Improve Forecasting Performance with Proven Solution

FD7 Forecasting and Demand Planning enterprise software provides comprehensive power to accomplish the objectives of forecasting, and builds on decades of first rate successes in accomplishing these objectives.

  • Improve the efficiency and productivity of analysts and collaborative teams doing forecasting and demand planning.
  • Increase accuracy and decrease bias, and support on-going improvement in these metrics.
  • Comprehensively and seemlessly import and organize all pertinent data from ERP systems and enterprise data sources.
  • Export and report out forecasts and forecast-related data to product and service production and distribution planning to improve the provision of the right products and services in the right place at the right time.
  • Export and report out forecasts and other forecast-related data to the planning functions of all other departments so that they may plan their assets at the right levels in the right place at the right time -- resources, operational capacities, labor, talent, marketing, selling, product development, and financing.
  • Support the maturation of the forecasting and demand planning function to the level of core and strategic competency; go so far as supporting a company's being the right company as a whole in the right place at the right time.

Quickly Configure and Implement FD7 to Fit Current Circumstances and Answer Current Needs; Then Grow Your Expertise to Best Practices

FD7 Forecasting and Demand Planning can be configured and implemented to fit and fully support forecasting departments of widely different sizes and levels of expertise -- from one powerful user, who handles sales forecasting as one line item in his/her job description to a large and expert collaborative team in a large corporation that operates within a mature and cutting-edge S&OP/IBP process. Once set up, FD7 Forecasting and Demand Planning supports developing forecasting expertise and improving performance over time with experience.

Apply Powerful Statistical Forecasting Models Automatically With Best-Fit Algorithms

The FD7 statistical function is an objective, statistical, extrapolative forecasting system that provides twenty-one model classes and multiple algorithms for best-fit automatic statistical model selection. Automatic model selection includes both tournament-based selection and statistical analysis-based selection, which fits a model based on the characteristics of the time series being forecasted, such as whether the data contains trends, seasonality, intermittancy, low volumes, outliers, or requires a special transformation. Automatic modeling includes modeling the effects of events such as promotions.

Fine Tune Statistical Forecasting by Exception and Where Needed

Working interactively, users can turn off automatic model selection by item, experiment with different models and settings, optimize parameters of a specific model, group items with similar seasonlity and apply group seasonlity, build dynamic regression models using explanatory data, condition data for outliers, and invoke many helpful views. Specifically, users can specify statistical models such as:

  • Box-Jenkins: ARIMA
  • Exponential Smoothing: Twelve different Holt-Winters models
  • Event models
  • Curve fitting: straight line, quadratic, exponential and growth
  • Low volume and intermittent demand models
  • Models with non-normal error distributions, such as Poisson
  • Build dynamic regression models interactively involving independent variables, lagged, transformed variables, Cochrane-Orcutt terms, promotional data, and event data
  • Build event models to statistically adjust for events such as promotions
  • Apply one of 5 different seasonality methods and/or apply group seasonality
  • Adjust demand data and/or use various outlier conditioning methods
  • Limit data by date or number of periods
  • Optimize accuracy at a target time horizon

Leverage Insight and Business Intelligence Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and MIddle-Out Via Customized Hierarchies and Views

Statistical forecasts tell what the past has to say about the future. They begin the process of generating the forecast, not end it. User editing then factors into the forecast all sorts of futher information. Customized hierarchies configured, implemented, and maintained for each McConnell Chase customer provide for efficient editing, top-down, bottom-up, and middle-out. Using hierarchies, users from different perspectives edit the forecast and apply their information, judgment, thinking, and business knowledge at the levels of detail or aggregation that the business makes sense to them.

Efficiently Engage the Sales Force; Collaborate With Customers

Operating over the Web or over the company network, sales force individuals, dealing with customers, perhaps working collaboratively, can use FD7 to keep the rest of the company informed of current field intelligence.  FD7 can also import sales rep forecasts directly from a company's CRM system and from customers' demand planning systems. To streamline sales force forecasting FD7 supports updating on an exception basis. To allow sales reps to work offline, FD7 supports an approach where reps connect via the web, download their territory data, work offline, and post updates when they are done.

Involve Marketing, Sales, and Product Management: Apply Market Knowledge and Marketing Events; Manage Production Introductions, Supersessions, Life-Cycles; Prioritize Markets and Items, Classify Items by Best Forecasting Approach

FD7 provides a separate marketing hierarchy so that marketing and sales managers can influence sales expectations by factoring in market knowledge/insight and marketing events (the 4Ps of marketing) by market, market channel, product family within market, or by other levels as appropriate. Marketing and sales managers can be fully informed in their user interfaces by current statistical forecasts, field intelligence, total market demand forecasts, projected market shares, market and economic indicators, new product plans, strategic initiatives, key performance indicators, and economic, competitive, and promotional events and assumptions. FD7 provides special functions and features for new product Introductions, supersessions, lifecycle management; item prioritization, exception prioritization, and identification of best forecasting approach.

Incorporate Events and Assumptions of All Types

Since events that may impact demand and sales expectations can come from many sources and directions, FD7 provides for entry, maintenance, and application of events and assumptions from any source and direction -- economies, competition, markets, technology, nature, politics, innovation -- life. Events and assumptions are maintained by the users best suited to gauging the timing, size, duration, and probability of an event's impact on volume, price, cost, location, assets, financing.

Efficiently and Carefully Manage the Forecasting and Planning Process, then Export and Report Out Forecasts to Supply Planning and the Whole Company

The FD7 process governor defines and manages the steps, timing and participantion of the members of as simple or sophisticated a forecasting and planning process as desired so that the process is completed on time, with efficiency and with integrity. The process governor together with metrics and reports measure the value-added of each contribution to a forecasting process: Who is helping and by how much? What steps are helping and how much? After the forecast is completed each month, FD7 exports the forecast to the customer's ERP system and reports out to any and all other departments so that the whole of production, distribution, inventory, resources, labor, talent, operations, marketing, selling, budgets, and finance can be aligned with expected demand.

Save Snapshots of Each Month's Forecasts and Thinking for Later Performance Measurement, Analysis, and Corrective Improvement

If you don't measure performance, you can not improve it. To enable performance measurement, each month FD7 saves a snapshot of its current forecasted numbers as well as the assumptions and thinking behind the numbers.

Flag and Process Exceptions; Refine Forecasting Process, Practices, and Assumptions

Each period FD7 flags many types of exceptions, starting with accuracy and bias, and prioritizes them for review for improving forecast performance. Using exception flagging constructively, FD7 provides an efficient, prioritized process for getting better at setting expectations, gradually learning from mistakes, gradually calibrating the factors that drive demand and performance, and gradually reducing forecast error.

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