The Product Forecast feature analyses sales trends across all of your products and suggests products that which you may wish to consider purchases, along with suggested purchase quantities.
These forecasts will ultimately allow the creation of Purchase Orders but in the near term are simply there as a guide to help you with your purchasing decisions.
The system will let you know when products exist that are running low on stock by displaying a Product Forecast widget on the Dashboard.
Clicking the Product Forecast button will take you to new screen showing all products for which the system had determined you should be making a purchase. This 'Product Forecast' menu option can also be accessed via the Inventory menu group.
The Product Forecast menu option will list all products that the system has determined require purchase and will display the following columns alongside the Code and Description of the product requiring purchase:
Forecast Qty - This column is the quantity the system expects you to sell over the course of the next four weeks based upon the previous eight weeks sales and the current sales trend.
Available Stock - The current stock level for the product.
On Back Order Qty - The number of items currently on Back Order.
On Purchase Order Qty - The number of items currently on Purchase Order (where you are raising Purchase Orders or Inventory Transfers via our system).
Suggested Qty - (Forecast Qty - Available Stock + Back Order Qty - Purchase Order Qty)
The system is using a recognised forecasting algorithm known as Linear Exponential Smoothing. In simple terms, the system is analysing sales over a period of up to eight weeks. The sales figures are smoothed and an upward or downward trend is determined. Using this trend the system predicts sales for the next four weeks and calculates a quantity of stock that will be required to avoid a back order position in that four week time frame.
The system does have the ability to create purchase orders but this is currently disabled whilst in Beta. Additional enhancements will allow for our users to specify their own forecast periods (I.e. shorter / longer than four weeks), add 'Batch Quantities' to items and allow the automated purchase order system to also work with basic re-order levels (i.e. rather than using a forecasted sales figure).