Demystifying the Future - Using Market and Sales Data to Improve Forecast Accuracy
In many companies, sales forecasting is more art than science. Due to insufficient data, or an insufficient understanding of how to use data, many companies take a “hope and pray” approach towards forecasting. They invest in capacity based on overly optimistic projections. When sales fall short, profitability falls, and it’s clear that the sales forecasting process is little more than a house of cards. But there is a better way forward, as Howard Atkins of General Cable will share in this presentation. Challenged by his CEO to improve forecast accuracy, he worked with channel partners to gather sales data for the company’s various market segments. Next, he compared that against publicly available macro-economic data, such as capital spend, MRO statistics, and construction investment. What did he discover? That there were in fact correlations that existed that could significantly increase forecast accuracy. Howard will walk the members through the journey towards demystifying the future, discussing both the science of forecasting (determining which correlations are meaningful and which ones aren’t) as well as the art (how to partner with sales and leadership to increase buy-in for the new approach).