by Gebhard Roos, SAP

274415_l_srgb_s_glTo succeed in the consumer products industry, you need to accurately understand demand – not only sensing what is happening within your organization, but also keeping a pulse on market trends and the competitive landscape. You need to gauge changes in demand, analyze buying trends, then respond quickly and profitably. But to do so, you have to aggregate large amounts of data from both internal and third-party sources.

Consumer product companies routinely collect point of sale (POS), market research, syndicated, household panel, and social sentiment data to help forecast demand. Integrating all this data and making it immediately available throughout the organization in a useful format can be challenging. Traditional demand signal repositories work through multiple layers of aggregation, often producing delayed and inaccurate data. Such data is most often designed for a specific use, making it hard to reuse across the organization.

Aggregating Data to Better Show Demand

SAP has found a way to not only harmonize this data in real time, but to make it available for uses throughout the organization – from sophisticated trade promotion optimization to internal processes such as forecasting, sales planning, out-of-stock analysis, and new product launches.

For example, you may receive market research data from IRI or Nielson. In the past, anyone wanting to use this information would have had to manipulate it before including it within their own reporting structures. But SAP Demand Signal Management lets employees quickly compare internal sales numbers with market research, or use IRI or Nielson data directly in internal reports.

Another area of opportunity is the ability to integrate classic third-party information, such as market research data, with more advanced third-party data, such as social sentiment results. There’s a lot of buzz about the impact of web sentiments on consumer perception – it can influence immediate sales and serve as an early indicator of product, market, or promotional issues. SAP Demand Signal Management helps you capture market share and trend data alongside social media buzz – whether positive or negative – then correlate sales with social media trends. With this insight, you can affect promotional performance by adjusting prices, moving stock between locations, or starting a new targeted campaign.

Benefits Across the Organization

Effective management of demand signals is a key component of a demand-driven supply chain. It helps you capture external market and retailer data in real time – and combine it with internal business data and state-of-the-art analytics – to sense, assess, and respond to demand signals faster then ever before. A better understanding of what drives the consumer and what’s happening in the market helps you align supply chain, marketing, and sales with external conditions. SAP Demand Signal Management benefits:

  • Supply chain. Real-time demand signals support effective cross-functional sales and operations planning. Use POS data from retailers to optimize short-term forecasting. Optimize inventory, reduce transit costs, and prevent out-of-stocks.
  • Marketing. Monitor qualitative social media data to assess consumer perception over time. Manage campaigns based on broad and consistent understanding of customers. Fine tune campaigns with on-the-fly what-if profitability or promotion analysis.
  • Sales. Monitor orders, shipments, and sell-through versus plan, all in real time. Analyze store-level merchandising compliance and react immediately to deviations. Optimize promotions with intuitive yet advanced modeling and analytics.

What processes within your organization could benefit from demand signal management?

Learn More

Let SAP’s experienced consultants help you optimize demand signal management within your organization. Using best-practice methodologies, SAP Services help you optimize third-party data integration within your SAP environment, for maximum benefits across your supply chain, sales, and marketing. To learn more, please visit us online.


If you’re heading to Orlando for SAPPHIRE NOW, May 14-16, be sure to check out these sessions that will provide more indepth insight into SAP Demand Signal Management and its benefits.

Read the Signs from Demand Signal Management and Big Data Tuesday, 11:00 – 11:20am
Enhanced CPG Analytics Leveraging SAP Demand Signal Management Tuesday, 11:00 – 11:45am
Read the Signs from Demand Signal Management and Big Data Wednesday, 1:00 – 1:20pm (repeat)
Make What You Need and Ship What You Make: SAP Demand Signal Management Thursday, 1:00 – 1:20 pm