Question #6: What are some common ways to segment demand?

First things first, what exactly is segmentation? It is, in essence, the act of defining categories of items, customers, channels, or business units. It helps you organize the massive amount of data your company collects about your customers and products so that you can understand what’s happening and ultimately take appropriate action.

As you can imagine, then, there is an endless number of ways to go about this. For example, you can slice the data by product (by its model, family, or volatility), by customer profile (by geographic regions or by your customers’ age, gender, or ethnicity), or by mixing and matching characteristics from both categories. Ultimately, your unique business objectives will determine how you choose to segment demand.

Even so, we’ve identified four incredibly useful reports that every business should run:

  • Margin reporting by channel, product family, or both
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Trend and sales analysis
  • Cost-to-serve quadrant analysis

While preparing these types of reports may seem daunting, remember, too, that you don’t have to do so manually. A comprehensive demand planning tool, such as our Atlas Planning Suite, automates many of the tasks associated with collecting and organizing your data. That way, you can spend more time on devising and implementing strategies that will propel company-wide growth.

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