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Guide Forecast and plan your sales Share on:. This guide shows you how to put together a sales forecast and a sales plan. A basis for sales forecasts Your sales assumptions Developing your forecast Avoiding forecasting pitfalls Creating a sales plan. How many new customers do you gain each year? How many customers do you lose each year? What is the average level of sales you make to each customer?
Are there particular months where you acquire or lose more customers than usual? The market you sell into will grow by 2 per cent. Your market share will shrink by 2 per cent, due to the success of a competitor.
You will double your sales force from three people to six people, halfway through the year. You will spend 50 per cent less on advertising, which will reduce the number of enquiries from potential customers. You are moving to a better location, which will lead to 30 per cent more customers buying next year. You are raising prices by 10 per cent, which will reduce the volume of products sold by 5 per cent but result in a 4. You are launching a range of new products. Sales will be small this year and costs will outweigh profits, but in future years, you will reap the benefits.
You have products that are newly established and that have the potential to increase sales rapidly. You have established products that enjoy steady sales but have little growth potential. You have products that face declining sales, perhaps because of a competitor's superior product. Can you break down your sales by product, market, or geographic region? Are individual customers important enough to your business to warrant their own individual sales forecast? Can you estimate the conversion rate - the percentage chance of the sale happening - for each item on your sales forecast?
What are you going to focus on?
What are you going to change? In practical terms, what steps are involved? What territories and targets are you going to give each salesperson or team? Can you increase the activity levels of the sales team - more telephone calls per day, or more customer visits per week? Download and evaluate GMDH Streamline or contact us to learn how to streamline the sales forecasting process in your company.
The issue with this approach is that it promotes models that may look great on current data, instead of making accurate predictions on future data. That is why, GMDH Streamline uses special algorithms to create models that thoroughly analyse the data and generates the statistical models on the existing periods and provide more accurate forecasting predictions. Our forecast approval system provides you an opportunity to manage your forecasts with others, allowing each SKU to have a status of Approved, Unapproved, or Needs Attention.
Your inbox. Integrating distributor-level promotions and related forecasts will allow you to improve the flow of goods and achieve better results in terms of availability and stock fill rates. Historical analogy. It depends on the expected demand; if the demand for products is higher, then the organization may plan to expand further. With considerable experience in deploying continuous Improvement best practices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Approved SKUs are locked from further changes. Streamline is able to import sales prices as well as sales history, allowing revenue forecasts align with demand forecasts. GMDH Streamline provides an environment where forecasts can be managed, reevaluated, and modified based on additional information available internally by your management team, or provided by your vendors and suppliers.
Do you have new units that replace discontinued products or any very new commodity with limited market history? Not a big deal! GMDH Streamline can link such profiles to the sales history of similar, existing products substitutions or set seasonal coefficients. This allows you to get a reliable forecast for those fresh items as well.
Streamline has made a major difference in our forecasting and manufacturing planning. The ease of use, flexibility, and accuracy has far exceeded our expectations. Streamline has helped take our forecasting accuracy from average to world-class; which has a very positive bottom line impact. The time invested in learning our business, our model, and our people has been greatly appreciated and shows in the results.
GMDH Streamline is the small business demand forecasting dream come true. If you are too small for a huge ERP and big enough to need to track and forecast demand and reorders this is really the perfect tool.
A good demand forecasting process will have a direct impact in the planning of inventory levels, Link:. By identifying, repurposing or removing obsolete inventory the volume of inventory on hand will decrease. With this, both direct and indirect costs of keeping the obsolete inventory will be reduced. This closely links to reduced order sizes as a smaller volume of the inventory will be in stock and demand forecast accuracy. Having a standardised reliable way of forecasting demand will mean that excess stock is not ordered and this will reduce the chance of obsolete stock.
For that reason the logistics guys are now part of the SIOP process and they have to tell me how many people they need in the following three months to ensure we have enough capacity to ship material on time. This is one of the classic examples to demonstrate the importance of demand forecasting. In some businesses, multiple promotions running concurrently may result in the cannibalisation of both promoted and non-promoted SKUs. Integrating distributor-level promotions and related forecasts will allow you to improve the flow of goods and achieve better results in terms of availability and stock fill rates.
Similarly, improving the ability to forecast the impact price changes will have on both revenue and gross margin dollars, when timed well! But in my humble opinion no one can deny the importance of demand forecasting qualifications to benefit whatever business you are in.
Forecasting should not be a knee-jerk reaction of complaining to the supplier or shouting at the VP, there are plenty of more productive methods including gathering data, getting it into shape to analyse and creating a base demand forecast. Dr Muddassir Ahmed is a Manufacturing Operations, Procurement and Supply Chain leader with experience in international multi-site manufacturing in the electrical, hydraulics and internet industries.
With considerable experience in deploying continuous Improvement best practices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. You can follow his blog muddassirism.