• Call Us: +1(770)574-4100
  • One Meca Way, Norcross, GA 30093

Archives

Newsletters

Returning From Paradise to Solve Demand Forecasting Issues

As June passes we think ‘vacation’. A tropical island is my vacation dream. My northern friends often ask how can I stand the extreme heat of the tropic. The answer to that question is also the highlight of our content this month – I adapt fast. The human body of is highly adaptable. “Our bodies, highly amenable machines that they are, can acclimatize to cold environments and warm environments, alike.” The internet of things (IOT) has been battled by the movie business longer than anyone. VCR, Netflix, Redbox and even YouTube have put the heat on the movie business. The movie business has done a great job “ADAPTING” by cutting locations, changing products and adjusting even things like length of movie and credits all to entice the customer to go to a movie. While many consultants and bloggers write about the end of brick and mortar retail, this is far from certain. I leave you with a quote to think about as you read this month’s cover stories.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

 

 

 

Are Retail Stores a Dinosaur waiting on the Big Asteroid IoT to hit

Are Brick Stores the Dinosaurs of Retail?

When will the asteroid IoT (internet of things) change the retail landscape into a permanent waste land? Some claim retail brick stores are a dinosaur waiting for the big asteroid IoT to hit and end it all. Many say retail is at the end of its days and point out how giants like Sears are almost extinct. Writers and consultants highlight how the IoT is tearing away at the basic ‘how to make money in retail’ assumptions. I cannot count the number of columns written that say retail stores are the showroom for Amazon and eBay. There are hundreds of companies that ‘claim’ to have the magic mobile solution to solve the showroom crisis and meet the IoT threats. Don’t see that working out so well either…Read More


3 Shocking Demand Forecasting Software Mistakes3-Shocking-Demand-Forecasting-Software-Mistakes-copy

Demand Forecast should be a forecast of future need from your customers. Most people fail to notice the little things wrong in their forecasting software that result in expensive over stocks and out of stocks. The 3 hot issues are: integer based forecast (whole number forecast), big data not being used in the forecasting math and demand planning software used for demand forecasting. Read More

 


Data Profits’ Demand Forecasting and Replenishment Software Key to Retail IOT SurvivalData-Profits-Demand-Forecasting-and-Replenishment-Software-Key-to-Retail-IOT-Survival

Atlanta, June 13, 2017 Data Profits updates their Demand Forecasting & Inventory Replenishment Software to offer additional tools to aid Retailers, Wholesalers, and Distributors with IoT Success and Survival. An April 22, 2017 CNN Money article states that it’s possible more than 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017 (exceeds previous record set in 2008 of 6163 stores). This highlights the need for retailers to become adaptive or die. Retailers, wholesalers, and distributors must change inventory replenishment methodologies and software to adapt to quicker customer demand requirements. The IoT has changed the way people shop as well as customer expectations. “If a business does not adapt their replenishment to faster reaction times, they risk losing their customer, and ultimately their business,” said Stuart Dunkin, CEO Data Profits. Read More

 

download-pdf-here

Haunted house in creepy foggy background with tree silhouettes.

Visiting a Haunted House this time of year was a rite of passage for me as a kid. To this day I love a good haunted house, forecasting what will pop up where and when? What room has the chainsaw, when will the plastic skeleton pop up, how bad will the sound effects and music really be as we wander into the darkness. Oddly, I can easily connect with the scary things that happen to companies using old (legacy) Demand Forecasting & Replenishment software that had core development more than 5 years ago. Then you bring in the consultant who cannot even explain the differences between demand and sales forecasting and you have a really scary (expensive) house of horror. A great example of the changing time is the Ken Bone costume that was born from a presidential debate in a matter of hours. Ken Bone rose to stardom from his question at a debate. Did you know a Ken Bone Halloween costume was made and being shipped to retailers all within the next 36 hours? That’s just a small part of the Omni-channel retail environment we live in today. Most forecasting and legacy software lack the tools to spin as the market spins within days. The issues in our supply chain today were never considered when the base code was written and consequently, no amount of ‘updates’ can create the fixes need in legacy software…scary, right?!?! So this month in our newsletter let’s take a few minutes, relax and gather a few ideas we can use to impact our supply chain this holiday. I’ve included some video clips, a seasonal index kit download with all the math (press release), and a collection of ideas of which one or two are bound to help your business. Enjoy Your Season

Read More

How do you plan for promotional inventories?

promotional-inventory-3-ideas-to-make-profits-soarThe goal is to increase inventory amounts at the right locations to meet service goals and maintain additional inventory until the end of the promotion.  After the promotion ends, the inventory should be back to the basic inventory level needed to meet service. The key piece being how to reduce inventory at the right time during the promotion to avoid lost sales and maintain service goals after the promotion without being overstocked. If you have a sales and ERP system that can track the actual life of the previous promotions and you have a event based forecast algorithms in your replenishment toolbox, then all is well in your world, maybe….there are some other pieces that can help your business and this month we highlight a few ideas for you.


