A Demand Signal Management is a methodology whereby demand data comes in from many sources and technology and processes organize that data in such a way that it is easy to manage and report off of the data. Demand Signal Management is not simply a reporting tool. It is also not simply a database full of demand level/point of sale data. It encompasses the entire manner in which data is integrated, cleansed, harmonized, modeled and distributed.
Many people confuse Demand Signal Management with a database. That’s because the analysts who coined the term “Demand Signal Repository” or “DSR” were analysts without an IT background. Therefore if reports with demand data were generated, then it must be coming from a “repository.” Thus the term “DSR,” or Demand Signal Repository.
Relational Solutions attempted to correct that misnomer by coining the phrase “Enterprise Demand Signal Repository.” But it did little to clear up the issue when the analysts advising companies didn’t understand the difference and vendors providing buyer reports, started using that term and actually acting as if they understood the difference. Those vendors, who were focused on the “me too” aspects of sales. But in truth, had more experience related to buyer reports than on IT architectures. Once again, this simply confused the market.
The word repository implies a database. So it is understandable why people think of a Demand Signal Repository, as just a database. It makes more sense to call it Demand Signal Management. But a truly, “Enterprise Demand Signal Management” solution, the way we have defined it, is a best practices process of integrating and cleansing demand data with internal data to provide business users with alerts and reports that will pin-point areas of the business that require immediate attention. It is Demand Signal Management.
The goal of Demand Signal Management is to provide faster access to more information, improve retailer relationships, maximize ROI, streamline internal efficiencies, improve performance at all stages of the supply chain, provide a foundation for trade analytics and support multiple departments and teams.
The demand signal management processes should streamline and automate the integration of point of sale data. Efficiencies should be evident in many ways. Demand signal management should show extensive time savings associated with streamlining the data gathering process. In addition, validation of the data and automating the cleansing process will save countless hours spent tracking down data errors. The entire process should include cleansing, cross referencing, synchronization, integration, loading of the data, report generation and alert notification. A true demand signal management solution would also allow the ability for point of sale data to be integrated and harmonized with internal and third party data to support the user requirements of many departments and teams. Alerts and reports should be automated and customizable based on each team and users requirements.
A WINNING demand signal management solution should be an open architecture that is designed to grow and change with the companies needs. Therefore, it should be database independent, have the flexibility to add virtually any data type and the openness to support other front-end tools that other departments and users may require for their specific needs.
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