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Forecasting and Inventory

We’ll help you generate more accurate demand forecasts and align inventory to realise savings, unlock working capital and improve the customer experience.

About our service

Forecasting & Inventory improvement

Inventory is one of the most significant values contained on the balance sheet and at the same time a major contributing factor to the customer experience. Too much inventory and you have precious working capital tied up in the business, along with the risk of increased obsolescence and increasing holding costs, not enough and you jeopardise your customer experience and brand.

Better demand forecasting, better business

We’ll help you to generate more accurate forecasts that align inventory to demand, so you can provide a better service to customers while unlocking working capital and injecting cash back into the business. Reliable forecasts will also inform capacity and resourcing requirements in your warehousing operations, creating efficiencies and savings.

Proven experience and methodology

Our team of inventory and forecasting consultants all have direct industry experience across a range of sectors including industrial manufacturing and retail distribution.
We’ve developed a proven methodology to generate reliable and unbiased demand forecasts to inform replenishment activity and drive inventory levels. We can provide a tailor-made reporting suite giving you valuable insight into KPI’s, a review process to assess how aligned the customer proposition is to the inventory profile, and techniques to improve product lifecycle performance.

Working with Hatmill we formed a project team that successfully replaced our stock forecasting system leading to improved availability in our branches. I’ve been delighted with the projects we’ve done together.

- Chief Financial Officer, A leading auto parts distributor

About our service

More about Forecasting & Inventory improvement

Virtual Forecaster

We offer cutting-edge, demand forecast service solutions that improve accuracy of forecast data, so you can deliver products on time and create a seamless customer experience. Whatever the size of your business, the combined experience of our demand forecasting team, along with our advanced algorithms and methodology, will take the pain out of forecasting and free up much needed working capital too. We provide the software, the skills and the processes to deliver a reliable valuable forecast to help you achieve your objectives.

Demand Planning

Reliable demand planning has implications across the business, for example, working capital, resource and capacity planning and marketing activities, all of which can be driven through processes such as S&OP. Whether you’re looking to optimise existing systems and processes, or want to establish demand planning from scratch, our experienced demand planning consultants can help.

Forecasting and replenishment

Having an accurate forecast is one thing, using it to create value across your business is another. Developing and implementing a replenishment strategy will help you realise improvements to customer satisfaction and working capital. We will analyse your data to segment your product ranges by behaviour and identify the most appropriate re-order points and quantities, safety stock levels and service factors.

Inventory management and optimisation

Inventory management is a balancing act between cash and customer service. We’ll work with you to understand your customer proposition and objectives and using our analytical tools, our team will segment your product range to help optimise your inventory management and deliver on your business goals.

Product lifecycle management (PLCM)

A dynamic PLCM process can link directly to the profitability of your company. Get a new product launch wrong and you create a poor customer experience and depress revenues. Failing to recognise and plan for a product entering the decline phase of its lifecycle can lead to excess, obsolete stock and increased costs. We can help avoid these common pitfalls.

Customisable forecast reporting

We will provide a customisable reporting suite that helps you to engage with stakeholders across the business. Using the Tableau platform, we’ll breakdown and track complex issues, summarise data and create visualisations, representing data in an efficient, accessible format to support better decision making in the business.

We helped one client improve forecast accuracy by 9% in just two days, and that’s before we started fully managing the demand planning process.
What could we do for you?

About our service

Demand Planning

Demand planning is a key lever in your supply chain planning process, so having the systems, skills and procedures in place to generate a reliable, statistical forecast will help to drive supply chain and financial efficiencies.

Understand demand drivers

We’ll work with you to review your historical data to identify trends and then work with stakeholders across your business to understand the factors driving past performance, i.e. new product launches, promotional campaigns or shortages in supply.

