Forecasting for Slow and Intermittent Products – the Fiction

Forecasting for Slow and Intermittent Products – the Fiction

Is Your Demand Forecasting Solution Actually Leading to Profits?

All retailers face the fact that demand forecasting products that move slowly and products that move intermittently during the year is required to grow profits. In fact 35-40% of most retailer assortments consist of slow and intermittent products, while this may be well known, it is less known that demand forecast and how the supply chain software uses the demand forecast are the keys to making your turn goals and maximizing your GMROI.


New Seasonal Index Lessons from History

New Seasonal Index Lessons from History

Is Your Demand Forecasting Solution Actually Leading to Profits?

A seasonal index, or seasonal multiplier, is a figure that is used to adjust a demand forecast, either raising it or lowering it for a period of time. The result of the calculation (product base forecast x seasonal index) can be used to determine the inventory needed to support sales during that period of time. A holiday like Memorial Day, a season like spring, or an event like the Super Bowl is often better serviced by applying a seasonal index across the year.


Inventory Replenishment: Is Your Big Data Creating a Big Mess?

Inventory Replenishment: Is Your Big Data Creating a Big Mess?“Big Data” is a buzzword that means just what it says. With the boom of handheld devices, online shopping, and the Internet of Things, retailers now have access to nearly infinite amounts of data regarding their customers shopping habits. All that data requires the right resources to collect, sort, analyze, slice and dice to make the data usable. Companies invest heavily in Big Data resources in an effort to get ahead of their competition. But once you have all that data and you have reports on all that data, what do you do with it? How do you integrate Big Data into your inventory replenishment and your demand forecasting?


The Internet of Things Is Bound To Make An Impact in Your Demand Forecasting

The Internet of Things Is Bound To Make An Impact in Your Demand ForecastingThere’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). With Nest Labs’ line of household connected devices and Amazon’s new Dash Button for reordering groceries, customers are getting used to more and more connectedness in their day-to-day lives. Retailers too are trying out ways to be not only more connected to customers but also to connect disparate parts of their business operations by adding connectivity to everyday things. RFID chips in packaging can track inventory from source to customer and provide all kinds of valuable data, as well as lower shrinkage. Digital signage and shelf tags saves labor and reduces pricing errors. With all the new and exciting things that the Internet of Things can bring to retail, it’s shocking how behind the times most inventory planning and replenishment software is.


Why Some Demand Plans “Burst” into Wildfires in Your Location Channels

Why Some Demand Plans Burst into Wildfires in Your Location Channels

Sometimes in retail, we feel like all we are doing is putting out fires. Little things pop up every day that are urgent but maybe not all that important. This store is out of that, this vendor short shipped something else, and your boss’s boss wants to know why sales were down in this class. We get bogged down in this week’s problems so much so that we forget to prevent next month’s or next season’s fires. Your time should be spent on seasonal planning, demand forecasting, vendor collaboration, and other proactive activities. When do you take off your fireman’s hat and let the small fire burn for the greater good?


What Your Monday reports are Not Telling You about Your Sales and Inventory

What Your Monday reports are Not Telling You about Your Sales and Inventory

Put Down the Sales Reports

Mondays are generally known in retail as “report day.” Sales and in-stock reports aplenty, sorted and summed by every conceivable angle land on every desk from the CEO on down. The point of all these reports is to find exceptions and actionable items. But sometimes it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. You don’t need a bigger haystack; you need a magnet!


New Demand Forecasting and Lead Time Forecasting Ideas: Top 5 Blogs of 2015

New Demand Forecasting and Lead Time Forecasting Ideas: Top 5 Blogs of 2015Earlier this year we decided to revamp our company blog. We’ve been working hard to deliver fresh content and fresh perspectives every week. You may have also seen our new Slide Share presentations on lead time and seasonality and our new whiteboard animation on Lead Time Forecasting. (If you haven’t seen them, click the links and take a look.) We are really excited about all this new content and it turns out, so is everyone else! In case you missed them, take a look at our most read, most shared, and most talked about blogs from 2015. We’ve covered everything from lead time forecasting and lost sales to omni-channel retailing. In 2016 you can expect to see even more new and insightful demand forecasting, supply chain, and retail content from us, including a few surprises I can’t talk about yet. Stay tuned!


Dear Santa – An Inventory Management Wish List

Dear Santa – An Inventory Management Wish List

I grew up writing letters to Santa at Christmas time, asking for all a child’s heart desires. Bicycles, ponies, footballs, puppies, and more. I know a lot of you did the same. But do you ever take the time to write out your wish list for your business? If you were to sit down and write out a inventory management list, what would be on it? From talking to our customers, we’ve found a few running themes both on the retail and manufacturing sides. Here’s our typical new customer’s wish list:


Why some Vendor Managed Inventories ‘EXPLODE’ on Your Shelf

Why some Vendor Managed Inventories ‘EXPLODE’ on Your Shelf

Collaborating with vendors is something every retailer does every day.You set up promotional plans, create POP materials, make co-op marketing agreements, devise better training programs and a thousand other things that set both vendor and retailer up for success. Cultivating relationships are key to making things go more smoothly. But most retailers have difficulty supplying vendors with one piece of communication, and it can become a big pain point.


Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Service Goals

Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Service GoalsDecember is a time when many retailers are trying to manage orders to meet end of year inventory goals. How do you decide which items to buy and which items to cut? If you are trying to maintain the same instock level on every item, you are going to end up buying too much of some items and reducing orders on best sellers in order to pay for it. You can avoid this pitfall by managing service levels rather than focusing on instocks.