Below are a few common frequently asked questions related to our services. For more technically specific DemandCaster related questions, please visit our support center.
Is DemandCaster pricing per user?
No. It is by company. There is no limit to the number of users.
Is my data available to me if I discontinue using DemandCaster?
Yes, your data is always available. With our custom reporting engine you can download all your forecasts, planning, parameters, histories, and uploaded data at anytime. At your request, we will also maintain your data for up to 6 months just in case you decide to re-establish service.
Do you need to add the $195/month for each additional stocking location or is it a single charge to have the multi-location functionality?
It is a single monthly charge for all locations.
What is the basis for determining the pricing of SKU’s?
A SKU is a unique identification for a product at a particular site. If an item is located in more than one location, the additional locations are counted as an additional unique SKU. This is because each location has its own demand history, on hand quantities, and replenishment requirements.
In addition, we only count SKU’s that are imported into DemandCaster. Many organizations have SKU’s that are not active, discontinued, or otherwise not applicable to demand planning or supply planning. Our integrated data connector ETL process can filter out these SKU’s (i.e. only items sold over the last 4 years) so that only those SKU’s that require planning enter into the DemandCaster database. This makes DemandCaster a very economical and flexible solution.
Do we need to commit to a year of service when signing up for a DemandCaster subscription?
No, we do not believe in long-term contracts. All subscriptions are month to month. You can cancel anytime or add/remove options as needed.
How is DemandCaster’s subscription pricing structured?
As described on our pricing page, DemandCaster is a modular software platform. All DemandCaster configurations start with the Basic Planning and Forecasting module which includes 1,000 SKU’s, custom reports, integration, and support. Depending on the needs of your operation, you may add the BOM module to plan bill of materials, Capacity module to plan capacity, Multi-Location module to plan across multiple production and warehouse locations, and/or the Sales and Operations Planning module to plan by customer, market, or product segment and manage the entire process within a formal S&OP structure. You may also add additional SKU planning blocks as required.
The standard DemandCaster package includes the planning of up to 1,000 SKU’s. Each additional increment of 5,000 SKU’s is an additional $50 a month.
Cadent Resources, Inc. the provider of DemandCaster was founded in 2004. DemandCaster, as an offering, started in 2007 and has grown in capability and users ever since.
Why have I never heard of you guys?
Our focus has been on providing exceptional service to our customers for 10 years and our growth has been largely word of mouth. We do not have a large sales force nor a big marketing budget. All our resources go into making DemandCaster the best product it can be and continually supporting our clients to assure they reach success. This does limit our reach but in turn it allows us to maintain a client retention rate in the very high 90’s. The good news, since you are reading this you have now heard of us!
How will DemandCaster be implemented at our company?
We employ a process we call Fast-Start. Fast Start includes a current state demand and supply planning process assessment, ERP integration, training, and guidance in deploying planning policies designed to meet the demand and supply planning, optimization, and sales and operations planning (S&OP) needs of your operation. Pricing depends on the ERP system that DemandCaster will be connecting to and the complexity of the operation. If the ERP is one that we have previously integrated with, the cost and start up time will be at no cost or significantly reduced.
After implementation, will I be charged if I need additional help?
All DemandCaster “how-to” questions are answered at no cost by phone or email via our support desk. Planning and supply chain questions outside of the realm of DemandCaster “how-to” questions, are considered consulting and may be subject to a consulting charge. In all cases, we will communicate when a question falls into this realm in advance. It is very customary for our clients to retain our services to help optimize their planning processes including providing forecasting advice, S&OP implementation, and ERP/MRP expertise.
What does the $95 integrated external data source option cover? Is it an extra charge to connect to our ERP?
If the only data source we are connecting to is your ERP there is no additional cost. The integration is included in the base subscription fee. The $95 is for integrating other data sources or pushing data to other locations outside of your ERP. An example of this type of integration would be fetching on hand quantities and forecasts from a client portal and integrating that data within your planning process.
We are not ready to implement a full demand and supply planning or S&OP system at this time. We are, however, interested in starting a forecasting process. We have already looked at some excel and minitab excel add-on features but these are too basic. We need a software capable to analyze the data for 100’s or 1000’s of items and have it select the best fit and provide the results that we can review and in turn enter into our MRP system. Do you provide this?
The basic DemandCaster system does just that. Advanced forecasting algorithms are selected via best fit and then applied to forecast out as far as required. An experienced forecaster may also apply adjustments to further configure the forecast. The results can then be reviewed and adjusted as required and then via the DemandCaster data integration, an XML, or text file output may loaded back to your ERP for execution.
What is nice about DemandCaster is that it eliminates much of the manual data handling required of excel files which in turn drives efficiency and reduces the opportunities for error. It is also a system that will grow with you as the need to expand your demand and supply planning needs increase. You can start with forecasting and then add one or a combination of the three modular add-ons to increase capability as required when required. This way, you do not need to start a new process from scratch or kluge something together as you add S&OP or other planning capabilities in the future.
How do you go about introducing new features to DemandCaster and do you consider customer submitted ideas?
