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Authored by Cory Wendt, Rob Bellile, Jared Ruhl and Duygu Celik

As companies transition from COVID-19 response to recovery, their sales and production environments require careful planning and close monitoring. Due to immense uncertainty on when various parts of the economy may return to normal operations, companies have been struggling to anticipate customer needs — making forecasting nearly impossible to perform. As product demand increases, companies need to anticipate customer needs to successfully navigate supply chain constraints. However, ramping up too early could create waste and tie up cash in a time when it’s needed most. While each business is unique, they all have a shared need — a deep understanding of the financial impact to their respective businesses.

Start with Sales Forecasting Analytics for rapid insight on customer shift in demand

COVID-19 has impacted the economic landscape in a variety of ways. Some businesses have been forced to completely shut down due to government orders, while others face rising cases of the coronavirus within their facilities, or a change in supply chain due to demand fluctuations. Utilizing Sales Forecasting Analytics is critical to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on sales and get your company on the path to recovery. Sales Forecasting Analytics provides a detailed view of how a company is doing compared to historical periods, with a broad or narrow focus. The analytics enables organizational leadership to make data-driven decisions on a COVID-19 response by performing weekly forecasts and putting strategies in place to drive results. Sales Forecasting Analytics can be used to assess other impact events such as: weather-related events, natural disasters, changing gas prices, loss or decline of major customer(s) or a supply chain problem.

Now project where sales are going for the next two months, in detail

Through Sales Forecasting Analytics, the impact of COVID-19 can be measured at the weekly level in a number of areas: sales, gross profit, volume, orders, number of customers, average order size and customer analysis. As the economy begins its recovery, month-to-date, year-to-date and trailing 12-month data can be visualized for sales activity to provide longer-term context. Payment information can be analyzed by comparing customer payment behaviors from before and during the outbreak. This identifies customers who are beginning to deviate from historical norms, and proactively identifies potential future collection risks that would affect your 13-week cash flow projections. The customer analysis can be broken down into product category, when useful.

How we can help?

If you are struggling to keep up with the rapid changes in your sales environment, Baker Tilly can quickly get this process up and running for you within one to two weeks from kickoff to live use. This service is designed to provide you timely results and a simple process to help facilitate dialogue across accounting, operations and sales, so everyone is on the same page about the upcoming forecast. You will be asked to provide sales history going back five quarters, and from there, Baker Tilly will handle the rest with you live each week, as needed, to give you the insights you are seeking on where your business is headed.

With deep analytics experience, we’ve enabled clients to:

  • Assess customer demand
  • Proactively anticipate customer credit risks
  • Analyze weekly sales trends against historical benchmarks
  • Forecast weekly sales at a customer level
  • Monitor forecast accuracy
  • Facilitate a weekly sales check-in with sales management
  • Increase visibility to sales results throughout the organization
  • Detailed analysis of customer payment activity and speed

Our Sales Forecasting Analytics process empowers management, lenders and investors to make decisions impacting immediate and long-term sales projections. Contact us to get your 2020 sales forecast back on track.

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