Happy New Year to all of you!
We all hope that 2021 will bring new hope and possibilities to overcome COVID-19. Seeing the start of vaccinations is surely the first step to this.
But many countries are currently in the midst of second or even third waves of the pandemic. This has also an impact on retail sales – store closures for some segments, increased or different demand for others. For any process that relies on predicted demand such as replenishment this is a challenging situation. How to react on this? One possibility are manual forecast adjustments and they might be necessary in some cases. But wouldn’t it be smarter if a ML based algorithm could incorporate these factors already?
Our goal: Learn from what happened so far and let the data drive the decisions. With a forecast such as SAP’s Unified Demand Forecast that is quickly able to learn and to adjust and used across all planning applications it is just one central step to do. What makes it much easier and quicker to handle than multiple corrections at different places from different persons. This is also what COOP Switzerland experienced during the first COVID wave –reliance on data pays off.
As the situation goes on, data and experience grow and that’s why we updated our configuration guidelines about forecasting. consulting note 2909006 “Forecast Configuration Guidelines to Cope With Hoarding and Out-of-Stocks in the Retail Supply Chain”. What kind of Demand Influencing factor work best, what to ignore and other meaningful advice collected from our data science team. We are happy to share this with you and hope it will help you also to improve your business.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us incase you need more help.