June 29, 2017 San Francisco, California
Demand Analytix announced today its new AutoForecast capability for Forecast WorkbenchTM. With AutoForecast, all products within an AutoForecast group are forecasted automatically in a background task. An AutoForecast group can be multiple product lines, a single product line, or a single product family. If some products within a group have already been forecasted prior to using AutoForecast, then AutoForecast will not override those forecasts.
For each product within an AutoForecast group, AutoForecast first selects the optimal forecast method. AutoForecast first determines if a time series consists of multiple periods of zero demand (i.e. sparse) and is, therefore, a good candidate for the Intermittent method (Croston's method). If the time series is not sparse, AutoForecast iterates through multiple methods including Moving Average and multiple Exponential Smoothing algorithms. For each method, the optimum parameters are calculated. The "best" method is chosen by selecting which one results in the lowest AIC (Aikaike's Information Criteria) score.
Once a "best" forecast calculation method is chosen for each product, AutoForecast will then generate a point forecast for Unit Quantity and perform a Monte Carlo simulation to generate 95% Prediction Intervals, which are used to calculate safety stock requirements as a function of supply lead time. Then, AutoForecast will calculate forecasts for Discount%, Revenue, Gross Margin, and Gross Margin%.
When the AutoForecast task is completed, the status of the calculations, along with the chosen forecast calculation method, is shown in the AutoForecast status view.
The user can now have Demand Analytix automatically calculate multiple product forecasts in a batch, as opposed to forecasting each product "manually." Although Demand Analytix has always featured a number of sophisticated forecast calculation assists, the user has had to open each product's forecast view to perform the calculations. Now, the user can "manually" forecast a few select products (typically the more strategic ones) and employ AutoForecast on the rest. Or the user can first run AutoForecast for all products, then manually open up the forecast views for a select fewer products and modify forecasts if needed.
AutoForecast goes well beyond the so-called automated forecasting capabilities of much more expensive software. Forecasting software from several major ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) suppliers, including Netsuite, enable users to set up a "forecasting profile" for each product, which allows them to run the same rudimentary forecasting algorithm on the same product every forecasting period. To change the algorithm for any product, the user must change the forecast profile manually.
Demand Analytix's capabilities include fully automated product forecasting, sales analysis, automated financial roll-ups, financial analysis comparing different forecast scenarios and goals, and Deals Estimator. They help bridge across Product Lifecycle Management, Financial Planning and Analysis, Supply Chain Management, and Marketing/Sales Lead Funnel Management. Demand Analytix is the only company that offers these capabilities in the public cloud as an affordable software-as-a-service.
AutoForecast is available now as a Beta. It will be available to all subscribers of DemandAnalytix.com at no additional charge.
Demand Analytix offers the only SaaS software that integrates orders analysis, product forecasting, and financial roll-ups showing net revenue and gross margin. It has been developed by product managers for product managers and PL owners and reflects product management best practices.
Demand Analytix's mission is to help companies develop product, marketing, and sales strategies that shape future product demand in order to meet or exceed their revenue and profitability objectives. We do this through affordable Business Analytics Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and professional services. Demand Analytix is the only demand forecasting software that is a Software-as-a-Service and that is targeted at product line managers and product marketing managers.