If businesses could just get a glimpse into their futures, they could instantly optimize every aspect of the organization from staffing to inventory management. While there is no crystal ball to predict the future of a business or industry with 100% accuracy, companies can boost their performance and profits with the next best thing - business forecasting.
In today’s analytics-driven business climate, data-driven forecasting is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s an essential element to maintaining profitability. While this practice of creating projected sales and demand trends would have required hours of manual calculations years ago, this entire process has been automated with the help of sophisticated tools like Zip Forecasting.
Zip Forecasting, the leading software solution for demand planning, has helped countless organizations, both small and large, to become more data-driven and cost-effective from day one of their operations. With our in-depth reporting and customization features, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. can also enjoy these same benefits, instantly.
1. Poor Inventory Upkeep
The key to maximizing profits is to maintain optimal stock levels at all times, even as seasons and shopping trends change. The only way to achieve this is through the analysis of historical data and industry trends. However, when management lacks this crucial data insight, all aspects of RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.’s supply chain suffer, leading to the following types of profit losses:
When businesses overstock on underselling products they only hurt themselves through increased storage costs. These items may also go unsold due to the product becoming obsolete, expired, or damaged.
Stockouts of key inventory can damage customer-brand relationships and lead to capital loss due to missed opportunities.
2. Suboptimal Staff Scheduling
Much like inventory management, businesses need to optimally schedule their shifts by taking into consideration peak and slow periods throughout the day, week, or year. When businesses over estimate their foot traffic and too many employees are scheduled for a shift, efficiency drops.
On the other hand, when businesses under staff for a busy shift, consumers can become frustrated with the long wait times while employees become more stressed and rushed. This can lead to increased human errors and decreased retention rates among both staff and customers.
Employee scheduling should proportionally match the projected sales and foot traffic forecasts to maximize productivity and efficiency. Otherwise, businesses can experience increased labor costs which directly contribute to lower profit margins.
Lack of Data Insights
Without clear, actionable data, businesses are essentially operating on gut instincts. While this may keep smaller organizations afloat for a very limited time, it does not offer any ability for the company to scale their operations.Becoming data-driven can increase visibility into every aspect of a business. This clear quantitative information can drive innovation and allow business leaders to make better-informed decisions for their organizations to reduce the cost of doing business.</p>
Budgeting and forecasting, when done correctly, involve various complicated calculations and forecasting methods. Even a single incorrect data entry or miscalculation can drastically skew results.
When businesses assign these tasks to employees, they face increased risks of human errors and heightened labor costs. Meanwhile, software solutions can produce far more accurate results in a matter of seconds.
How Can Zip Forecasting Help?
Lowers the Cost of Doing Business
Zip Forecasting can equip business leaders with everything they need to drive down the overall cost of doing business. Management can produce accurate and up-to-date forecasts with a single click and even view their projected sales and transactions down to the 15-minute intervals.
Businesses can now predict exactly how many employees they need per shift and per role. With these features, organizations can gain better visibility of their labor budgets and further analyze the productivity and output levels of their teams.
On the other hand, management can also ensure all items are restocked to the most optimal levels to eliminate the risk of under and over stocking.
Automates Forecasting Methods
Generally speaking, the more data and calculations are involved in forecasting, the more accurate the results will be. However, it’s almost impossible for a single individual to take years worth of historical data into consideration and incorporate this into complex statistical forecasting methods. Simply put, this is not an effective way to produce demand projections.However, Zip Forecasting can complete all of these tasks in a matter of seconds without the risk of human errors. The system is so simple to use that onboarding processes for users will take no longer than 10 minutes.</p>
Easy POS Integration
Forecasts and projections are only as accurate and up-to-date as the data involved in their calculations. With Zip Forecasting, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. can connect their forecasting systems with existing point of sale systems to perpetually track all transactions, incoming and outgoing inventory, and seasonal fluctuations.
Essentially, Zip Forecasting will continue to produce and update projections even when no one is looking. By integrating any additional inventory ordering, stock control, and staff scheduling systems, businesses can instantly streamline their processes.
We understand that every business is unique, therefore, one size definitely does not fit all for forecasting algorithms. This is why each forecast can be customized to any business requirements.
Businesses experiencing less sales due to bad weather or a sudden boost in traffic due to local events can easily adjust their projects on daily or 15-minute intervals.
Forecasting for multiple sites can quickly become confusing. However, with Zip Forecasting, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. can easily tailor their projections for each location by assigning customized forecast matrices. With these site-by-site projections, operators will be equipped with the data necessary to adapt to their respective markets.