How to Win at Forecasting

Agility is the name of the game for today’s consumer packaged goods companies. Being able to pivot quickly in the face of changing customer preferences, global events, or issues in your supply chain is the make-or-break capability for a competitive distributor. And a major key in your ability to be agile is accurate forecasting.  

Traditional methods of forecasting no longer suffice for modern consumer packaged goods. Manual methods such as using Excel spreadsheets or manipulating data offline can result in several problems for your business: 

  • Consistent stockouts which result in lost revenue and disappointed customers 

  • Being forced to write off the value of goods in inventory because of damage, deterioration, theft, transit damage, changing market demands, and more 

  • Failing to deliver goods on time to customers resulting in brand reputation damage and possible customer loss  

This is where technology comes in. The right software solution can help you not only forecast and predict inventory levels more accurately, it can help you pivot around disruptions by finding alternative sources and products as well as streamlining and relocating resources. Reliable forecasting means you’re making the right decisions for your business to have the right goods stocked at the right times. 

 

What Does Winning at Forecasting with Technology Look Like? 
Western Computer offers the most advanced Microsoft Dynamics tools available to help consumer packaged goods distribution businesses run accurate forecasting and fulfill orders on time every time. These systems are not transactional, but analytical in their ability to take data and enable you to make smart decisions in a proactive way to get ahead of changing elements such as order spikes or drops. 

Using Microsoft Dynamics tools with us as your partner shows you how different strategies will pan out for your business and how factors such as supply chains and current events weigh in. We offer: 

  • Intelligent forecasting 

  • Advanced warehouse capabilities (RFID scanners) 

  • Proactive stock transfer planning 

  • Prioritized inventory allocation 

 

These tools offer many benefits to consumer packaged goods distributors. Here are three major ones: 

Simplifying Varied Product Sets 
Today’s distributors are dealing with ever-increasingly complex and differentiated product sets—rendering the old ways of running distribution models obsolete. Tools like Dynamics 365 and predictive analytics models simplify how complicated it is to accurately forecast across product sets and channels. 

 

Ensuring Accurate Data for Real-Time, Smart Decisions 
With technology from Microsoft and Western Computer, you are no longer playing a guessing game or hoping for the best when it comes to predicting inventory. The technology enables you to know down to granular levels what you have in stock and what you need to order, when. Using data and analytics, your Dynamics 365 solution gives you real-time forecasting and the power to make decisions well in advance, such as for seasonal spikes in demand. 

 

Improving Sales 
Forecasting also eases the jobs of sellers. Dynamics 365 helps you improve opportunity management and pipeline management by aggregating end-to-end sales information and funneling it into predictive analytics models. Overall, you’ll have a healthier, more accurate view of how your organization is faring by more accurately forecasting sales revenue and establishing sales targets. Your sales teams get the right insights and recommendations to achieve goals that are based on real data. 

 

Leverage Our Expertise for Effective, Accurate Forecasting 
Using advanced tools from Microsoft is essential for today’s consumer packaged goods distributors, but so is working with a partner that knows your industry. Western Computer has deep expertise in your field, and we’ve been helping businesses like yours move away from limiting, traditional methods of forecasting for years. We have seen the effects of the right software solutions on distributors’ success, and we’d love to show you how they can transform your organization’s growth, too. Get in touch with us today

About the Author

Greg Williams

As Western Computer's VP of Strategy, Greg Williams is responsible for aligning the company's product and service offerings with customers.

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