Concepts and Capabilities
NEHANET system has a Forecasting module uniquely suited to the needs of semiconductor and electronics component manufacturers. An accurate forecast allows your business to effectively manage product plans, reduce inventory costs, avoid fulfillment delays and align resources appropriately. The NEHANET Forecasting system delivers these benefits while efficiently managing the forecast process across your extended sales team including Regional Sales Managers (RSMs), Rep firms, Distributors, Marketing, and Field Application Engineers (FAEs). Your team is delivered clear visibility into their sales pipeline as well as help in creating an accurate rolling forecast using a quantitative and web-based approach.
Forecasting Opportunity versus Customer/Part
You can Forecast an Opportunity (recommended since it brings in the associated customer and part automatically), or you can directly Forecast at the Customer and Part level. The Forecast module differentiates between End Customer and Forecasted Customer, so you can, if you choose, Forecast the end-customer during the Design win process; and then switch to forecasting the Contract Manufacturer during the production phase of the Opportunity.
In addition, when you initially create a Forecast from an Opportunity, we seed the Forecast record with Quantity, ASP, and Confidence from the Opportunity. In the Opportunity, there are fields to track the Quantity, Annual Volume, ASP, Confidence, Production Start Date and End Of Life. We take the Total Part Quantity (Quantity * Annual Volume), and amortize it equally starting with the month specified in the Production Start Date thru End Of Life, essentially shifting the Quantity out in the Forecast.
Forecast Window and Types
You can configure the Forecast window anywhere from 12 to 60 months in 12 month increments (12, 24, 36, 48, or 60 months). The default setup is 12 months. There are two standard forecast types defined in the system – Sales (or Demand) and Marketing. You can enter separate numbers for each forecast type. This allows you to have two forecasts for the same opportunity for the same time period, and run reports accordingly. Please make sure the actual (internal) value for Sales (or Demand) Forecast is “10” and Marketing is set to “20”.
Support for Fiscal Quarter
We support custom fiscal month (4-4-5, etc) definition in the system. If fiscal month is specified, the rollover will happen on the fiscal month end date. Otherwise it will happen on the calendar month end. All standard forecast reports will take into account your fiscal definition.
Support for Fiscal Year Start
If your organization has a Fiscal year start other than January 1st, then you can specify it in the setup. This information is used in Forecast Reports to generate right Quarterly and Year end total. For e.g. if Fiscal Year start is specified as October, then October, November and December will be Fiscal Q1. January, February and March will be Fiscal Q2. April, May and June will be Fiscal Q3. And July, August and September will be Fiscal Q4. The Annual Quantity and Revenue will be computed for the period from October to September of next calendar year. On the other hand, if Fiscal Year start is specified as July, then July, August and September will be Fiscal Q1. October, November and December will be Fiscal Q2. January, February and March will be Fiscal Q3. And April, May and June will be Fiscal Q4. The Annual Quantity and Revenue will be computed for the period from July to June of next calendar year.
Forecast Monthly Rollover
Forecasts are rolled over automatically on calendar month end or fiscal month end as defined in the system. All forecasts for both Sales (or Demand) and Marketing forecast types from the current month are automatically rolled over to the next month at the end of the month. Forecasts can optionally go through a review and approval process. The possible stages are In Approval, Approved and Reviewed. Prior month forecasts are saved in the system and can be used in reports.
Forecast Edit Page
The Forecast Edit page gives you full access to all the months you are currently configured to forecast. The Edit page also pull in Shipments for the Opportunity if any from the Sales History module. You can also right click on any quantity, ASP and confidence cell in the Forecast Edit page to right copy the number to all the cells to the right of the current cell. This simplifies the data entry process significantly.
