|Sales and Demand Forecasting
Sales and demand forecasts drive the supply chain operations of virtually all manufacturing and distribution companies. They are critical inputs to sales and operations planning (S&OP), production planning, inventory planning and distribution requirements planning activities. Without these forecasts provided in a timely and efficient manner for all product items, the ERP and SCM systems that manage company planning activities would be seriously compromised, and the company’s ability to function and compete in the marketplace would be severely limited.
Demand data that are key to forecasting such important variables as unit sales, revenues, and even inventory requirements probably already exist in your corporate database or planning system. However, while the right data may exist, the ability to quickly and accurately process them using proven statistical forecasting methods may not. Spreadsheets and legacy forecasting systems commonly do not have the horsepower to manage and predict the tens of thousands of items that your company may now produce and distribute. Even the forecasting modules in more recent ERP and SCM systems often lack the proper portfolio of methods and the degree of automation required to meet your forecasting requirements. In addition, not everybody who has to make forecasts has the training and experience to select among and properly use statistical methods. This combination of factors usually results in the following problems:
The Smart Solution
- Only a fraction of your items gets forecasted regularly or at all
- The methods used to forecast are inappropriate, leading to poor forecast accuracy
- The processing of demand data and the forecasting process, itself, are difficult and drawn out
- Forecast results are not available to management on a timely basis for key decision making tasks.
For over 20 years, Smart Software has pioneered the use of powerful sales and demand forecasting solutions in the computer software marketplace. The centerpiece of its portfolio of capabilities is SmartForecasts’ Automatic statistical forecasting system. Wrapped inside a simple but highly evolved graphical user interface, this time-tested, statistical forecasting system provides fast, accurate forecasts for huge numbers of product itemsat the click of a mouse. It automatically selects the best statistical forecasting method for your demand data and handles all the math, easily incorporating trends, seasonal patterns and the effects of sales promotions and other special events.
|SmartForecasts’ Batch Automatic Forecasting capability
Click here for full-size screenshot
SmartForecasts’ Automatic system achieves high accuracy by making realistic estimates of the errors likely to be encountered when using a particular method to forecast a particular item. Further increases in accuracy come from Trend Hedging for forecasting new and aging products, as well as a built-in managerial adjustment capability that lets you refine forecast results on-screen based on your domain knowledge and business judgment. Multilevel (Multiseries) forecasting employs the Automatic system to make sophisticated top-down or bottom-up forecasts of entire product groups. And, the Batch Automatic Forecasting feature makes it as easy to forecast 100,000 product items as it is to forecast one item and to do the whole job in a matter of minutes.
SmartForecasts’ Automatic statistical forecasting system ensures that every sales and demand forecast exploits the information available in your database to provide high accuracy with almost no effort. System users do not have to be statistical experts to get great results. In fact, customers report that limitations previously imposed by legacy forecasting systems or ERP/SCM forecasting modules have been eliminated, and they commonly cut the time required for their forecasting process by as much as 75%. Your entire organization benefits from high accuracy, increased productivity in the forecasting process, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that every item you forecast will be handled, individually, in a Smart way.
Read how Niagara Cutter is using both the Automatic statistical forecasting and patented Intermittent Demand forecasting capabilities in SmartForecasts to improve its demand forecasting process and significantly lower inventory levels.