Important Note: If your Organization utilizes the Smart Ops Release, view this Daily Forecasting training article.



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, etc.), you can make a tag for that specific day and even remove that date from the graph 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.



Security


Users with the following Security Roles can edit and publish a Custom Sales Forecast for all Locations:

  • Full Access (Primary)
  • Accounting Manager (Primary)
  • Forecasting Admin (Secondary)


Users with the following Secondary Security Role can edit and publish a Custom Sales Forecast for their specific Location(s), as noted on their User record:

  • Forecasting Location



Navigation



To navigate to Custom Sales Forecasting, click 'Daily Forecasting' under 'Reports' in the Operations module.


Custom Sales Forecast



1) Monthly Forecast - This will open the Forecasting screen. This is useful when updating multiple parameters for your Custom Sales Forecast

2) Location - The Location the forecast is ran for. Only one Location can be analyzed at a time

3) Hourly Forecast - This will open the Hourly Forecasting screen in order to forecast Hourly Sales and Labor


4) Action Buttons - The action button displayed is dependent on whether or not the Forecast for the day has been previously published or if the currently displayed Forecast has unpublished edits. The displayed action button can be changed via the 'Action' drop-down (#11) to one of the following options:

  • Reset -This will reset the Daily Forecasting page to the default settings, which includes resetting the selected days both on the graph and in the table, and updating the Forecast Value
    • Note: This button can only be displayed when the Forecast is published or has been changed from the default settings.

  • 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 which other Locations will use the same algorithm. View the 'Publish Custom Forecast' section below for further information.
    • Note: This button can only be displayed when the Forecast has been changed and contains unpublished edits.

  • Print -Runs the Forecast Report for the selected week


5) Action Drop-Down - Changes the displayed Action Button (#4)


6) Settings - When clicked, a menu will open where the comparison year used in Smart Forecasting can be updated. Options include:

  • Smart Forecasting (2022)
  • Smart Forecasting (2020)
  • Smart Forecasting (YOY)

7) Prior Week - This will shift the Date List (#5) to one week prior to the date listed

8) Week - The first day of the fiscal weelisted in the Date List (#5)

9) Following Week - This will shift the Date List (#5) to the following week from the date listed

10) Date List - List of dates within the fiscal week, including the following columns:

  • Date
  • Forecasted Sales - Current published Forecasted Sales
  • PY $ - Prior Year Sales
  • PY Var - Difference between 'Forecasted Sales' and 'PY $', displayed as a percentage
    • If 'Forecasted Sales' is greater, the text will be displayed in green
    • If 'PY $' is greater, the text will be displayed in red

11) Forecasted Date - The date that Sales are being forecasted for is highlighted in blue. Click a date from the Date List (#5) to change the date being forecasted.

  • Note: If the Forecasted Date has passed, the Forecasted Sales amount will be locked and the 'Publish' button will be disabled

12) Week Total - 'Forecasted Sales', 'PY $', and 'PY Var' totals for all dates forecasted for the fiscal week

13) Show Prior Year - Click to show or hide the 'PY $' and 'PY Var' columns in the Date List (#5)


14) Daily Forecast Graph- The graph of Sales for the previous and current years, based on the Forecasted Date

  • Note: Click a date from the Date List (#5) to change the date being forecasted. 
  • Note: The graph will not be displayed if the currently-published Forecast was published from the Monthly Forecasting tab. Click the 'Reset' button (#10) to reset the graph and make edits.  


15) 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 markup or markdown.

16) Published Information - This indicates when the Forecast was published, who published it, and on which tab. Tabs include:

  • Monthly Forecasting
  • Daily Forecasting
  • Hourly Forecasting



17) Filter Tags - Filters the Available Days list and Days Selected list for dates where tags have been added to the DSS to provide additional information about the fluctuation in Sales for that day. 

18) Available Days List - This grid lists all available dates and their Sales (past 12 weeks) from the graph. Dates with a blue line next to them are from the current year, while dates with a green line are from the previous year (as reflected in the graph).

19) Days Selected List - 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 them are from the current year, while dates with a green line are from the previous year (as reflected in the graph).

20) Date - The dates listed for the previous weeks and the same weeks from the previous year, based on the Forecasted Date


21) Tags - Any tags have been added to the DSS that provide additional information about the fluctuation in Sales for that day. 


22) Sales - The Sales Amount for that date

23) 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



The Daily Forecast 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'.



Both the Smart Forecast and the Hourly Forecast will list this published Forecasted Sales amount 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.

  • Note: Past and future days with zero dollars are automatically excluded. Zero dollar days can be manually included by customizing the 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.