Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

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New Contributor

Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Please give me ideas on the best way to forecast when the system has been configured at the lowest level.  For example, we can only forecast at an item, location, and account chain level.  Also, we can enter the forecasts only by week.  What advice would you give to overcome this hurdle?  Only look at certain items at certain locations at certain account chain levels?  When management is giving you the information at a monthly level, what is the best way to make necessary forecast adjustments all in a week's time frame?

 

Thank you very much!

11 REPLIES 11
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Certified Master Anaplanner

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

@Elsie 

 

What format are you given the monthly data?

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New Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Hello Michael,

Data is given in weeks.  I have to export to Excel to make monthly, quarterly, and annual calculations.

Any advice you can give would certainly be appreciated!  Thank you!

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New Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Data is given in weeks.  I have to export to Excel and make the monthly, quarterly, or annual calculations.  Any help you can give would be appreciated!

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Valued Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Hello @Elsie 

"Data is given in weeks.  I have to export to Excel and make the monthly, quarterly, or annual calculations.  Any help you can give would be appreciated!"

Before venturing into suggestions for forecasting at different levels of the hierarchy, may I ask where are you exporting the data from? Anaplan? and why are you using Excel to aggregate the weekly data?

Einas
"Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime"
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New Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Yes, I am exporting the data from Anaplan.  I am using Excel to aggregate the weekly data to view the data at a higher level (monthly, quarterly, annually).  Anaplan, at this company, is not configured to view the data at a higher level, only weekly, by item, by manufacturing location, and finally by account chain.  The weekly data is sometimes too detailed depending on your audience.

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Valued Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Hello @Elsie 

 

Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "Anaplan, at this company, is not configured to view the data at a higher level, only weekly".
I am not aware of any Anaplan configuration that will bar you from having data aggregated by time at higher levels such as months, quarters,....etc.

One way I could think of is if the summary method for the line item(s) is intentionally set to NONE for time.

We can easily have a module view with just weeks and another view for months,..etc

 

Moving the data from Anaplan to Excel and then Anaplan again is one of the fundamental things Anaplan is helping us avoid.

 

I am still not clear on what exactly is the issue you are facing, I wanted to clear the export into Excel issue first before we dive into details of forecasting.

 

  • If your issue is converting from weeks model calendar to monthly forecast then @JaredDolich provided good suggestions.
  • If the issue is that you have the data on a weekly and SKU level but higher management for example plan/forecast on a monthly and Product levels then that's a different issue.
Einas
"Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime"
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New Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Thank you, Einas!

 

How do I check the summary method for the line item is intentionally set to NONE for time?  I am assuming that I once I flip the switch the update will happen in mass and I do not have to complete this step for every item, manufacturing location, and account chain combination?  I believe the earlier team wanted to have Anaplan configured at the lowest level but they are no longer with the organization so I recently joined to help make the forecasting process work.  

 

My issue is that I do not want to have to make forecast adjustments at every item, manufacturing location, and account chain combination.  There could be at least 20 different combinations for one item.  This is too time consuming, and we would never finish the forecasting cycle in a month's time.  Yes!  You summarized my issue in your second bullet point about having my data on a weekly and SKU level, and adding account chain.  I do not want to get into all of the details with executive management.  I want to discuss at a higher level and only for exceptions talk in details.  

 

Loved your suggestion about the summary method for the line item and also Jared's about "faking" the calendar!  THANK YOU!  I will wait for your advice about how to check if the summary method for the line item is intentionally set to none.  

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Valued Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Hi @Elsie 

In order to check/edit the summary method for a line item, you need to;

  • Go to the blueprint of the module
  • Scroll to the right until you find the column titled Summary
  • Click on the 3 dots on the right side.
  • A dialogue will open up to allow you to determine the aggregation method for both list hierarchy and time.
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That's the easy part in terms of utilizing Anaplan to aggregate values on the time scale.

 

Now, regarding your forecast issue; there are a couple of things you need to think about.

  1. You have to know the level where you forecast. For example, is it per city and product or per store and product? 
  2. You need to determine if the forecasting will be top-down, bottom-up, or both.
  3. You need to determine how you will disaggregate the data from a higher to a lower level.
    For example, if a product manager planned # units sold at the level of Products and Quarterly, Assume for Product A1 and Q1 the value was 1000 units, you need to distribute this value by month or week, do you distribute the 1000 units evenly across Jan, Feb and March or you use some sort of seasonality. 

Most probably you will use a combination of Top-Down and Bottom-up approach and the good news is Anaplan allows you to do so. You just need to plan for it and answer questions like the above.

 

Einas
"Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime"
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New Contributor

Re: Ideas on the best way to forecast when system has been configured at lowest level

Einas!

I cannot thank you enough!  Your detailed explanation and forecast suggestions were exactly what I needed!  THANK YOU!