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Forecast vs. Demand Plan - do you know the difference?

July 16, 2019

Do you know the difference between a forecast vs. demand plan?

A forecast is a prediction of demand based on numbers seen in the past. Demand plan starts with the forecast but then takes other things into consideration like distribution, where to hold inventory, etc.

Dave Turbide said, “Most companies start with forecasts for each product at each final distribution point, that is, each outlet where the customer orders and receives the goods. The inventory, or replenishment plan, for each outlet (store, distributor, shipping point) places demand on the warehouse(s) that provide the goods, and on up the chain. Ultimately, this distribution plan leads to a picture of the demand at the factory.”

When done well, this process should result in minimal inventory while still meeting customer expectations. 

About the Author

Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning

Since joining forces with Plex, by Rockwell Automation, in 2016, we’ve harnessed the power of its Smart Manufacturing Platform and industry knowledge to offer a digitized supply chain planning product. It seamlessly unites your business from the plant floor to the executive suite. To learn more about how we are bringing the Connected Enterprise to life across industrial enterprises, visit

Plex DemandCaster