, invoices, payments

Pricing: starting at $199/user

8. Intuendi

Intuendi is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence and is built for small to midsize companies. This demand planning cloud solution helps DTC brands avoid stockouts and overstocking while increasing your sales numbers.

Intuendi’s top feature is its automated suggestions for SKUs to restock and how much to reorder. This improves inventory accuracy to a notable degree and ensures you have the right products in the right place at the right time.

Best for: Small to mid-sized consumer brands

Key features: Purchase order suggestions, predictive analytics, budget optimization

Pricing: Contact Intuendi for a quote

Demand planning software FAQs

Get answers to the most common questions about demand planning software.

What is demand planning software?

Demand planning software helps predict future demand for a company's products. This type of software combines sales forecasting, inventory management, and supply chain management to deliver the most accurate estimates for consumer demand.

What is the benefit of demand planning software?

Demand planning software is essential to increasing your profits and maintaining customer retention. With demand planning systems, you can avoid storing too much or too little stock, reduce backorders, and improve customer satisfaction.

What should demand planning software offer?

 The leading demand planning software offers real-time insights and historical data, integrations with your existing tech stack, and the ability to pivot to backorders as needed. With these features, your company can easily fulfill demand despite fluctuations.

What is the best demand planning software?

Cogsy is the best demand planning software for Shopify merchants and Amazon sellers. With Cogsy, brands can place orders faster, reduce the frequency of stockouts, and minimize the amount of excess stock hanging out at their warehouse.

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