Overview

The Forecasting function in Toolio's Item Planning module streamlines the sales projection process at the item level. Forecasting is primarily used for creating a demand plan for core / existing products. Here is a breakdown of this article.

  • Walkthrough

    • Navigate to Forecast Menu

    • Select Seasonality Method

    • Select Choose Seasonality Groups

    • Select Volume

  • Advanced Selections

    • Flow On Order to Receipt

    • Constrain Sales by Inventory

    • Returns Calculations

  • Forecasting Algorithms

    • Merchandise Plan Method

    • Sales History Method

    • Sales History - Rolling Weeks Method


Walkthrough

Please see below for a walkthrough of using the forecasting feature in Item Plan.

Navigate to Forecast Menu

1. Navigate to your Toolio - In-Season Planning view in Item Plan. This view will be preconfigured out of the box in your Item Planning module and is designed to help visualize your forecasted sales and inventory values.

2. Using the filter, group, and sort functions, you can easily configure the view to display the products you are interested in forecasting. You will typically want to select your Core / Continuity products at this step.

3. By clicking on any of the checkboxes, you can select the item(s) you would like to forecast. You can then right click and select the Forecast feature which will take you to the Forecast menu.

Please note that you can select and forecast multiple items at once. This may be particularly useful if you want to forecast your products bulk.

4. Now that the Forecast menu is open, you will see the number of items selected, the time frame selected to forecast and the scenario to forecast to. Below that the Forecast Profile can be set to Use Defaults or Override Defaults. Please read more about Forecast Profiles here.

5. Let’s click on the Override Defaults to expose the full menu.

Please see a full breakdown of each selectable field below:

Seasonality Method

This is where you will define the sales curve of your forecast.

  • If you have a Merchandise Plan that accurately projects how you are planning to grow a particular part of the business, you will want to select Merchandise Plan as the Seasonality Method.

  • Choosing Sales History will generate a forecast based on the historical trends of the Seasonality Groups you select. This is the preferred method when forecasting core items.

Please see below for more information on the forecasting algorithm for both of these methods.

Choosing Merchandise Plan as your Seasonality Method:

Merchandise Plan

Definition

Options

Plan Year

The time frame you are sourcing from

Same as Target;

A particular year

Scenario

The scenario from your seasonality method

Plan

Choosing Sales History as your Seasonality Method:

Sales History

Definition

Options

Plan Year

The time frame you are sourcing from

LY; a particular year; Trailing Years

Rolling Average

The amount of weeks used to smooth out your historical sales

1 - 8 Weeks

Like for Like

Check this box if you want to drive your seasonality from a category or item that has a comparable selling trend but may have more history. This is also great for helping plan our new items. Review these articles (Like for Like and Forecasting New Choices) to learn more.

Seasonality Group

This is where you can specify attributes to define the scope of your seasonality curve. If you choose to leave attributes blank, your forecast will follow the highest level sales curve from your source.

As an example, if you were to add the Division as an attribute, Toolio will then specifically model the forecast at the Division level from the Seasonality source defined in the previous step. You can choose to add as many or as few attributes as you see fit, depending on the granularity you want the Seasonality curve to match.

When you have selected Merchandise Plan for your Seasonality Method the Seasonality Groups will list any attributes you plan in the Merchandise Plan module.

When you have selected Sales History for your Seasonality Method the Seasonality Groups will list every attribute assigned to your item from Division to SKU.

Volume

Now that we have your Seasonality curve fully defined, this is where we will define the input in terms of sales volume for your forecast. This dropdown allows you to select what time frame the sales performance is sourced from. If you are selecting a multiple week period, the average of those weeks will be the Volume input of your forecast.

You can either select the trailing few weeks, or you can select a Custom Time Frame that is best representative for the group of products you are forecasting.

6. Once you have configured the above steps, you can simply press Forecast and your sales projections (including Sales Cost, Sales Retail, Sales Units and Allowances, i.e. Discount & Markdown) will be generated accordingly. You can always edit these values further and fine tune your forecast as you see fit.

When using the Sales History, your Gross Sales Ticket is derived from the Gross Sales Units output from the forecast function at the Ticket Price in the variant table feed. Gross Sales Retail is derived from the Gross Sales Retail ratio to the Gross Sales Ticket in The Volume Trend and applied to the Ticket Price to generate a Retail Price which is then multiplied by the forecasted Gross Sales Units. This will also output a Discount and Discount %.

Size Spread (optional)

This gives you the opportunity to have the size penetrations be based on a size spread that could be more accurate than the current trend or the history. This is good for items that may not sell every size every week and for time when you had a stock out and customers may have sized up or down. These are the same size spreads you use in the Assortment Plan module when setting up newness. Check out this article for a deeper dive into this option.

Advanced Selections

Flow On Order to Receipt

Use Case: Primarily be used for non-replenishment, i.e. seasonal items, and is relevant only if you select `Constrain sales by inventory` as well.

Check this box, if you want to assume on order items as the receipts plan, so that on order will be put into consideration while forecasting sales.

Constrain Sales by Inventory

Use Case: Primarily be used for non-replenishment, i.e. seasonal items.

This option will suppress your sales forecast based on the inventory and receipts plan.

Returns Calculations

Toolio provides multiple options for forecasting returns. Below are the options:

  • Independent: This projects returns independently of the sales, based on the returns seasonality and the recent return data. For core products, this is the ideal selection.

  • Return Rate: This projects returns as a percentage of sales, based on the return rate data coming in from your merchandise plan.

  • Manual Rate: This allows you to enter in your own rate manually when historic return rates are not inline with the current trends.


Forecasting Algorithms

Forecasting Algorithm - Merchandise Plan Method

The forecasting algorithm for Merchandise Plan Method leverages two core concepts, Volume & Seasonality. This approach looks at the penetration of the items you are forecasting to the Seasonality Groups you selected based on your forward plan in your Merchandise Plan module.

For Example:

Forecasting Algorithm - Sales History Method

This approach looks at the penetration of the items you are forecasting to the Seasonality Groups you selected and how they performed in the historical time frame you selected.

For Example:

Forecasting Algorithm - Sales History - Rolling Weeks Method

This approach looks at the penetration of the items you are forecasting to the Seasonality Groups you selected and how they performed in the historical time frame you selected. Historical performance is assessed by looking at a Rolling Average for the time frame, using the trailing X weeks for each weekly forecast in order to smooth out any spikes or dips that may have occurred.

For Example:

Related Articles

Forecast Profiles

Item Plan Reporting

Generating Receipts in Item Plan

Like for Like

Forecasting New Choices

Size Spread

Forecasting FAQs

We're in 2022 and I am trying to forecast items in 2023. When I forecast, it doesn't pick up any of my items?

Forecasting pulls only items that are live in Item Plan on the time-frame that you're currently looking at. To be able to add items that are in 2022 into your 2023 forecast, make sure that you do the forecasting while looking into 2022. Steps are:

  • Select current time period on Item Plan

  • Select the items that you want to forecast

  • Select the future time in the forecast time frame

  • Run forecast

How do I determine the forecasting algorithm to choose?

Picking the right forecast algorithm is an art + science and will depend on the quality of historical data, whether the product is new vs. core and whether you think history will be a good predictor of future trends. Below is a decision tree that would help you make this decision.

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