|Collaborative Forecasting and Planning
Good communication leads to better planning, and better planning, in turn, leads to good decisions. With global enterprises and supply chains strung out around the world, clear and knowledgeable communications can be daunting, but they are paramount to achieving superior business results.
Whether you have one facility or hundreds, an accurate statistical forecast of demand is an important starting point for your supply chain planning activities. However, the accuracy of such forecasts can be increased by improving the communications between the many players in the planning process who may have valuable contributions to make based on their knowledge of the markets, customers, and/or products for which they are responsible. These individuals can be both inside and outside your organization and often include sales reps, regional managers, inventory planners, product managers, distributors, and even customers and suppliers.
But it has not been easy to harvest the insights of these people because the collaborative forecasting process is often cumbersome and inefficient: you have to distribute the statistical forecasts produced by your corporate planning system to them wherever they are, solicit their feedback, assess the credibility of the feedback you receive, and properly combine it with the system forecasts to produce a consensus forecast that can be used to drive your company’s operations.
The Smart Solution
SmartCollaborator is an easily-integrated, web-based extension of SmartForecasts that enables knowledgeable individuals anywhere around the world to take part in a more effective collaborative forecasting and planning process. Working within a standard web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, SmartCollaborator distributes the statistical forecasts produced by SmartForecasts to any number of knowledgeable people. It then gathers feedback from them, combines this information with the statistical forecasts to yield a consensus forecast, and produces results to drive the various facets of your company’s supply chain operations. The person in charge of demand forecasting and planning can be sure that feedback providers see only the data they are authorized to see. That individual can also easily monitor the status of the feedback process and create consensus forecast results using any of several automatic methods or a combination of automatic and judgmental methods.
|SmartCollaborator facilitates the collaborative forecasting and planning process
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With SmartCollaborator, forecast accuracy improves because you tap the knowledge and expertise of all relevant people inside and outside your organization. Efficiency improves because you have a single, coherent channel for sending out statistically-based system forecasts, receiving feedback adjustments, and intelligently combining them into a consensus forecast. Buy-in improves because there is an easy way for everyone with a valid say-so to contribute to a successful collaborative forecasting and planning process. Benefits can be realized quickly because
- The installation and integration of SmartCollaborator with SmartForecasts is simple.
- The feedback process is transparent and easy to learn.
- The entire process runs anywhere in the world using standard web browsers connected to one central web server.