Choosing the right sales forecasting tool is an important step for the optimization of the Supply Chain. A controlled and reliable forecast, among others things, allows companies to improve service levels, inventory management but also to lower production costs.
Below are 10 criteria to help you make the right choice:
1. Your needs and your perimeter
Your APS (Advanced Planning System) must cover all your forecasting needs. You’ve been using Excel to do your forecast until today but you’ve seen its limits? You are ready to move to the next level? Start by identifying your priorities and the key functionalities you’d need. Then determine your budget. Give priority to a solution with a speedy implementation process. All too often companies are forced to undergo long and expensive deployments.
Your APS should fit your business needs. Make sure the evolution of the software is based on a precise product roadmap that incorporates users’ feedback. Product improvements and evolutions must be driven by a dedicated team that will consider you as a true partner throughout your project.
3. Accessibility and mobility
In an ideal world you need to access your application anywhere and anytime via a simple internet connection. Your sales forecasting tool should be available 24/7. Accessibility from tablets or smartphones is also critical to meet your employees’ mobility’s needs.
Your sales forecasting tool should adapt to your business needs, your growth, and your international expansion. Reduce costs by deploying the same solution at the corporate level thus developing best practices and instilling consistency within the different subsidiaries.
5. The infrastructure and data security
Favor a SaaS delivery model which integrates hosting services, maintenance, support and product updates. It eliminates the need for client organizations to incur these expenses. Without any software to install and automatic updates, this model can also provide a higher security than an on premise set-up. Identify a solution that relies on an innovative cloud infrastructure. Your sales forecasting tool must be secured by a HTTPS connection, protected by an authentication and complex passwords. The data transmitted on the internet must also be encrypted.
6. Collaboration in the heart of the process
Today, forecasting requires the integration of the feedback from your customers, your sales teams, and your vendors. A collaborative process has a direct impact on your operational costs. Make sure your sales forecasting software incorporates this key functionality.
Your vendor should be an expert you can rely on for advice and for consulting. You should be able to draw on the expertise of forecasting specialists to boost your results and your utilization of the solution.
8. Key performance indicators
Determine a set of KPIs to help you measure progress and results. They should be determined based on your forecasting cycle and the axes you use. Work with your provider to measure them while using the solution.
You have a limited budget? Choose a tool available in SaaS with a competitive monthly or annual subscription fee. Ask for a fixed price regardless of the number of users.
10. The prototype
Ask to test the solution for at least two weeks with your own data! The vendor must be able to provide you with a prototype designed with your own data.
Follow these criteria and you will find a solution tailored to your needs!
If you are actively looking for a user friendly sales forecasting tool, quick to implement, and at a competitive price, try Colibri.
Colibri is a collaborative sales forecasting tool developed and distributed by VISEO. For more information or to request demo, please contact us via phone at + 65 9126 2783 or via email here.
This guest post came courtesy of Nicolas Commare. He is the current VISEO Business Development Director for ASEAN and COLIBRI Managing Director.
Nicolas Commare has more than 15 years of experience in supply chain management and has worked for major accounts in the retail industry such as Louis Vuitton or L’OREAL. He is at the heart of COLIBRI’s conception in coming up with the idea of an affordable and quick to deploy tool.