Forecast Copy: We added a new capability to copy over one Forecast Type to another. So if you are in a Sales (or Demand) Forecast for an Opportunity, you will see a ‘Copy to Marketing Forecast’ button only if there is no corresponding Marketing forecast for that Opportunity. Please note the key for this detection is Opportunity, Customer and Part. Similarly if there is only a Marketing Forecast for an Opportunity, you will see a “Copy To Sales (or Demand) Forecast” button. Clicking it will create a Sales (or Demand) Forecast.
Viewing Sales (or Demand) and Marketing Forecasts in the same page: NEHANET system has two standard Forecast Types – Sales (or Demand) and Marketing. To facilitate the viewing of these two Forecasts, we plan to introduce a link in the Sales (or Demand) Forecast page, a link to the corresponding Marketing Forecast and in the Marketing Forecast page, a link to the corresponding Sales (or Demand) Forecast.
Forecast Shift: In order to facilitate scheduling the forecast-ed demand, we added a new field at the Forecast Part Level, which will let you specify the number of months you need to shift numbers out. Once you enter the number and apply the change, all the numbers beginning with the current month forecast will be shifted out by the number of months specified. This approach will help in two scenarios. One where you need to shift numbers out after copying from Sales (or Demand) Forecast to Marketing Forecast or from Marketing Forecast to Sales (or Demand) Forecast. It also addresses the situation where you need to push demand out for various operational reasons.
Total Column: In order to facilitate scheduling the forecast-ed demand, we added a new column at end of the Forecast table, which will show the Quantity and Revenue total for all the months in the Forecast window. In the case of ASP (Unit Price) and Confidence, it will show the average ASP and average confidence. This column is intended to show the Forecast planner, the total quantity and revenue forecast-ed for this customer/part.
Allocation Mismatch Notifications: When you are using different Forecast Types, the system will compare the two Forecast Types for the same Customer/Part and show any allocation mismatch between the two. These notifications use the latest HTML5 notifications. The first time you use this, it will request your permissions to enable HTML5 notifications for your site. Google Chrome The latest version of Chrome, Firefox. Edge and Safari give you a choice to enable/disable HTML5 notifications. IE and older versions of Chrome, Firefox. Edge and Safari do not support HTML5 notifications.
Link to Forecast Reports: The Edit page now includes an icon for each Forecast Report defined without selecting any Forecast Type in the WHERE condition or with the selected Forecast Type. This will be useful when you have aggregate Reports created for Quarter/Annual total. When you click on these icon from the Forecast Edit page, then the Report will show data for that Customer/Part/Forecast Type. This will give you Quarterly/Annual total for that Customer/Part by just clicking a link.
You can run a very wide range of forecast reports right out of the box, ranging from detailed part level production planning reports all the way to executive/board level summaries. You can generate your monthly demand plan by running a Forecast report by part number. You can generate forecast roll-ups by Product Family, Region, Rep, Part Number or other criteria you have in the system. You can choose to have the underlying Accounts, Parts and Opportunities fields visible in the forecast module if you wish to use some of those fields in reports. When Forecasting an Opportunity, the Forecast Report eliminates any line item from the report if the Quantity field is 0 (zero) for all the months. This is to reduce the clutter in the final report.
The NEHANET system has the capability to create Forecast snapshots on demand. You can take Forecast Snapshots on a daily, weekly or monthly basis as desired. Each snapshot (created from a forecast report) is labelled uniquely with a time stamp and the system provide you the ability to view the snapshot data and compare data with another similar snapshot (created from the same forecast report) at a different time. it also provides you to see the delta (difference) between two snapshots. This capability can be used to see for example how the Forecast changes for example from week to week.
Best practices – Drive to zero Forecast filter
Sales Managers often require their Regional Managers to review/update all Forecasts on a monthly basis. To achieve that objective, you can create a search filter in Forecast module where the Last Updated field for the Forecast is set to “Today-30”. As you work thru the Forecasts and review/update them, it will automatically go out of your Forecast filter.
This is a recommended way of using the Forecasts module since it enforces a discipline within the organization to review/update the Forecasts that are awaiting your update. We like to call it “Drive to zero Forecast filter”.