More than 50% of DemandCaster has been developed as a result of direct client input. If a specific request is something that a client needs in the short term but is not currently offered within DemandCaster but could be valuable to other users, we offer a co-development process. Co-development means that a client will pay for a portion since the capability could be widely applied beyond a single client but there is no immediate need for such a capability to be developed. In such cases, the fee we charge is how we fast track development and work directly with a single client to develop the capability. We also have a development roadmap of capabilities that we are introducing on an ongoing based on customer requests and internal capability improvements.
How do you go about notifying users of major revisions?
There are major and minor revisions. For example, changing the name of a term or making minor interface changes are considered a minor revision since they have no bearing on how the system works. In these cases, we may send an email explaining the rationale for the change or post in our blog.
Major revisions are either the introduction of a new module or an improvement to an existing module. In most cases, we communicate the change via email prior to launch and then again when the launch occurs. There are also instances where we invite users to use the feature in a beta state. We do this by enabling the feature for only a few clients in their live deployments or invite them to test in our demo site.
Do we need to have knowledge of statistics or have strong planning skills to use DemandCaster?
DemandCaster is easy to learn and use. It does not require a background in forecasting, statistics, or years of material management experience. DemandCaster has a built-in expert selection system that analyzes your data, selects the appropriate forecasting technique, builds the model and calculates the forecasts and supply plans. The key is training your users on how all the variables that derive demand and supply are related and set those accordingly. We do this during the start up training session and support your users with phone and email support. We also offer planning support that supplements your personnel with planning expertise to help improve your planning processes.
We have an entire group of products called “Non-Stock” for which we do not wish to carry any safety stock. Can this be achieved?
Yes. A decision to not stock an item can be made at any time and can be changed in DemandCaster at the group or item level. Since the DemandCaster system is relational, decisions to change stocking may effect items that are tied to it thus warranting a recalculation of safety stocks and reorder points.
Does the safety stock calculations consider changes in dependent demand?
Yes, each items safety stock is calculated independently based on the stocking rules applied. The user has the option to calculate safety stock based on independent dependent demand or independent and dependent demand. In addition, the safety stock calculation of components is based on the stocking policy of its dependent demand.
Does the safety stock calculations consider lead time?
Yes, all the statistical safety stock models DemandCaster is built with is based on lead time. In addition there is a model that calculates safety stock using lead time variability however we recommend have clean lead time data to do so.
Can DemandCaster model the best BOM level to hold inventory at?
Yes. It depends on the quality of data. The stocking analysis reviews lead times and replenishment times across the items BOM to assess where stock should be held. This information then applies where the safety stock should be held based on the stocking decision made.
How many SKU’s does DemandCaster effectively handle?
DemandCaster can handle any amount of SKU’s however it is important to realize that the more SKU’s that require optimization, the longer the analysis time. DemandCaster can handle 100,000 or more combined independent and dependent demand SKU’s.
Does DemandCaster run on servers other than Microsoft?
DemandCaster runs in the cloud therefore it is independent of your server environment. Our data connector which is the only component we install on your server is a secure and low profile app that runs on any platform.
For S&OP purposes, are the projected inventory levels based on suggested supply orders, actual supply orders, or both?
You have the option to choose the scenario. Most often, however, it is both suggested supply orders and actual supply orders. Typically, actual supply orders address the short term needs whereas suggested orders address long term needs.
Does DemandCaster handle item supersession?
Yes, DemandCaster supports many 1:1 and many:one scenarios. You can also specify the date the supercession occurs or you can simply merge all the histories together. Finally, you can even use the history of an active item for another item while maintaining the planning of the active item.
Do we have any protection if Cadent Resources, Inc. suddenly goes out of business?
We offer our users the opportunity to place the DemandCaster software code in escrow. It is like an insurance plan that names your company the recipient of the code in the highly unlikely event we go out of business and DemandCaster is no longer supported. In such an event, the agreement allows you to load your data and code on your servers to assure there is minimal disruption in your business.
What are the payment terms?
Payment is made via a credit card or ACH debit against your bank account. It occurs automatically on a 30 day cycle and is managed within a payment portal associated with your account.
How is the support offered? Is it 24/7? Is there any additional cost for the support?
There is no additional cost for support. Support is 24-7 however it is most available during our normal US based working hours during the week. We also have a technical team in Europe so between the US team and European team, we have 24 hours coverage and are available to address questions as they arise.
Please explain the setup and initial training process.
Set up and training is provided for a one time fee depending on the platform chosen. If you decide to proceed you will sign up for a subscription. We then provision your account and ask you to complete our planning policy questionnaire. In parallel we will share with you our data map so that you can define all the tables and fields required for us to build the extraction queries. Here is an article that describes the integration options available: https://demandcaster.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204821219-DemandCaster-Data-Integration-Options. Once the integration is complete, we will train you and/or your team on how to setup and use the software. Thereafter we will support you as required via web-conference, emails, and call. Here is a link to our support site: http://support.demandcaster.com/
Is there potential for different users and permissions? Presume this is login / password based.