In today's fast-paced, hyper-competitive, omni-channel world, it's more challenging than ever to create an accurate forecast. Extreme demand volatility makes it even harder to accurately estimate the lift caused by promotions and also exacerbates the problem of forecasting demand for slow-moving products — which represent 60 percent of all retail items.
Recognizing these challenges, JDA Software Group, Inc. today announced new capabilities in JDA Flowcasting that empower manufacturers and retailers to create their most accurate forecasts, increasing their ability to profitably sell across multiple channels. JDA Flowcasting enables trading partners to work together from a single forecast and plan to improve profitability, productivity and control. The new solution enhancements are part of JDA's latest release, which was recently announced.
"Retail forecasting and analysis teams are faced with many challenges in the current omni-channel selling environment. They need to precisely estimate the demand for fast-moving promotional items, while also accurately predicting sales trends for slow moving SKUs, quickly identify and attack the root cause of forecasting exception errors, so that profitable stocking levels can be achieved going forward," noted Fred Baumann, group vice president at JDA Software. "Recognising that forecasting and analysis teams don't have a lot of time on their hands, JDA has significantly invested in new capabilities in JDA Flowcasting that directly address these challenges. JDA has enhanced the automation level for the exception-resolution process, improved promotions forecasting workflows to increase accuracy, and enhanced the slow-moving products forecasting logic to support more profitable replenishment policies."
These three foundational enhancements in JDA Flowcasting were developed to drive enhanced forecasting accuracy and ultimately improve profit margins in today's omni-channel selling environment:
- New guided resolution workflows support fast action for exceptions. While achieving pinpoint accuracy across thousands of SKUs may be impossible, exclusive new functionality in JDA Flowcasting enables the fastest-ever resolution of exceptions. Built-in analytics automatically identify common root causes behind multiple issue types, and intelligently highlight areas with greatest impact on the key metrics focused on by the planners. Users can act on these exceptions as a group by pulling a single lever to attack the root cause and prevent a recurrence. Updates are live almost immediately, saving time and protecting profit margins across multiple product groups, delivering the most profitable, expedient resolutions.
- Improved promotion forecasting and replenishment accuracy. JDA Flowcasting Collaboration Workbench now enables forecasting teams to easily import, export and edit promotion-related data at an item or item-at-a-location level. For the first time, both manufacturers and retailers can look at the same set of detailed promotional data. As they rely on both promotions and localised assortments to win shopper loyalty, this powerful new capability supports more accurate stocking and replenishment policies that distribute inventory where it is most needed during critical promotional events.
- More precise forecasting for slow-moving products. Users can now extract a slow-mover demand profile at a cluster level across similar stores or similar products. This creates a much more robust sales history from which to accurately predict future demand. Retail planners can make more intelligent purchasing decisions or delay orders when appropriate, leading to a reduction in total inventory and an improvement in profit margins.
"According to a recent JDA study, only 16 per cent of companies can fulfil omni-channel demand profitably today," said Baumann. "Accurate forecasting and replenishment are two of the keys to profitability for retailers and manufacturers. With the new capabilities in JDA Flowcasting, retail planning teams have a powerful weapon in their arsenals to help protect margins and create profitable omni-channel sales strategies."
JDA Flowcasting is part of JDA Intelligent Fulfilment, which enables retailers and manufacturers to solve inventory planning, replenishment and order fulfilment challenges with an integrated set of cloud-based supply chain planning and execution solutions.