Accurate forecasting & demand planning

How accurate is your forecasting and demand planning? Do you use demand forecast software? Slim4, our software helps you with forecasting techniques to get the most accurate forecasting and demand planning. We provide an integrated software solution for demand planning, forecast and inventory control.

Does your forecast method consider a whole range of factors, including emerging trends, seasonality, volatility? We understand that the demand planning process for some products is far more difficult to forecast in comparison to other products. Does it feel like a real challenge to gain accurate insights for even a small number of items?

What is the difference between forecasting and demand planning?

Forecasting is the use of historic data to predict future outcomes. Demand planning is a
statistical and theoretical activity, where you have infinite supply and product travels across space and time.

Read below how we can help you with forecasting and demand planning.

Demand Profiling, essential for forecasting and demand planning

Taking into account the historic demand and business rules, Slim4 automates the demand profiling and demand planning process to enable supply chain teams to develop an accurate picture of demand and inventory planning for every item within the assortment.

To 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, a forecasting method

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 in forecasting and demand planning, Slim4 ensures:

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

Forecasting & Demand Planning of seasonality & trends

To what extent do you take seasonal demand patterns into account? Did you know that more than 50% of all items have a sort of seasonal demand pattern? So, it is vital that these trends are constantly monitored and the forecasts adjusted accordingly.
Slim4 guarantees an optimal stock level before, during and after a seasonal promotion and for items with long lead times. To this, Slim4 supports powerful forecast options:

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

Promotions management, get an accurate forecasting and demand planning

How important are promotions for your business? In some businesses, promotions are responsible for up to 40% of overall turnover. So, the management of promotional items must, therefore, be well planned. Order too much stock and your valuable working capital will be affected. It could also cause high levels of obsolescence at the end of the promotion. Order too little will result in lost sales opportunities and disappointed customers. Slim4, software to get the most accurate forecasting and demand planning,  maximizes sales potential while minimizing 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 the allocation of promotional stock
  • Isolating promotional demand to prevent contamination of demand history

Event management

Special event management, such as Chinese New Year, Christmas and Easter present businesses a huge opportunity to profit.  Do you feel secure enough to order extra supplies for a special event? Slim4 ensures that planning teams prepare for events through:

• Pin-pointing on specific day or date to calculate the question before and after an event
• Factor in closing dates
• Automatically take into account emerging trends based on product hierarchy
• Continuous monitoring of promotional items to identify over and underperforming lines
• Automatically build up inventory based on the promotion forecast
• Enable simple scaling up of underlying locations (stores / regional warehouses or customer groups) to optimize the allocation of                          promotional shares
• Isolate the promotional question to prevent contamination of the question history

New product introduction and end of life items

Do you recognise the fact that it can be extremely difficult to create a forecast for new items? Likewise, do you struggle at the end of the product life cycle with the level of accurately, required to make an informed decision? Slim4 helps you:

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

Management by exception to focus your attention

Do you believe your forecast must take into account a broad range of dynamic factors? If so, your company must be able to continually update forecasts in line with the ever-changing market. With the ‘Management by Exception” principles, Slim4 enables planning teams to work efficient and with focus. By doing so you can manage potential issues.

• Automated forecasts for up to 95% 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, our consultants can help you tailor a response

Optimised forecasting across the entire network

Did your companies' supply chain become more complex? Are you still in control of the anticipated demand planning? Is your goal to achieve the best possible level of service, while minimizing the overall supply chain costs? Are you doing this in a multi-channel environment with many levels, channels, and locations? Let Slim4 help you with your forecasting:

• Slim4 reviews which items to stock, where best to stock these items and in what quantities 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

Do you agree, when it comes to kitting & assembly, it is vital that businesses have visibility over demand of all required (in-/dependent) components? 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 ( Bill of Materials) takes into account longest lead time to minimize risk of bottle necks

Production planning

Would you like to receive some help when it comes to forecasting demand for finished goods or any component? We understand there is a high degree of complexity in production environments. That's why 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

Do you prefer to track statistical patterns and want to have 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 into demand
• Track statistical patterns (trends, seasonality, forecast changes) at a variety of hierarchical levels

Size curve planning

Does the environment, where you are working in, require you to work with items that can be ordered in a variety of size-color-style combinations? Like for example in fashion? Is size curve planning extremely important for you? Has every location 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 markdown at the end of the season, Slim4’s capabilities enable:

• Size-curve planning at the lowest possible level: on the size-color-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 and always be in control!

What can we do for your organisation? Contact us for a free demo, a coffee or do you want to read some business cases first?

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