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User Guide

1. General Information

2. Starting Up

3. Connecting data

4. Demand and Sales Forecasting

5. Inventory Planning

6. Reference

adjusting-and-approving-forecasts

4.3. Adjusting and Approving the Forecasts

After the forecasts have been generated it’s time to approve them. Forecast approving is a process of ensuring that the forecasts generated by a system meet your expectations.

Occasionally you may need to make some corrections to the forecasts generated by Streamline. Streamline allows adjusting forecasts in specific cases such as accounting for lost sales and calendar events, forecasting a new product, making forecast overrides based on a future promotion for a product, and other. In those cases, forecast approval process involves adjusting the forecasts manually.

There are two fundamentally different ways to adjust the forecasts in Streamline:

  • Overriding the statistical forecasts generated by Streamline. These direct forecast overrides are typically used when you plan a big promotion or a wide clearance sale, or any other event that is not represented in the sales history.

To demonstrate Streamline capabilities, we use the example project.

Overriding the Forecasts

Streamline has powerful capabilities for amending the forecast including overriding at a category level, special overriding formulas, and overrides propagation.

You can make overrides on an item basis or in one report containing all of the items.

Overrides on an Item Basis

Let us show, how you can override the forecasts generated by Streamline on an item basis.

Let’s go to the Item view tab. Consider item Dark Beer in the East location. The generated statistical forecast is shown in the Statistical forecast row of the Table (see figure below).

Let’s assume, we need to override the statistical forecast for three months: JanuaryMarch. The Table has a special row named Forecast Adjustments that is aimed to keep overrides for a statistical forecast. So, let’s make our overrides (see figure below).

Streamline uses a special color-coding across all the application: all cells with a yellow background are editable.

As we made the overrides Streamline:

  • updates the Plot;
  • indicates the overridden item with blue in the Tree view; and
  • recalculates all the inventory outcomes if inventory information is imported (see figure below).

As you make changes to the forecasts, Streamline recalculates the purchase plan automatically, so that the demand is always synchronized with the supply. This allows you to create a well-balanced and highly visible supply plan.

Streamline assigns all the forecast overrides to the current As of period and automatically copies them to a new As of period as you add it to the sales history, update and re-forecast the project.

Let us:

  1. Add a sales data for January 2018 in the data source (the Excel file).
  2. Click the Update data button, to load the changes into Streamline.
  3. Click the Forecast button, to re-forecast the project (see figure below).

You can also see the overrides for any As of period in the past. To do this, just select it in the list of the As of control.

Let’s revert the project state to the previous As of period – December 2017 (see figures below).

Making Forecast Overrides in One Report

All reports for demand planning are on the List view tab. Streamline has a special report showing forecasts’ overrides only. It is the Forecast adjustments report (see figure below).

Despite it is read-only in Streamline (like any other report of the List view), you can change it by accomplishing the following actions:

1. Export the report to Excel by clicking the Export report button found in the List view toolbar. Streamline automatically creates an Excel file containing the report and opens it (see figure below).

2. Make the overrides and save the work.

3. Import the report back into Streamline by clicking the Import changes button (make sure the report you are importing is the same type as selected in the Select report control).

Adjusting the Forecasts via Forecasting Settings

Forecasting settings allow you to take full control over the methods used to build forecasting models (see figure below).

They also allow accounting for a number of specific cases that might happen in demand patterns. These are:

  • Adjusting the model type. You can change the model type if you see that the type selected by Streamline seems inappropriate for the item data.
  • Increasing/Decreasing the model output. You can increase the model output, for example, if you see that the forecast pattern is correct, however, you additionally plan a promotion that will proportionally increase the future sales.
  • Disabling exponential smoothing for seasonal coefficients. By default, Streamline considers the last year’s data as the most relevant and assigns them the highest weights by the exponential law when builds forecasting models. However, there might be situations when the data in the previous years (not the last year’s data) is more relevant on the opinion of the planner. In this case, you can disable default exponential smoothing and assign the same weight for all the data in the sales history.
  • Fine-tuning the forecasting model. This is used when you need to get the most delicate control over the model. You can adjust the model even at the coefficients level.

Approving the Forecasts

Streamline has a forecast approval system that helps you to set which forecasts have been reviewed and approved, and which need further attention.

A basic workflow for approving a forecast in Streamline is shown in the figure below.

How to set the statuses is described in the Forecast approval system article.

After all the forecasts have been approved in Streamline, you have a complete demand plan. Typically, this plan is additionally approved by other departments (financial, marketing, etc.) of the company outside Streamline. Consequently, the plan should be exported from Streamline.

Streamline has a number of reports. One of them is the Final forecast report. This report contains statistical forecasts and all the manual forecast overrides you have made. So that is our demand plan.

All approved forecasts are locked meaning that even if you update and re-forecast the project, they will not be changed. Thus, Streamline freezes the state of the Final forecast report for approved forecasts. This locking mechanism is designed to maintain the report in the approved state while different company’s departments are approving it outside Streamline.

Next: Exporting the Forecasts to Excel

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adjusting-and-approving-forecasts.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/05 10:42 by admin