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Documentation for Streamline 4.x

User Guide

1. General Information

2. Starting Up

3. Connecting data

4. Demand and Sales Forecasting

5. Inventory Planning

6. Reference

forecasting-by-channel-or-customer

4.13. Forecasting by Channel/Customer

Streamline allows you to forecast and plan each SKU in each channel. For example, an SKU can be sold by distributors, direct sales, or e-commerce channel. If you need to forecast by customer, just use channels in Streamline for this purpose. When channels are used, Streamline only supports a single warehouse.

Channels might have different SKU prices and, thus, have different gross margins as well as revenues and the amounts of sold units.

While demand can be planned by channel, inventory replenishment planning is always carried out on an item basis.

In order to add the channel dimension to Streamline, you need the sales history broken out by channel. Hence, your sales orders should have the sales channel information associated with each order. For example, when you import data from a database using the Database connection, you should provide the information about the channel.

Connecting Your Data

Channels are available in the Streamline's general connections like:

and also in the several 3rd party system specific connections.

Let’s consider an example where we import the channel axis using the Transactional data connection. The data should be prepared as described in the data format section. A slice of the data we are importing is shown in the figure below.

As you can see, there are two channels, Distributors and E-Commerce.

To connect the data:

  1. Go to the menu File > New > Order list connection.
  2. Choose your data file and click the Open button.
  3. Match the meaning of your data table columns with the choice in the corresponding combo-box option in the opened dialog. Ensure that you have selected the Channel option from the control for the table column representing the channel dimension.

4. Click OK.

Planning Your Demand

Press the Forecast button, to generate the forecasts.

Go to the Demand forecasting tab. This tab is used to plan your demand. This can be done at the item, channel or item-channel levels, and generally at any level of the data hierarchy.

The Tree view on the left-hand side of the screen shows the imported data hierarchy. It is used to switch between viewing the forecasts by item or channel. To view the forecasts by channel, select the By channel option at the bottom of the tree.

The Table and the Plot shows the information from the node currently selected in the Tree view. All the information about demand (actual sales, forecasts, sales prices, revenue) can be seen in the Table and Plot at the channel level. Stock information (on hand history, stockout days, projected inventory levels, purchase plan) is shown aggregated by all imported channels in the Table and Plot.

The Inventory tab of the Panel shows the information on an item basis. The KPIs tab of the Panel also shows the information aggregated by channel, except for the revenue indications such as annual revenue and revenue next year. Those can be viewed by channel.

Streamline automatically builds an accurate demand plan which you can see on the Reports tab via the Final forecast report. Any of the Reports reports can be exported as an Excel file. If the plan does not meet your expectations, you can amend it at the item-channel level on the Demand forecasting tab by adjusting the forecasts directly and fine-tuning the forecasting models. Then all the forecast corrections will be shown in the Final forecast report.

You can also make changes to the entire plan. To do this:

  1. Go to the Reports tab.
  2. Export the report to Excel using the Export report button.
  3. Make and save changes.
  4. Import the Excel file back into Streamline using the Import changes button.

Planning Your Inventory

Go to the Distribution center tab.

This tab shows:

  • the current state of your stock by the On hand, Days of supply, DC stockout and DC overstock columns;
  • information on orders by the DC pending sales orders, DC in transition, and Purchase price columns;
  • inventory replenishment parameters such as DC lead time, DC order cycle, and DC service level; and
  • inventory replenishment calculations by the DC safety stock column and recommendations in the Order now section.

Definitions of the Distribution center table columns and their color-coding can be found in the DC reference.

The Qty column of the Order now section indicates how many items you should order today. It also shows the value of the purchase order line in the Value column. The calculated quantities take into account all the replenishment parameters and limitations, as well as the forecasts. The table can be extended to include the entire purchase plan by selecting the Show entire purchase plan option in the DC settings.

The entire purchase plan includes the Order now section, as well as the rest of the forecast horizon periods that are represented by the DC purchase plan section of the table. The section shows how many items you should order by the first day of each period.

Changing Replenishment Parameters

The report has a lot of parameters. You can change the default replenishment parameters, such as Lead time, Order cycle, and average Shelf life exceeding (which applies to products with a shelf life) in the DC settings. If you need more precise settings, for example, to set up a specific lead time for a group of items or to account for additional limitations like the minimal or maximal lot, rounding, etc., follow the export/import parameters scenario.

You can also change the parameters by re-importing your data. Imported values always override defaults. Overrides in Streamline is shown in blue, and defaults – in gray.

Not all of the available columns are displayed in the DC table by default. Check the necessary columns in the Show columns section of the DC settings to see the imported changes.

The table will be automatically recalculated after you change the parameters.

Exporting Purchase Plan and Purchase Orders

Streamline is very flexible when you need to export the DC report to Excel. Actually, you can export any table that is shown in the Distribution center tab.

Let’s export the table by clicking the Export report button of the toolbar.

The recommendations that are given in the Order now section can be exported to Excel, a CSV file or a third-party system as newly created purchase orders (exporting to a third-party system requires that you have imported data from this third-party system).

Let’s export the recommendations by clicking the Export purchase orders button found on the toolbar.

In the Purchase order preview dialog you can:

  • find out the most profitable positions by ordering the table by the Turn-earn index column;
  • select which items to export; and
  • change the recommended quantities by editing the Qty column.

Let’s export all the lines to an Excel file by clicking Export to XLSX button.

The Export to CSV button is specially designed to export very large tables.


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forecasting-by-channel-or-customer.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/11 08:58 by admin