Demand chains are a representation of the drivers of “flow” through a supply chain, a concept familiar to those engaged in “lean” initiatives, when the motivator to the flow is demand rather than an ability to produce for inventory or against a forecast of sales.

Category management is a process of welding the drivers of demand, the consumer preferences and behavior to the supply of their preferred products, whilst maximizing the returns to the retailer, and others in the chain, as well as delighting the customer.

Few who claim to engage in category management would see the explicit link, as they are typically engrossed in the numbers, but it is there nevertheless, and the successful exponents recognise the link, and leverage the numbers for the sake of the outcome of the entire chain, not just forĀ  one link who happens to hold the power.