For many industries increased competition necessitates that customers must be served better which implies that a lot of change requests must be accommodated under a very small margin of error which in turn makes whole supply chain processes open to disruption. To remain competitive, companies must be able to embrace and manage the disruptions in the best possible manner. Otherwise, the result is dissatisfied or even lost customers.

For many companies, it is not possible to foresee oncoming events and proact appropriately by utilizing only the capabilities of humans, hence the need for a computerized forecasting system is obvious. However, the capabilities of the chosen system play an important role to determine whether such an investment provides an improvement over the accuracy of experience based forecasts.

Forecasting module of the NovaLab’s planning software, xS Planner, is an operational level decision support system and provides one of the inputs for the master production scheduling process which not only takes forecasts into consideration; but also, current inventory levels, existing customer orders, capacity constraints and different possible objectives which may change with respect to the current business needs or even seasonality. Depending on the requirements, the forecasting module can be installed as an online system which will enable users to see, analyze and even provide and share their own forecasts based on their own judgement. The system provides the infrastructure for versioning forecasts for the same period and item. The underlying idea is to improve the quality of the forecasts by sharing information between different stakeholders. Automated forecasting functionality has the capability to model the effects of different factors including seasonality and locality.