Read More

photodune-2974075-back-to-school-m

Many people are finishing their summer holidays and prepping for the new school year with ‘Back to School’ shopping. Retail and Wholesale companies are implementing their 2016 fall season and holiday sales plans based on demand planning and hopefully a few seasonal indexes. Surprising to me is the fact that blogs, how to articles, and speaking requests on seasonal indexing are the most popular material we provide. The other odd fact is how many different math methods people use to calculate a seasonal index; not just what data, but the math. Odd only because a seasonal index ‘SHOULD’ be basic algebra that most of us learned in middle school. Many of the odd methods seem to be more about someone writing a paper and less about getting right product to right location on time. Maybe someone is asking the     wrong questions?

Read More

 

April 2016 Seasonal Product ProblemsHave you noticed the number of stores with Easter products still on the shelf? The irony is the result of demand planning and replenishment systems that do not understand seasonal events. Easter last year was in late April and this year in March. Inventory systems bought late and planned the inventory around a different time of year, April and a different weather set spring.

Seasonal Inventory is the second most asked about question when I speak at inventory management events. As online have driven down life cycles, many inventory systems cannot easily adjust to shorter cycles and seasonal adjustments. Seasonal products can make or break a sales operation. Does your replenishment system fail because of seasonality?

Read more about what to do and not to do when it comes to seasonal indexes.

Read More

5019000003194020_zc_v31_internet_of_things_is_bound_to_make_an_impact_in_your_demand_forecastingThe number of retailers and wholesalers closing locations continues to grow. Today the customer wants new choices every month. In the old days we could change products and assortments 2 times a year and then later that changed to 4 times a year. The internet of things (IoT) has redefined what is new and more importantly the expectation of the customer to have new choices every month. The issue is S&OP software that was written even 7 years ago is inadequate to serve a modern retail or wholesale business. Many ‘demand’ software solutions are not calculating demand, rather using a sales forecast method which is painful to see. Forecasting algorithms that use time series and regression analysis are the wrong choice of math for slow and intermittent demand. The technology has base code based on some old S&OP ideas and those ideas do not work today. This type of software cannot have an upgrade to move from top down to bottom up, and no product location forecasting does NOT mean it is a bottom up system. Upgrades are impossible due to the older architecture making change a start over situation that is very expensive for the tech company and customers… what to do?!?!?!
Running antiquated demand forecasting software? Find out what you need to keep pace with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Read More

5019000002026111_zc_v9_sales_forecasting_and_demand_forecasting1In our last newsletter, we talked about the differences between Demand Forecasting and Sales Forecasting. As a follow-on, this letter highlights several of our posts that reveal how Demand Forecasting can increase overall forecast accuracy (how’s 98% sound?) and how Sales Forecasting is not the way to go for replenishment. The first : “Does 98% Demand Forecast Accuracy Get Your Attention?” is a top web download. You’ll read how to improve your forecast accuracy to reduce inventory while at the same time increasing sales.

Next, our essay featured in the Retail Value Chain Federation’s (RVCF.com) newsletter talks about the differences between Demand Planning for Replenishment and Service Driven Replenishment. The differences while subtle have a huge impact on your bottom line due to the rapid swings in the marketplace today that don’t allow for the slower response times of legacy systems.

Read More

5019000001895130_zc_v14_great_sales_forecasting_equals_out_of_stock

One of the questions that we get quite frequently is what is the difference between Demand Forecasting and Sales Forecasting? It seems that often the terms are used interchangeably. But once you understand the benefits between them, you’ll realize how important the distinction is. Then the next logical question is how do you know which method your system uses?

In this letter, we review the difference between Demand Forecasting and Sales Forecasting for inventory replenishment. While at first glance they appear to be similar, their differences can mean significant disparity in forecast accuracy which dramatically impacts overall profitability resulting from over stock and out-of-stock scenarios. How do they differ? The difference, you’ll see below, is not necessarily in the mathematical algorithms, but rather in the actual data points used to calculate the forecast.

Bottom line? An inventory replenishment system that is based on a demand forecast (demand driven) can reduce the risk of lost sales while improving service. This in turn delivers higher sales by connecting inventory levels with demand forecast.

Read More

  • 1
  • 2