The rapid evolution of technology combined with fast-changing consumer behavior means consumers, not retailers or manufacturers, are the driving force in today’s economy. They create the appetite for products, and shop for them using the very latest tech, making the traditional models of supply and demand redundant. So how can retailers and manufacturers ensure they get the right products in front of the right customers at the right time? Firstly, businesses must radically re-evaluate their approach to forward planning.
Helping you predict future demand for your products
In our customer centric economy, both brands and retailers must perfect the art of sales planning. The challenge is to accurately predict future demand of both existing and new products.
Agility and adaptability are key. Armed with the right insights, businesses can predict consumer demand, and position themselves to meet the expectations of increasingly demanding consumers. We have three basic principles of forecasting:
Continuity – continuous, up to date forecasting
To be accurate, forecasting needs to be a continuous process. Customers don’t stand still, and neither should your forecasting. For some industries, a daily flow of live information can deliver competitive advantage. Durables, which have no “expiry” dates are ideally suited to monthly insights. Updating forecasts monthly means they remain relevant and reflect the latest market situation. Market events such as sales promotions are reflected in these timely predictions.
Accuracy – a solid foundation for forward planning
The accuracy of your forecast will depend entirely on the quality of the data upon which it is based. Shipment data or expert interviews, which have traditionally formed the basis of forecasts, have little to offer by way of accuracy as they are typically biased and don’t reflect actual demand.
Basing forecasts on real sales data has a transformative effect on the reliability of the predictions. Objective, up-to-date data combined with ongoing