Setting sales forecasts can be tricky and, unfortunately, the forecasts are often wrong. Small changes in assumptions of customer demands, weather, economic conditions, personnel, and supply chain issues can result in big changes in planned revenue. However, using a business intelligence system can improve the accuracy of your forecasts.
Without a business intelligence system, your forecasting abilities may be hampered by missing or incomplete data. Guessing isn’t going to work when it comes to an accurate forecast. You need comprehensive and timely information to answer the three big questions:
- What are you selling?
- Who are you selling it to?
- When will you close the sale and take the order?
Forecasting can be difficult without the information obtained from a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) system. Cloud BI offers exceptional timeliness of data updates, with data updated throughout the system as it is synchronized through web-based connections.
Business Intelligence Systems Provide Better Data for Forecasting
A business intelligence system offers an effective way of acquiring the data you need for better forecasting. With better forecasting comes a more efficient, productive, and cost-effective business.
Accurate and immediate answers to these questions help everyone throughout your company do a better job. Procurement can order the right amount of raw materials; production can gear up to produce the best estimate of what is needed. Sales and marketing can use this data to target customers and industries more effectively by trying to sell more of what’s already selling well. Even accounting and finance can do a better job by assessing the company’s current financial state compared to anticipated revenue from future quarters.
Most companies can easily access transactional data. It may exist in spreadsheets or disparate files scattered throughout the company, but it exists. The challenge is merging various files, eliminating duplicate entries, and ensuring accuracy. If you don’t complete all those steps, you’ll spend hours working with spreadsheets, time that could be better spent on other tasks.
Business intelligence systems automatically amalgamate data from various departments into a series of reports you can run from a central dashboard. The information obtained from your BI system is accurate, timely, and reflective of all activities tracked within your organization.
This puts the power of forecasting into your hands based on trends you’re seeing live on the dashboard. Forecasting tools in BI systems can also help you anticipate shifts in customer demand. Using this data, you can improve inventory management, warehousing, and distribution, sales, and marketing.
A business intelligence system can’t do everything, of course. But when it comes to improving your ability to forecast sales and demand, it’s one of the best steps to improve your business.
Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI) Offers Business Intelligence Systems
Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) provides business intelligence, ERP, accounting, and other software and systems to help your company grow. We focus on helping small to mid-sized companies improve operational efficiencies through the power of software and technology. Software such as Sage 100 and Acumatica ERP can provide the business intelligence you need to grow your company. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154.