Forecasting Consultant - Demand Planning Consultant
Forecast Solutions offers a wide range of consulting services for demand planning and sales forecasting, and we can help in all aspects of the development of a forecasting process. We are well versed in statistical forecasting, but intent on using understandable and practical forecasting methods where possible. The key areas in which we operate are itemised below, but please contact us for a no obligation discussion with our demand planning consultant to explore the issues in your company and how we may be able to help in future improvements.
Tel: 01844 291942
There are some basic elements in setting up a forecasting process, such as the choice of time periods, time horizons and levels of detail for products / customers. Decisions are needed on forecasting methods to use, whether based on judgement or on statistical methods such as time series forecasting and/or causal modelling. A cycle of activities needs to be established including forecast accuracy measurement, statistical forecasting and the addition of commercial judgement regarding promotions and any other market intelligence. When there are alternative opinions regarding the forecast there is often a need for forecast reconciliation prior to publication.
In some cases Forecast Solutions can provide forecasting software in Excel and this is especially worth considering if there are special requirements such as a need to combine time series forecasting methods with causal modelling on price, weather or economic indices. Excel is good when the number of forecast entities is fairly low, but can be more difficult with large numbers of products or a need for multi-level forecasting. If specialist software is needed we may be able to suggest a solution or can help in a software selection process.
Training courses and workshops
A range of demand planning courses are carried out online or in classroom training. Content includes the principal sales forecasting methods, forecasting process and stock replenishment planning. Training is backed up with worked exercises in Microsoft Excel on some basic statistical forecasting techniques, leaving delegates with working templates on the most useful methods.
Price Sensitivity Analysis
If a few years of historical sales data are available, together with the varying prices or relative prices that took place over time, it may be possible to quantify the sales effect of price changes. We carry out causal analysis to explore price relationships, together with any other important factors that may drive demand, such as the weather or economic indices. The results may add value in a forecasting process or help formulate a pricing strategy.
Effect of weather on demand
Weather has a major impact on sales in many businesses and is often an important factor behind the expected seasonal pattern. It is the effect of unseasonal variation in weather that often creates difficulty in accurate forecasting. Through careful data analysis we can unpick and quantify the effects on sales of normal seasonality, weather and other causal factors, together with time lags in the sales response that may apply.
Forecast Accuracy Measurement
Good forecast accuracy is essential for stock management so that safety stock levels can be set as low as possible in order to achieve required customer service levels. Measurement of forecast accuracy helps in the investigation of existing supply chain problems or identification of potential new issues before they become serious. Also, if monitored regularly, it helps to ensure the forecasting process is under control.
Remote Forecasting Service
Forecasts can be created to provide an expert interpretation of difficult data, particularly if the calculation of seasonal patterns is problematical - we have a unique way of dealing with that. Alternatively, we can step in to provide a regular forecasting service if internal resource is over-stretched or not available.