Forecast Fast the functionally rich, rapidly deployed, low monthly cost Demand Planning tool on the Cloud

Good demand planning is a prerequisite for excellent performance


Using Forecast Fast, Planners can produce an improved and reliable demand forecast, the starting point for all the subsequent planning activities.

The demand planning process is essential to predict sales/demand volumes across products, markets, supply points e.g. Plants, Distribution Centres, Suppliers and time. The main business processes (purchasing, production and distribution) use these results as key input where the quality of the forecast has a direct and highly significant effect on all the main performance parameters of a company: profitability, customer service level, level of inventory, production costs, labour costs, distribution costs etc.

Forecast Fast


Choose a Plan

Forecast Fast is available in three different plans: Lite, Plus and Professional, all rapidly deployed, cloud-based and support multi-browser and multi-language environments.

Forecast Fast will fit with your business needs, whatever the size or sector, there is a plan to suit your requirements and budget and you can add more functionality as you need it.

Choose a Plan


Lite Key Functionality

  • Excel Upload Sales by Product, Market & Time (Week or Period)
  • Suggested Sales Outliers Cleaning by Algorithm
  • Manual Sales Cleaning Adjustments
  • Rate of Sales
  • Trend
  • Seasonality
  • Batch Forecast
  • Dynamic Reforecast
  • Manual Addition of one off Event Volumes
  • Forecast Adjustment by ABS or % values
  • Comments against all manual adjustments
  • Tabular and chart visualisation
  • Output to Excel:
  • Database Format
  • On screen format (Excluding Chart)

Forecast Fast Lite


Plus Key Functionality

All the key functionality of Lite, with the addition of:

  • 2 Level (including lowest level) vertical Hierarchy in Product and Market dimensions
  • ABC & XYZ Classification for filtering & Sorting
  • Inherited Seasonality
  • Top Down/Bottom Up Forecast Adjustment by ABS or % values

Forecast Fast Plus


Professional Key Functionality

All the key functionality of Lite and Plus, with the addition of:

  • Data Upload Options
  • Excel Upload Sales by Product, Market & Time
  • Automated upload from data files
  • Multiple level vertical Product, Market Hierarchies
  • Week, Period, QTR, Year Time Hierarchy
  • Alternate units of measure
  • Pattern Based Forecasting for New Products
  • Inherited Seasonality
  • Product Linking for supersessions
  • Forecast Accuracy in respect of:
  • Absolute and Percentage Error
  • Forecast Bias
  • Forecast Stability (Slant /Waterfall Table)
  • Forecast Exceptions Dashboards
  • Forecast Scenario's
  • Optimistic Case
  • Pessimistic Case
  • Most Likely Case
  • Replenishment
  • Safety Stock
  • MRP
  • Re Order Point
  • Output of flat file to specified FTP location

Forecast Fast Professional


Functional Components*

Exception Based Planning

To support the efficient working of Forecasters and Planners the system provides on screen navigation to guide users to the key products and customers exceptions where forecast requires review or intervention. These exceptions are given colour coded using Red, Amber, Green (RAG) to indicate severity and are sorted to display the greatest exceptions at the top of the list. Select criteria are as follows:

  • Product or Market groupings
  • ABC, XYZ and Forecast Type
  • Outliers
  • Events
  • Statistical MAPE%
  • Forecast Accuracy
  • Stock Out
  • Under Safety Stock
  • Orders to release
Forecast Fast Exception Based Planning

Data Management

Simple upload facilities allow data to be loaded directly in the Master Data Management area of the system or via preformatted Excel sheets:

  • Product Master File and Hierarchy
  • Sales
  • Sales Linking
  • Stock
  • Open Orders
Forecast Fast Data Management

Classification

This supports the filtering functionality to allow users to focus on the most important products and to automate the selection of the best Forecasting algorithms:

  • ABC Pareto Analysis
  • XYZ (Volatility) Analysis
  • Forecast Type – Each product is classified by its sales profile to ensure the correct types of forecasting algorithms are used later in the process.

Sales Cleaning

The historical data cleaning process allows adjustment of the raw sales data:

  • Actual Sales adjustment – e.g. Credits in a different period to the Sales
  • Stock Outs – lost sales
  • Outliers – statistical anomalies
  • Events – One off large orders, promotions etc
  • Manual Override
Forecast Fast Sales Cleaning

Forecast Accuracy

The following types of forecast accuracy are calculated automatically and displayed by the system by both value and percentage:

  • Absolute
  • Bias
  • Stability (Slant/Waterfall Table)
Forecast Fast Forecast Accuracy

Event Planning

Events can also be considered as part of the Collaborative process e.g. Promotions, Contracts, one off Orders. These can be entered top down or bottom up and be associated to an “Event Type” and be given a status that determines if they are added to the forecast, or not.


Statistical Forecasting

Allows a simple application of sophisticated statistical demand forecasting techniques using the Cleaned Sales from the previous step as an input. The system has a library of different forecasting algorithms where different algorithms are suitable for different historical profiles. These profiles are identified by the “Forecast Type” functionality (see classification above) as follows:

  • Regular – greater than 1 year of sales history
  • Sporadic - greater than 1 year of sales history but with gaps in the sales
  • Sparse - greater than 1 year of sales history but with a very large number of gaps in the sales
  • New – Less than 1 year of sales

Associated to each of these “Types” are several suitable algorithms. Each product has a forecast generated by each algorithm within the selected “Type” and the forecast with the “Best Fit” (least error with the sales) is automatically selected by the system. The user can override the algorithm and select another if required or the user can manually override the statistical forecast.

Forecast Fast Forecast Accuracy

Collaborative Forecast Review

Numerous participants (e.g. area & product managers, marketing & sales managers, agents) hold information useful to defining a realistic demand plan. Their involvement in the definition of a shared plan increases the effectiveness of the plan itself.

The Collaborative Demand Planning element produces a simple yet effective process necessary to provide a shared demand plan. Each participant can adjust the forecast, filtered on markets/channels/ products or product families of interest. These adjustments can be done top down or bottom up and are displayed in different rows on screen so the statistical forecast is not lost, the changes are visible, and the different components of the final forecast can be clearly seen.

Changes can be noted with “Comments” and audit functionality keeps a record of when and by who the changes were made.

Forecast Fast Forecast Collaboration

Scenario Planning

Allows the development of multiple forecasts with a side by side comparison view, therefore allowing the user to predict different possible business outcomes before selecting the preferred scenario to deploy to publish e.g. Optimistic, Pessimistic, Most Likely Case forecasts.

Forecast Fast Scenario Planning

Replenishment

On completing or updating elements of the forecast the system calculates what supply is required in terms of stock levels and ordering. The key components of this are:

  • Safety Stock – this can be based on demand coverage and/or fixed values
  • Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) algorithm – this can be for single sales items where the demand is independent e.g. Forecast/Sales Order, or dependent where items belong as a component of saleable items e.g. kit components. The system also supports items that can be sold independently and as part of a kit
  • Re Order Point Algorithm – a trigger point orders to maintain a target stock

This requires the additional data feeds of current stock and open orders and for users to complete parameters e.g. lead Time, MOQ. The system outputs suggested orders to Excel.

Forecast Fast Replenishment

*Vary depending on plan



Sofco Limited
sofco is also an & Distribution partner
sofco Limited is a company registered in England and Wales
Company Number 11018126





Sofco Limited
sofco is also an & Distribution partner
sofco Limited is a company registered in England and Wales
Company Number 11018126