4 Advantages of Short-term Frequent Demand Forecast vs Long-term Single Demand Forecast

demand forecast

For the majority of sectors, the capacity to estimate demand is essential. Every day, demand forecast has an impact on everyone’s lives. For instance, demand forecast guarantees that supermarket stores are stocked, shipments are delivered on time, power generation keeps up with the demand to keep our lights on, and there are minimal wait periods for delivery from our favourite restaurants.

Predictive analytics’ field of demand forecast makes an effort to predict consumer demand in order to improve supply decisions. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are frequently used to categorise demand forecast techniques. While quantitative approaches rely on facts, qualitative methods are based on the judgement of subject matter experts (SMEs). 

The fundamental premise of quantitative demand forecast is that real historical demand may be utilised to define future demand. Mathematically, a time series that depicts a chronological order of logged observation points best describes historical demand. Using various forecasting techniques and models, this time series (pattern) is extrapolated into the future while preserving its distinctive characteristics.

General concepts related to demand forecasting

  1. Future sales predictions: These are made feasible by the demand forecast, a process of information analysis and regulation. Demand forecasting assumption is used to analyse order quantity, customer demand, and accrual date.
  2. Optimal Transportation Speed: Accelerating the movement of raw materials, goods, and services from suppliers to internal production, distribution, and ultimate consumer consumption is the goal. To assist the company comprehend its earning potential, demand planning is done. 
  3. Utilising demand planning: It enables one to choose the production volume, stock level, and sources of capacity allocation among specific goods to maximise overall firm profitability. This projection can be as near to the planning horizon as feasible.
  4. Decision-making process: It involves the use of forecasting methodologies. Businesses need to be mindful of issues including the time horizon permanent – Long term effects of choices, the data set that can be reached, the volume of data that can be gathered, the cost, the margin of error, and the qualifications of the decision-makers.
  5. Strategic Planning Alignment: The whole department of the business that is undergoing process modifications uses the demand forecast. The business plan is decided by strategic changes; the budget is determined by the business plan; and the functional objectives and actions are established by the budget and business plan.

Best Practices of Demand Forecasting

1. Demand Planning

  • You must become familiar with the most recent forecasting techniques if you are serious about seeing results on this front. 
  • Realising that estimates at the item or location levels will be far less accurate than those at the aggregate level will be one important step. 
  • Therefore, it makes more sense to concentrate on the high-level predictions before using proration to fine-tune the item and location projections. Practically every aspect of your business procedures, such as scheduling and shipping, will be informed by the results.
  • Your projections will get more precise with time and with the appropriate technology, notably an industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and have a favourable influence on operations.

2. Inventory Policy Overview

  • Your inventory policy is based on a number of factors, including safety stock, reorder points, batch sizes, and customer service standards.
  • It might be a little scary to tackle a topic this complex and intricate, but in order to satisfy customer demand, it must be given top priority. 
  • The true worth of your “days of supply” and “cover period” metrics must first be understood. These are probably already part of your planning process but avoid oversimplifying. 
  • You are overlooking important elements like seasonality, trends, and carrying and manufacturing costs if your previous method for calculating needs was to take yearly demand and divide it by the number of forecast periods.

3. Long-Term Planning Horizons

  • Naturally, your flexibility in acting on the figures and the necessary actions will depend on the timeframe for which you are predicting. 
  • The accuracy of your projections will be crucial if you’re employing the conventional 12-months-out paradigm and a long-term perspective because they’ll have an impact on the entire firm.

4. Medium-Term Planning Horizons

  • Medium-range planning for distribution, inventory levels, and demand allocation based on plant capacity may be accomplished with reliable forecasting methodologies and precise predictions.
  • But first, it will be important to decide on location-specific inventory levels for finished goods before attempting to build a master production schedule (MPS).

5. Production Planning Overview

  • Production planning is now possible since inventory levels have been specified at the site level. Your system should carefully manage the balance of capacity, labour, and inventory throughout the course of months, weeks, and days. 
  • Additionally, a model that takes into consideration demand needs, line capacity, and formulas needed to match demand quantities and dates is necessary for the system to function. 
  • It would be excellent if it could also simulate other hypothetical situations and think of solutions based on the factors involved. 
  • Your primary goals in this process should be to address personnel, material, and capacity challenges on a weekly and monthly basis because, at such levels, your planners can balance the quality of plans with the simplicity of system maintenance by using indicators like average run rates.

6. Short-Term Planning Horizons

  • While shorter-term production plans will address stock replenishments at distribution centres, including warehouses that transport to client locations, longer-term production plans will be driven by demand forecast. 
  • There can be more difficulties if your distribution network includes a third-party logistics supplier. The ultimate objective is to make sure that each site has just enough inventory to fulfil demand and no more than necessary.

Short-term Advantages  of Forecasting

1. Production Policy benefits

  • In order to avoid any discrepancy between product demand and supply, applying demand forecast aids in the formulation of an appropriate manufacturing strategy. 
  • By estimating the anticipated production volume based on sales projections, one may assess the required raw material needs in the future in order to guarantee a regular and continuous supply of the materials and limit the amount of inventory at the economic level. 
  • The procedures may be arranged in a way that fully utilises the machinery. The right arrangement of professional and unskilled personnel is possible to satisfy the demands of the production schedule.

2. Price Policy Formulation

  • The management may create a suitable pricing system with the aid of a demand prediction, preventing excessive price fluctuations during periods of deflation or inflation.

3. Proper Sales Functionality

  • Following the determination of regional demand predictions, the sales objectives for specific regions are set. Later, this serves as the foundation for assessing sales performance.

4. Arrangement of Finance

  • The financial needs of the organisation for the product of the planned production can be calculated on the basis of a sales projection. This may reduce the price of acquiring financing.

Long-term Advantages  of Forecasting

1. Optimizing Production Capacity

  • The plant’s size should be chosen such that the production meets sales needs. The size of the facility may not be in the company’s best interests financially if it is too small or huge. 
  • The company can plan for a plant/output of the required capacity by looking at the product demand pattern and future projections.

2. Managing Labour Requirements

  • One of the most significant factors in the cost of manufacturing is manpower expense. The management may determine the necessary manpower needs by using reliable and accurate sales predictions.

3. Capital Restructuring/Resourcing

  • The management can get long-term financing on fair terms and conditions from a variety of sources, both internal and external, and occasionally from international sources, with the aid of long-term production planning.


For the majority of sectors, the capacity to estimate demand is essential. Every day, demand forecasting has an impact on everyone’s lives. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are frequently used to categorise demand forecasting techniques. Future sales predictions are made feasible by the demand forecast. The fundamental premise of quantitative demand forecast is that real historical demand may be utilised to define future demand.