Data Structure for Customers, Locations and Products

In general, forecast value comes with a customer number, location number, and product number. A customer number represents a specific Customer entity, and a product number or SKU represents a specific Product type. In practical situations, forecast, and also many cost- or revenue-related numbers are summarized by groups. For example, you can represent market segments in the data as Customer groups, regions as Location groups, product families as Product groups.

The image below shows an example product hierarchy.


The Forecast phase displays with the most granular level of values: Customer number, Location number, and Product number (SKU).

As the process moves forward, data for these items are aggregated according to groups in the hierarchy. S&OP Navigator lets you define grouping for the last three phases.

Take Product grouping as an example. The image below shows part of the Product Relation sheet in the input data, which defines the product structure. (This sheet is not a complete representation of the items named in the hierarchy diagram.)


Note that the Product column contains only group names while the SubProduct column can contain either group names or individual items.

Items in the SubProduct column are group names or individual items nested under the group item in the Product column.

The top part of the sheet is the information defining the actual product hierarchy. In the example sheet, “Cake” appears in both the Product and SubProduct columns. “Cake” is defined as a subset (subproduct) of “All Items” while “Fruit Filling Cake” is a subset of “Cake.”

In the bottom part of the sheet we define what data appears on the pages for the Demand, Analytics, and Executive phases. In the example sheet, “Cake” is defined as a “Product Family,” which means it will appear in the Demand phase.

The suggested levels of product groupings shown in each phase are shown in the table below.

Forecast Individual items
Demand Product Type
Analytics Product Family
Executive All Items

Items will not be grouped in the Forecast phase. For other phases, you can set groups you prefer to be shown as the Customized Category in the Configuration Wizard. In phases for which you do not set the Customized Category, items will not be grouped.