Accurate and effective forecasting can mean the difference from turning a profit to making a loss. A good forecast should be a balancing act between what you want your business to achieve and what it’s capacity to achieve is.
Most directors and managers rely heavily on their forecasts to make crucial business decisions. Whether it’s staffing levels, payroll costs, bonuses or research and development investment, the amount of time and money allocated to each one is dependent on the budget and forecast.
It stands to reason that businesses should use as much data as possible to create effective and accurate forecasts. And this data needs to be based on evidence; on what has happened and what is happening rather than what might happen.
Too many forecasts are based on hope and optimism. Being optimistic and ambitious isn’t inherently bad, however over-ambitious forecasting can have severe consequences on business operations and staff morale.
Influence the future
Paul Saffo, writing in the Harvard Business Review, says: “Above all, the forecaster’s task is to map uncertainty, for in a world where our actions in the present influence the future, uncertainty is opportunity. Unlike a prediction, a forecast must have a logic to it. That’s what lifts forecasting out of the dark realm of superstition.”
With this in mind, the best way for better forecasting is to use a data driven, evidence based approach. The amount of data we store as businesses and our opportunities for using it is only going to increase. That’s why using intelligent software to manipulate this data and provide real-time forecast will be imperative for maximising profit.
It’s for this reason the Forecast module in Quinyx was developed. Born from the need to optimise complex schedules, workforce management software is also helping businesses plan detailed forecasts of future staffing requirements.
For retailers and the hospitality industry, the module gives a detailed overview of footfall and sales. By storing this data and using an algorithm to interpret it, it becomes much easier to predict the future with the help of historical data.
With a more accurate forecast, the business naturally becomes more efficient. As a result of this increased efficiency and optimisation, costs are reduced, revenue is increased and profits soar.
We can help you see in to the future. Contact us today to speak to one of our experts and discover what better forecasting can do for your business.