The past year has introduced challenges crazier and different than companies have dealt with before. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caused businesses to stretch and grow in ways they might not have considered possible previously. Unfortunately, many businesses have suffered the effects of the pandemic on supply chain operations. Many have closed their doors permanently, while others have found new ways to succeed. If you want to learn how your business can be more successful, you have come to the right place.
What is forecasting software?
Where have you heard the word ‘forecast’ before? Most likely you are thinking of a weather forecast. Forecasts can be exciting! When I was a kid, if there was even a whisper about snow, I would have my eyes glued to the weather channel. The possibility of as now day home from school was just about the most exciting thing to my nine-year-old self.
Forecasting software essentially does the same thing, just with a different focus. Forecasting software is a tool used by all kinds of companies in a variety of ways. Past data another market factors are used to predict the future demand for a company’s products or services, similar to predicting the weather. It is really helpful to businesses to have a clear vision of their future demand so they can plan accordingly.
Business forecasting software is used to help with demand planning. In demand planning, a company plans what they can do to successfully tackle upcoming consumer demand. Forecasting allows them to have a reliable view of the future, and therefore their planning methods are improved and efficient. Demand planning helps businesses have accurate inventory levels, and thus prevents potential financial loss. Overstock and stock out situations are more easily avoided when companies know how much supply to order and keep on hand. Business forecasting software can also act as business budgeting software. When companies know how much product they need to buy, they can budget their expenses much more accurately.
There are many companies who successfully implement sales forecasting software into their operations. Forecasts can be extremely accurate, but they are never 100 percent accurate. I know this is true, because sometimes no matter how long I stared at the weatherman, sometimes there wasn’t quite as much snow as he predicted. On the other hand, sometimes there was a surprise snow day. However, the weatherman was usually very close in his weather forecasts. There might not have been the exact amount of snow he suggested, but it was typically pretty close to his prediction. It has always been more helpful to listen to weather forecasts rather than just guess by looking out the window.
Many users feel the need to strive for forecast perfection. Luckily, Avercast’s forecasting software uses over 200 algorithms to give users the most accurate forecasts possible. Different factors, like the recent pandemic, can affect forecasts. Companies have adapted in many different ways. Forecasts have continued to be beneficial during the pandemic. Demand has been forecast using data collected during the pandemic, and sometimes from countries where COVID-19 grew towards the beginning of the pandemic’s timeline. These countries have more pandemic related historical data to use while generating forecasts. Google trends have also been used to forecast consumer demand during the pandemic.
The following are examples of companies who effectively use sales forecasting software while continuing to adapt to changes and surprising circumstances that arise. Airbnb and The Home Depot are just two examples of the many businesses who have adjusted in differing ways, and we can learn from their achievements.
Airbnb is an online marketplace for making travel plans. Their website has options for lodging, vacation rentals, and tourist experiences in different locations. It has become a popular way to find places to stay, but when COVID-19 hit in early 2020, Airbnb became less utilized at first. Many people were cautious to travel, while some hosts didn’t want to have strangers enter their homes due to the added health risks.
Airbnb quickly adapted to the demand of their consumers. People started to look for more local-stays, which Airbnb used to their advantage. Airbnb also chose to treat customers and hosts dealing with cancellation fees/losses better than they had to. Many cancellations were non-refundable, but Airbnb chose to help their customers byre funding some of them. Airbnb gained trust from many through their actions.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is another great example of a company that has successfully adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic. The Home Depot has reported higher sales than before the pandemic. As you know, many of us were stuck at home for different amounts of time. If you’re like me, you quickly exhausted all of your typical Netflix binge-worthy shows. Most people tried a few new hobbies because of all our extra time. A popular new hobby is ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) projects. The Home Depot carries the products needed for most of these projects. As they have adapted to these new DIY projects, The Home Depot has seen huge growth in their sales.
These two companies implement methods that we can learn from. The pandemic created a surprising amount of uncertainty, but they found ways to adapt. They have continued to implement forecasting software in productive ways. They will be more prepared in the future for the surprises that may arise, and they will better know how they can continue to use forecasting tools. Business forecasting software is a powerful tool that will strengthen the businesses that use it.
We have some good news for you! Avercast has developed the best forecasting software available. With over 40 years of supply chain experience, Avercast knows what you need to grow the success of your business. We are constantly seeking to improve our products to ensure our customers can have the most reliable forecasts possible. If you’re interested learning how your business operations can be improved, please contact us today.