Identify and implement improvements

We can then work with you and your teams to:

  • Improve forecast accuracy and eliminating bias
  • Leverage your existing system parameters
  • Define KPI’s for demand planning
  • Support in 3rd party system selection and implementation
  • Stratify inventory tailored to your business objectives
  • Implement an S&OP process
  • Scenario plan to assess the feasibility of future initiatives or investment
  • Create and deliver a statistical forecast (via Virtual Forecaster, our unique forecast outsouring service)

In the short term, a reliable demand plan should underpin your day day-to-day activities, ensuring purchasing, resource, and promotional activities are aligned to meet the needs of your customers.

Longer-term, your demand plan should provide insight into recruitment strategies, CapEx, ROI and operational capacity constraints that may impact your ability to service customers in the future.

About our service

Inventory management and optimisation

Inventory is a crucial component of working capital management; while you must hold sufficient stock to meet the desired service levels of the customer, this cannot be to the detriment of paying your current liabilities.

We work with clients to drive improvements to inventory management without negatively impacting on customer service:

  • Delivering a better demand forecast allowing you to buy or produce stock in line with your customer demand
  • Item stratification/segmentation to organise inventory with greater emphasis on areas the business needs more focus, for example, high demand, low cost, high margin, small space consuming SKU’s, or a combination of any/all the above
  • Economic order quantities to balance the purchasing process and minimise the total costs associated with the purchase, delivery, receiving and storage of a product
  • Improving safety stock management by reducing suboptimal system parameters or duplication caused by an inefficient supply chain process
  • Identifying excess and obsolete stock, conducting root cause analysis and future management strategies and processes

We can help you better manage a crucial part of your working capital through optimising your inventory profile and purchasing processes.

About our service

Forecasting and replenishment

The reliability of your demand forecast and the variability of supplier lead-times can affect the ability of purchasing and inventory management teams to function efficiently and effectively. As a consequence, stock-outs can occur, and customer dissatisfaction increases. By contrast, if demand is lower than expected, the financial impact of write-off and shrink on working capital can be significant.

Review and recommendations

We can review your inventory profile and design options to segment SKU’s by the characteristics that will help transform your supply chain and inventory performance. We capture measures such as hit frequency, cost of goods sold, customer segmentation and marketing importance. Each ABC classification can then have unique service level factors to enhance availability on fast-moving SKU’s, and minimise risk on the slower, more volatile items.

We also review whether harvesting minimum order quantities across business units can reduce working capital and we’ll assess the feasibility of economic order quantities where appropriate, to meet financial objectives and improve customer satisfaction levels.

About our service

Product lifecycle management

Product Lifecycle Management should play a pivotal role in all manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses. As new products are introduced, having the right level of inventory, supplied at the right time, at the correct cost is imperative to gain a competitive advantage and market share.
We have experience in enhancing the lifecycle of products. Whether that’s creating an initial order model, optimising your replenishment practices, or segmenting your current inventory profile to reduce your excess inventory exposure, we’re here to help.

Established products

Once a product has become established, we can help you to optimise the replenishment and manufacturing plan to ensure customers are delighted with your service, and the internal financial measures remain in check.

Aligning actions across the business

Identifying early stages of decline and obsolescence become the next priority and is crucial to a company’s profitability. By applying a segmented approach against old, slow-moving and obsolete stock and aligning actions with the relevant stakeholders, we can help to significantly improve performance across the business, from finance to operations.

About our service

Customisable forecast reporting

We can provide a customisable reporting suite that helps you to engage with stakeholders across the business. Using the Tableau platform, we’ll breakdown and track complex issues, summarise data and create visualisations, representing data in an efficient, accessible format. We’ll then share with you a secure unique log in to review the reports so you can report to stakeholder support better decision making in the business.

Our reports include both a graphical representation and raw data to represent the following:

  • Sales, margin, COGS, and units, capturing current period and YTD, including variance broken down by customer and product groups
  • The latest forecast we’ve provided, and how that’s performing against actuals over time
  • Historical forecasts versions to see how things have changed over time
  • Our 8 Tests review, which captures outliers on historical demand data, forming the basis of discussions on what’s driving the volatility
  • KPI’s, Error and Bias to assess forecast accuracy and where things can be improved

We can also build client-specific reporting tailored to your needs by leveraging our in-house development team.

Ideas & Insights

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