So, we’re at the half way point in 2020. But, with a great forecasting system, there’s still time to make significant improvement to your game plan in the second half. Evaluating your current position and taking steps now to adjust future plans will set you up for a better 2020 than you may think. A planning and forecasting process will bring all your vital data together, define goals for the future, and then provide a roadmap to achieve these goals.
Inventory is often the largest investment of a company, so ensuring that it is optimized for best performance is most important and still possible. A forecasting system provides proven benefits for businesses: optimized cash flow, satisfied customers, minimized inventory costs, informed financial planning, increased ability to negotiate with vendors, and the ability to strategize sales plans. In fact, almost every department of the company benefits from a great forecasting system. Yet, many businesses do not have one.
Benefits of a Planning and Forecasting Process:
- Fulfilling Customer Needs on Time in a Cost-Effective Manner – The primary objective of a forecasting process is to ensure that consumer demand is satisfied as efficiently as possible.
- Highlights Growth Opportunities and their Potential – An up-trending item or category is recognized very quickly. Demand can be re-projected and profitability maximized.
- Lowers Liabilities and Markdowns – With a forecasting process, items that are not selling up to their original forecast can be addressed early. Taking action early ensures that the most profit possible can be generated.
- Increases Turn and Cash Flow – Inventory needs are mapped out with a forecasting process. Businesses are able to save money because they can project the inventory they will need and when they will need it, thus not having to hold excess inventory. This gives businesses better cash flow, enabling them to invest in the most successful items.
- Provides a Roadmap for Financial Planning – Forecasts define the expected sales goals, inventory levels and profitability of a business. When trends deviate from the roadmap, actions can be taken to get back on track to achieving company goals. Forecasts help businesses anticipate change, reduce uncertainty and identify the best ways to achieve their goals.
- Encourages Collaboration between All Departments – The forecasting process requires all departments work together. Production, Distribution, Sales and Marketing, and Finance must all provide input into the Planning and Forecasting Process. Likewise, all departments will receive benefits by the information forecasts provide.
- Guides Scheduling of the Rest of the Company – Forecasts enable businesses to anticipate staffing and production needs.
- Provides Insights for New Product Development and Planning – Forecasts enable businesses to see changes in consumer demands and help answer why the marketplace is changing. With well-defined data, a business can determine the whitespace in a market and begin development on new products.
- Increase Knowledge of Market to Gain Competitive Advantage – Because a well-defined hierarchy brings clarity and well-planned forecasts provide a roadmap, companies can see changes to the marketplace quickly and gain valuable insights, giving them a competitive advantage.
By working with the experienced planning and inventory managers of SAFIO Solutions, you can clarify your inventory, analyze and forecast sales, and optimize inventory to increase cash flow. With the efficiencies gained by use of our proprietary Sales Analysis and Forecasting Tool, we have helped companies save $20,000 – $2,000,000 in the first 18 months of use..
The planning and forecasting experts of SAFIO Solutions will help you:
- Clarify and Organize your vital data. Your products should be categorized in a meaningful hierarchy, with selling attributes assigned that will help analyze your sales. All data will be brought together in one location, giving your company visibility to all components necessary to make informed, strategic decisions.
- Work with your IT Department to integrate with your company’s systems, ensuring that key data is uploaded accurately.
- Determine the best sales curves to use for your business. This will enable you to forecast future sales for your company and maintain optimal inventory levels.
- Work with your team to determine criteria for productive inventory and develop a plan to minimize unproductive inventory.
- Provide custom reports, business intelligence and dashboard analytics and visualization for your company based on the way you need to analyze your business.
- Train your staff, whether they are seasoned professional planners or new to the idea of planning and forecasting. Our software application is intuitive and easy-to-use. All metrics needed to analyze the business are available in one place in the user interface.
The experts at SAFIO Solutions have extensive experience in retail, wholesale/distribution and eCommerce channels and have acquired knowledge in multiple industries, working with companies of all sizes. Visit now at https://safiosolutions.com/ to request a demo and be well on your way to a better 2020!