Custom Sales Forecasting allows a more customizable point of forecast that can drive predictive behavior throughout the software and plan ahead more strategically. The R365 Smart Forecast lays out data in both graphical and table senses to provide data in a clear, easy-to-read way with adjustable areas for a more direct comparison of Sales.
The date a User selects for the Sales Forecast will display the Sales data from the past 12 weeks against the same 12 weeks from the previous year. The Forecasted Sales Amount, however, will be based on the past 8 weeks from the current year and the same 8 weeks from the previous year so as to provide a more accurate look into Sales for the upcoming week. If you find that one day's Sales stands far above a normal day due to certain circumstances (poor weather, holiday, large event, ect.), you can make a tag for that specific day and even remove that date from the Model Maker to provide more precise data for the Forecasted Sales.
This simple design and approach allows a User to dig deeper into the Sales on a specific day to forecast each unique Location's data more efficiently.
The following Secondary Security Roles have been created for use with Custom Sales Forecasting:
- Forecasting Admin - Users who have this Secondary Security Role will have the ability to edit the Configuration for Custom Sales Forecasting. Only Users who have the Primary Security Role of Full Access will also have this ability
- Forecasting Approval - Uses who have this Secondary Security Role will have the ability to Approve the Custom Sales Forecast, which would then apply it to the Schedule
- Forecasting Location- Users who have this Secondary Security Role will have the ability to create and edit Custom Sales Forecasts for their specific Location(s). They will not have the ability to Approve these Forecasts or edit the Configuration for Forecasting, unless they also have other Security Roles that grant those functions
- Note: The Location noted on the User record will be the Location that this User would have access to in creating and editing Custom Sales Forecasts
There are two ways to navigate to Custom Sales Forecasting:
- Click 'Model Maker' under 'Reports' in the 'Operations' Module
- Hover over 'Administration' in the top ribbon and clicking 'Model Maker'
Custom Sales Forecast
1) Forecast Calendar - Clicking this will bring you to the Forecasting screen. This is useful when updating multiple parameters for your Custom Sales Forecast
2) Prior Week - This will shift the Forecasted Date to one week prior to the date listed
3) Prior Day - This will shift the Forecasted Date to one day prior to the date listed
4) Forecasted Date - The date that you are forecasting Sales for. When changing the date, you can either use the Prior Day / Week or Following Day / Week arrows or click the date, which will open a calendar where you can select a specific date and then click 'OK'. You are also able to shift to the current day by clicking the 'Today' button in the bottom left-hand corner of this calendar window
5) Following Day - This will shift the Forecasted Date to the following day
6) Following Week - This will shift the Forecasted Date to the following week
7) Location - The Location the forecast is ran for. Only one Location can be analyzed at a time
8) Model - The graph of Sales for the previous and current years based on the Forecasted Date
9) Forecasted Sales - This amount is the Forecasted Sales for the Location selected and is based on the prior 8 weeks' averages and the same 8 weeks from the previous year's averages. This applies a Year Over Year trend
- Note: If either the current or previous year is a day or more short of the other year, then all values for that year are averaged and used as the 'missing' days to ensure both the current year and the previous year have the same number of values to determine the mark up or down
10) Publish - The final Forecasted Sales amount will be published to the Smart Forecast for that specific day. When this button is clicked, a pop-up window will ask what other Locations will use the same algorithm. View the 'Publish a Custom Forecast' Section below for further information
11) Available Days Grid - This grid lists all available dates and their Sales (past 12 weeks) from the graph. Dates with a blue line next to it are from the current year while dates with a green line are from the previous year, as reflected in the graph
12) Days Selected Grid - This grid lists all dates and their Sales in the current selection (past 8 weeks) from the graph. Dates with a blue line next to it are from the current year while dates with a green line are from the previous year, as reflected in the graph
13) Weather - This feature is coming soon and will represent the weather for each specific date
14) Date - The dates listed for the previous weeks and the same weeks from the previous year, based on the Forecasted Date
15) Tags - Any comments that provide additional information about the fluctuation in Sales for that day. A User can also filter, create, edit, and delete tags through the 'Filter Tags' row above the 'Available Days' grid
16) Sales - The Sales amount for that date
17) Daily Sales - The Sales points labeled on the graph. These points can be adjusted for a more accurate Forecast. Click here for more information on customizing a Forecast. There are two symbols displayed in this column:
- - The date and its Sales are included on the graph and play a factor in the Forecasted Sales
- - The date and its Sales are included on the graph, but its Sales are not factored into the Forecasted Sales
Create a Custom Forecast
Model Maker will open to the following week's Forecasted Sales data. Use the Prior Day / Week or the Following Day / Week's arrows to the desired Forecasted Date. If this date is further than a couple weeks, click the date and a Calendar will pop-up where you can navigate easily to the desired Forecasted Date. Click 'OK' to update the date.
Once the date is updated, change the Location if needed, and the graph below will update.
The Forecasted Sales amount will be listed above the Days Selected Grid next to 'Publish'.
Publish a Custom Forecast
Once a Forecast is ready to be published in the Smart Forecast, click the 'Publish' button next to the Forecasted Sales.
A pop-up window will appear that allows you to select the Locations that would benefit from the Forecasted Sales algorithm created from adjusting the Daily Sales amount. For events that occur across multiple Locations, such as a holiday or a coupon drop, the algorithm created for this Location could then apply to other Locations. In this case, select the Locations that would have a similar algorithm and then click 'Publish'.
In looking at the Smart Forecast, located in 'Forecasting' under 'Reports' in the 'Operations' module, the Forecasted Sales amount was published for that date.
Custom Sales Forecasting: Customizing a Forecast
Editing a Forecast is crucial when certain dates have fluctuated Sales data based on an event, such as a holiday or coupon drop, that occurred. Customizing a forecast to exclude or include certain days can provide a more accurate Sales Forecast. Click here to view more information on customizing a Forecast.
Custom Sales Forecasting: Tagging Outlier Days
When outlier days occur, it is important to document the reason why the Sales data is more fluctuated than usual. By adding tags to past dates, a User can make better judgments on their Sales Forecast customization and, therefore, create a more accurate Forecast. Click here to view how to tag outlier days.