Forecast & Demand planning with greater accuracy

Businesses depend upon reliable forecasting and demand planning in order to make informed inventory decisions. However, when you consider that a robust forecast must take into account a whole range of factors including emerging trends and seasonality as well as volatility, demand for some products is far more difficult to forecast in comparison to other. As a result, gaining accurate insights for even a small number of items can be a real challenge!

Demand Profiling

Through analysing demand patterns at all levels and taking into account a range of demand metrics, Slim4 enables businesses to create objective profiles which ensure only the most appropriate algorithm is applied. In order achieve the best possible forecast, demand profiling within Slim4 is underpinned by:

  • Analysis of demand at a SKU, product group, location or channel level
  • Analysis of total sales volumes, frequency of sales, sales quantities as well as individual transactions

Statistical forecasting

With more than 25 statistical algorithms to choose from, Slim4 automatically identifies and applies the forecasting method or combination of algorithms which best fits the given demand profile. To ensure the best results, Slim4 ensures:

  • The latest trends are always taken into account
  • Demand profiles remain dynamic to always achieve the best statistics
  • Automatic section of most appropriate forecasting method (so no need for a PHD in maths!)

Seasonality & trends

Given that over 50% of all items have some sort of seasonal demand pattern, it’s vital these trends are constantly tracked and forecasts adjusted accordingly. To ensure the optimal level of stock before, during & after a seasonal uplift, even for items with long lead times, Slim4’s powerful forecasting capabilities supports:

  • Option to adjust seasonal forecasts automatically or manually
  • Seasonal demand patterns to be copied from predecessor or product hierarchies
  • All seasonal demand fluctuations taken into account (not just summer/winter shifts)

Promotions management

With promotions accounting for up to 40% of overall turnover, management of promotional items must be rigorous. While ordering too much stock will tie up valuable working capital and could cause high levels of obsolescence at the end of the promotion, ordering too little will result in lost sales opportunities and disappointed customers. Slim4 maximises sales potential while minimising risks through:

  • Continually monitoring promotional items to identify over & underperforming lines
  • Automatically building stock based upon the promotional forecast
  • Enabling easy scaling of underlying locations (shops/ regional warehouses or customer groups) to optimise allocation of promotional stock
  • Isolating promotional demand to prevent contamination of demand history

Event management

Special events such as Christmas and Easter present businesses a huge opportunity to profit. However, with only a small window in which to make sales, Slim4 ensure planning teams prepare for supply chain events through:

  • Pin-pointing specific day or date to calculate demand lift before and after an event
  • Factor in shut down dates
  • Automatically taking in account emerging trends based upon product hierarchy
  • Continually monitoring promotional items to identify over & underperforming lines
  • Automatically building stock based upon the promotional forecast
  • Enabling easy scaling of underlying locations (shops/ regional warehouses or customer groups) to optimise allocation of promotional stock
  • Isolating promotional demand to prevent contamination of demand history

New product introduction and End of life items

Creating a forecast for a new items can be extremely difficult. Likewise, at the end of the product life cycle, businesses often struggle to forecast demand with the level of accurately required to make informed decisions. To ensure accurate forecasting throughout the entire product lifecycle, Slim4 covers the following:

  • Building forecasts based upon predecessor/ successor product relationships
  • Developing seasonal profiles based upon product hierarchies
  •  Additional responsive during introductory phase of product life cycle

Management by exception to focus your attention

When you consider that a robust forecast must take in a broad range of dynamic factors, business must be able to continually update forecasts in line with the ever-changing market. With the “Management by Exception” principles of the solution, Slim4 enables planning teams to work efficiency and with focus in order to proactively manage potential issues.

  • Automated forecasts for up to 90% of all items allowing planners to focus their knowledge and experience where it is really required
  • Automated notifications to inform users of items which require attention ensuring
  • 20 different exceptions our consultants can help you define and help tailor a response

Optimised forecasting across the entire network

Visibility over anticipated demand can easily become blurred as supply chain become increasingly more complex. When it comes to managing multi-channel environments with many levels, channels and locations, the goal is always to achieve the best possible level of service while minimising the overall supply chain costs.

  • Slim4 reviews which items to stock, where best to stock these items and in what quantises based upon the give service levels
  • Slim4 supports a multitude of top level forecasting methods which are applied depending on the specific business requirements

Bill of materials with Slim4

When it comes to kitting & assembly, it is vital that businesses have visibility over the demand of all required components whether that be dependent or independent. Slim4 has the capability to utilize a comprehensive bill of materials ensuring:

  • Raw material and semi-finished components are ordered at the optimal moment in the right quantity
  • BOM takes into account longest lead time to minimise risk of bottle necks

Production planning

In production environments, businesses face a high degree of complexity when it comes to forecasting demand for the finished good as well as the requirement for any component. Slim4 supports kitting, assembly, and production environments through helping businesses achieve a reliable production plan based upon the following:

  • Slim4 supports a multitude of top level forecasting methods which are applied depending on the specific business requirements
  • Optimal batch sizes based upon economic order quantity factoring in machine conversion costs

Aggregation versus disaggregation of demand

To track statistical patterns and provide insight into emerging trends seasonality & forecast changes, Slim4 has the capability to analyse data both from the bottom-up and the top-down, tracking all data at the lowest possible level.

  • Gain valuable insight in to demand
  • Track statistical patterns (trends, seasonality, forecast changes) at a variety of hierarchical levels

Size curve planning

In certain environments such as fashion where many products come in a variety of size-colour-style combinations, size curve planning is extremely important. However, given that every location will have its own unique demand profile, size-curve planning is fraught with complexity. In order to maximise margins when an item is in season and to minimise mark down at the end of the season, Slim4’s capabilities enable:

  • Size-curve planning at the lowest possible level: on size-colour-style basis for every location
  • For every transaction, Slim4 registers the sales price against the retail price as well whether the size curve was intact in order to optimise future forecasting

Accurate forecasting with Slim4

Our inventory optimisation tool, Slim4, has been designed and built to forecast future demand with the highest possible level of accuracy. As a result, supply chain teams can anticipate demand with confidence!

Slimstock MEA

Your partner for inventory management

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