ATLANTA, Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At this critical time of year, retailers rely on seasonal merchandise to reach their Fall sales goals. Retailers are also deep into planning and buying for Halloween and Christmas goods for 2016. To help retailers assess their 2016 performance and get a jump on 2017, Data Profits is offering retailers their new "Seasonality Tool Kit" as a free download. The kit includes a seasonal index calculator and Data Profits' best demand forecasting advice as well as other useful information for optimizing inventory during peak seasons.
"With retailers starting pre-Thanksgiving sales earlier and consumers pushing their online shopping into Cyber Week, seasonal selling patterns are changing rapidly," says Stuart Dunkin, CEO of Data Profits. "Unfortunately, many retailers are relying on legacy systems that cannot react quickly enough to maintain service levels."
Sales That Are Seasonal Can Create Inaccurate Demand Forecasts
Sales from previous seasonal events impact demand forecasts. For some retailers, fiscal calendar has 52 weeks, which shifts sales slightly versus 2015 which had 53 weeks. Weather patterns in 2017 are predicted to be different than 2016, creating different selling patterns for winter-weather products. For retailers choosing to close on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, sales will shift into earlier or later weeks. Looking forward into 2017, Easter will be impacted by a calendar shift as it is every year. The small shifts in seasonality can have big impacts. Sales that occur at different points in the past can wreak havoc on forecasting systems that rely heavily on previous years' sales history. The result will be missed service goals, lost sales, lower gross margin, and higher safety stock due to inaccurate seasonal indexes and incorrect demand forecasts. iKIS™ from Data Profits provides tools to edit the demand sales data to be used in the demand forecast engine and exception management alerts that allow retailers to more quickly and more accurately adjust seasonal indexes.
Seasonality Can Impact Lead Time
Lead time management is an important factor often overlooked when dealing with seasonal products. With the influx of goods coming into U.S. ports from August through November, product lead times often creep up, slowing down inventory replenishment on core items and seasonal items. Even with perfect seasonal indexes and perfect demand forecasting, an ever-changing lead time can result in missed service goals, lost sales, and lower gross margin on items across a retailer's assortment. As a SaaS demand forecasting and supply chain solution, iKIS™ from Data Profits allows retailers to forecast lead time changes and manage alerts alongside demand forecasting. to lower carrying inventory, increase service levels, and increase sales and gross margin.
Newer approaches to Seasonal Front Loading
The traditional approach to handling seasonality is to front load to stores and distribution centers before the selling season begins. As retailers continue to drive for higher efficiencies, more are adopting a bottoms up and consensus driven approach in demand forecasting as well as more just-in-time delivery and in-season inventory replenishment. Retailers are also looking to improve their planning process, build organizational consensus, and be more responsive to service issues. They are pooling their inventory at higher levels in their supply chain, making it available for Omni-Channel demand and more efficient bottoms up demand-driven replenishment. This new approach only makes sense if you have the right demand forecasting and exception reporting tools available to increase supply chain visibility.
Data Profits provides mid-market retailers, distributors and grocers with meaningful insights into inventory management, helping them identify opportunities to improve their demand forecasting and increase profits. After spending more than two decades working with top-tier retailers and software suppliers, Stuart Dunkin founded Data Profits in 2007 with the goal of facilitating the relationship between demand forecasting data, business goals and people. Developed from the ground up as a flexible SaaS solution, iKIS™ by Data Profits delivers a set of critical abilities including demand forecasting, inventory replenishment, collaboration with deep demand forecasting visibility, and proactive management alerts. Using iKIS™, teams can work within one business network to see immediate results on demand forecasting activities. Data Profits' real-world experiences demonstrate solid thought leadership with a 30-day install that returns significant ROI for customers in 90 days, driving actions to "Tighten the Links in Your Chain™."
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SOURCE Data Profits Inc.