How to Import Overrides and Modifiers from Excel

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Many Forecast Pro users rely on the software’s expert selection capability to choose the appropriate forecasting techniques and generate the forecasts, and then “tweak” the forecasts as needed. One way to adjust a forecast is to change the forecasting method used; when you do this, a “forecast modifier” appears next to the item in the Navigator to record and maintain your selection. A second option for adjusting the statistical forecast is to apply overrides.

In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we explain how to import overrides and modifiers into Forecast Pro directly from Excel which can save substantial time if you work with large data sets.

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Working with External Data and Calculated Rows

tipsandtricksIn Forecast Pro TRAC’s Override View, users have the ability to display five types of information: historical data; forecasts; overrides; external data & calculated rows. At times, when working with your forecasts, visibility to other information such as alternative forecasts generated outside of Forecast Pro or non-forecast data such as current orders or inventory levels can greatly aid the forecasting process.

Forecast Pro TRAC users have the ability to import external data and alternative forecasts into the Forecast Override View and to create customized, calculated rows. This installment of Tips and Tricks includes several examples of how to use this functionality and illustrates the value that this new capability brings to the forecasting process.

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Making Judgmental Changes to Forecasts in Forecast Pro TRAC

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Generating the most accurate forecast often involves creating a statistical forecast and then judgmentally changing the statistical forecast to account for market conditions which aren’t fully reflected in the historical data. Some common examples include: promotions; pipeline fills; large one-time orders; and product introductions or phase outs.

Forecast Pro TRAC accommodates judgmental changes to the statistical forecasts it generates via the Override Forecasts screen. This spreadsheet-style display, as shown in the screenshot below, contains five rows labeled Statistical, Override 1, Override 2, Override 3 and Forecast.

SS2

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Exception Reporting in Forecast Pro TRAC (Part II)

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Forecast Pro TRAC provides a wide array of exception reports, including reports which monitor your archived forecasts (i.e., previously created and saved forecasts) and reports which monitor your current forecasts (i.e., the forecasts you are working with but haven’t yet finalized). Exception reports enable you to quickly find cases where key performance metrics have fallen outside of an acceptable range. In this installment of Forecast Pro Tips & Tricks we look at the Forecasts vs. History Exception Report which monitors current forecasts.

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Exception Reporting in Forecast Pro TRAC (Part I)

tipsandtricks

Forecast Pro TRAC provides a wide array of exception reports, including reports which monitor your archived forecasts (i.e., previously created and saved forecasts) and reports which monitor your current forecasts (i.e., the forecasts you are working on but haven’t yet finalized). Exception reports enable you to quickly find cases where your forecast error or some other performance metric has fallen outside of an acceptable range. In this article we explain in detail how to create the Waterfall Exception Report to monitor forecast accuracy.

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Forecast Accuracy Measurement & Tracking in Forecast Pro TRAC

tipsandtricksHere’s a question that we get all the time: what forecast accuracy should we target? The answer varies widely across industries and organizations–there is no single “optimal” forecast accuracy (other than 100% accuracy, which is not practical)! The one universal answer is that forecast accuracy can be considered “good” when it is an improvement over the accuracy of the last forecast cycle, and the only way to determine this is by tracking error over time using consistent metrics.

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Working with External Data at Multiple Levels

tipsandtricksForecast Pro TRAC Version 3 introduced a feature to import “external” data into Forecast Pro, including elements such as open orders, inventory and other forecasts. This enhancement offers new opportunities to create more meaningful and customized worksheets in Forecast Pro. Initially, external data could only come in at the bottom level of the hierarchy, but with the release of Forecast Pro TRAC Version 3.1 users can now bring in and work with data at any level of the hierarchy. In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we will explore how to work with external data and calculated rows at different hierarchy levels.

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Event Models & Using the New Event Manager in Forecast Pro

tipsandtricksForecast Pro’s Expert Selection system can generate thousands of forecasts automatically; however, the automatic forecasting approach can fall short if the historical data do not represent a typical demand pattern for a given item because of certain events.  For example, an unexpected large order may inflate the forecast for the following year, or a stockout may skew the forecast in the other direction. Similarly, promotional activity may occur at different times year-over-year. In this edition of Tips and Tricks, we’ll show you how to build Event Models in Forecast Pro to account for the impact of events, and introduce you to the new Event Manager in Forecast Pro TRAC Version 3.1 and Forecast Pro Unlimited Version 8.1.

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Introducing New Releases of Forecast Pro TRAC & Unlimited

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We are pleased to announce new releases of Forecast Pro TRAC and Forecast Pro Unlimited. For more information about the new features included in each of these products, see the relevant section below.

Forecast Pro TRAC v3.1

A key feature in Forecast Pro TRAC v3.1 is the new Event Manager. This on-screen facility allows you to easily define events, create descriptive event labels and assign events to the items you are forecasting. Continue reading

The New Forecast Pro Event Manager in Action

Event Management ScreenshotIf you want to see the new Event Manager available in Forecast Pro TRAC v3.1 and Forecast Pro TRAC v8.1, then you will want to check out the recording of our recent Webinar about using events to improve your forecasting. The educational hour-long session explains how event models work, how and when they should be used, and how to build customized event models.

The examples in the session use Forecast Pro’s new Event Manager, providing a first look at this new feature. To jump straight to this section of the Webinar, start watching at 19:07.