Sales Forecasting Can be Hard Work
If only there was a magic genie tucked away inside that lamp sitting on your desk. My guess is you would have already rubbed it by now, and your first wish would be a thing of the past.
Of course you’d have a nice, tidy document with perfectly forecasted sales, inventory amounts, and ordering dates, but only two wishes left.
If you’ve ever tried to forecast using spreadsheets, you know why I’m saying this:
It’s REALLY hard.
Sure you can create some formulas based on last year’s numbers, maybe adding 5% growth for some products, or taking your best guess as to how a new SKU will perform, but we all know how that ending looks.
You’re left with empty pallets waiting on back-ordered goods and piles of overstocked product on others.
Ordering Ahead Can be Harder Work
The beverage industry is one where timeliness matters.
With suppliers taking orders several weeks to months in advance, there’s little room for error. With a limited product shelf life, there’s even less room to make mistakes.
The most profitable distributors know this, and it’s why they place a high emphasis on making the best sales forecasts possible.
While traditional Route Accounting Software (RAS) may show them their sales and inventory data, variables like lead times and production schedules still need to be brought into the equation.
Instead of relying on a sales forecasting spreadsheet for this though, they use software specifically designed for beverage distribution.
These all-in-one software suites offer a more dynamic approach to sales forecasting, letting the forecaster do things like keep watch on close-dated products, forecast new products based on past trends, and use real-time inventory data to generate new purchase orders.
With hundreds or thousands of SKU’s running through any warehouse at any given time, even the best spreadsheets can’t hold up to the complexity of the industry.
Making Things Simpler
Route Accounting Software with sales forecasting isn’t just for major distributors now, and programs like ours are actually built with scalability in mind. This means they can be used for any size or number of warehouses, with any amount of SKU’s.
By automating the monotonous tasks that used to take up the forecaster’s day, it alleviates them from those dreaded hours spent behind the monitor.
The newly freed up time lets them adjust the forecast for new events like an ad breaking at a major chain, festival, concert, new product launch, etc.
In fact, we think the only data entry anyone should be doing is to update key metrics like Target Days of Inventory, Lead Times, Maximum Days of Inventory, Safety Stock, and Order Re-fill Rate.
If your system requires more, it’s almost guaranteed you’re doing way too much work AND leaving money on the table.
Don’t believe it? Well, let’s unpack things a little more and see why we’d be willing to make such a bold statement.