To satisfy your collaborative forecasting and planning needs
Business research suggests that an effective strategy for forecasting success is to supplement statistical forecasts of sales and product demand by incorporating the specialized knowledge of all those who are in a position to offer useful feedback.
SmartCollaborator is the web-based companion to SmartForecasts® that enables knowledgeable individuals anywhere around the world to take part in a more efficient collaborative forecasting and planning process. Better communications means that your organization will have more realistic and accurate forecasts as inputs to its planning systems.
|SmartCollaborator’s Web-based Feedback Process
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In the past, forecasting was usually done by a seasoned planner working at corporate headquarters, occasionally assisted by a few other people who were qualified to review the forecast results. Today the Internet has expanded the circle of potential contributors to the forecasting process. Key individuals both inside and outside your organization can participate in this process. Sales reps, regional managers, inventory planners, product managers, distributors, and even customers and suppliers are in a unique position to contribute their special insights. Now you have a way of tapping their knowledge and expertise: SmartCollaborator.
SmartCollaborator lets participants in the forecasting process immediately receive forecast reports via the Internet using a standard web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. It then enables them, wherever they are, to provide feedback toward a consensus forecast that blends SmartForecasts’ statistical results with their personal knowledge of the markets, customers, and/or products for which they are responsible.
The Web-based Feedback and Consensus Forecast Process
Wherever authorized feedback providers are located, they can use SmartCollaborator to
- Immediately receive reports of those SmartForecasts results that they are authorized to review.
- Adjust the system forecasts based on their special knowledge and expertise.
- Feed back their adjustments in real time.
- Add explanatory notes and comments to any recommended forecast changes.
Other SmartCollaborator users charged with building a consensus forecast can automatically combine this feedback information with system forecasts produced by SmartForecasts to create an “auto-consensus” forecast. This forecast, in turn, can be adjusted as desired to yield a final consensus forecast result, which is then passed back to SmartForecasts. There it can either be reviewed by top management or passed along to people, ERP and SCM systems, or other software applications that require it.
A Secure Solution
Security access privileges built into SmartCollaborator ensure that only appropriate people can see forecasts and recommend changes. Privileges can extend to the entire forecast project or any section of it, i.e. certain product groups or sales regions.
SmartCollaborator resides on your company’s web server and uses system forecast results produced with SmartForecasts that are stored in your Oracle, SQL Server, or IBM DB2 database or planning system. It leverages your existing IT infrastructure to provide a cost-effective solution that is quickly installed and usable with minimal training.