How Forecasting Works (Deep Dive)
Setting Up Your Forecast in 5 Minutes
Forecast Deep Dive Video
How To Quickly Set Up Your Forecast
Go to your Forecast page, choose a product, and click on its number under the Days Until S.O. column.
Scroll down, and look for the Calculation Variables. From here, make sure that you set your order schedule -- click on the blue button to edit it.
Then, select how often are you going to be ordering your product -- every week, every month, etc.
You can also choose to save and apply the changes that you've made to all products, all filtered results, products from this supplier, products under this brand, products in this marketplace, or products with this tag.
The same goes for your transfer schedule.
The next thing that you want to look at is your Express Lead Time -- click on the blue button to edit it.
You can choose from the existing lead times in the drop-down menu right here.
You can also create a new lead time -- give it a name and edit the lead time flow, number of days, and the destination. You can add or remove entries using these green + and red x buttons. Once you're done, don't forget to click on Save & Apply.
So that's going to allow you to split up orders from your Default Lead Time as well as your Express Lead Time. If you ever want to delete that, you can click on this red x button right here.
Next is your Transfer Time -- click on the blue button to edit it.
So put in here how long is it going to take on average for your product to get from your warehouse to Amazon and this is going to allow you to accurately predict when you should transfer things because you know how long it takes. Once you're done, select where you want to save and apply the changes that you've made.
Now, to edit your velocity, click on this blue button right here.
From here, your first option is to Use Velocity Calculation where you can select the averages, You can also check the Include Weighted Averages button -- at first, this might be a little bit too advanced, but you can go through and select whichever ones you like.
You can also choose a Manual Velocity -- so simply put your manual velocity in here.
Your last option is to use Last Year Sales -- you can use this if the product is something seasonal.
Now, you can see Additional Sales Growth right here -- click on the blue button to edit it.
So let's say you're using last year's sales and you want to add 10 percent growth for this year, you can quickly do that in here -- just don't forget to click on Save & Apply.
This is probably the last thing to get you going -- the FBA Buffer Stock. Click on the blue button to edit it.
From here, you can choose either " in Days" or "in Units". Once you're done, click on the Save & Apply button.
Now, once you're done with all those basic things, you're going to start to see how much should be transferred, the default lead time order, and how much should be ordered. What's great is that you can click on this calculator to see the full calculation of how you got there.
So this is how you set up your forecast quickly.
Group by Supplier
As you can see here, we've got it grouped by Supplier which is ABC Supplier.
In this case, there are 2 different products that need to be ordered. The sum of the number of units that need to be ordered in each product is equal to the number of units on the green Order All button up here.
Now, if you click on the green order button on each product, you will be making a PO or a purchase order for that particular product.
But if you click on this green Order All button, a purchase order is going to be created for that particular supplier and it will include all of the items that need to be ordered.
As you can see, a purchase order is automatically generated for the 2 selected products.
Group by Warehouse
So you've also got a Group by Warehouse -- click on it.
Now, if you group by warehouse, it's going to give you a Transfer button. These transfer buttons will tell you what items need to be transferred from your warehouse to Amazon in order to stay in stock. The same goes with this one -- the sum of the number of units that need to be transferred in each product is equal to the number of units on the blue Transfer All button up here.
Also, if you click on the blue transfer button on each product, you will be making a WO or work order for that particular product.
But if you click on this blue Transfer All button, a work order is going to be created for that particular warehouse and it will include all of the items that need to be transferred.
As you can see, a work order is automatically generated for the 2 selected products.
Group by Brand
So now we go to Group by Brand -- you may notice that there's no Transfer All or Order All button up here, but this at least gives you a good idea of the items that need to be ordered for that particular brand.
The basis of your velocity is built upon averages. We're pulling data from your Amazon API and we're getting the real data on the sales that you've been making over each of these periods of time. As you can see here, these are the averages of the different periods of time (2 days, 7 days, 15 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 180 days).
The ones that are highlighted in light green in this table mean that it is included in your adjusted velocity, while the ones that are highlighted in gray mean that it is not included in your velocity calculation.
Let's say you're not interested in seeing 180 days -- so simply put your cursor on it, and select remove from adj velocity.
The same goes for adding days that you want to include in your velocity calculation -- simply put your cursor on it, and select include in avg velocity.
Now, click on the Adjusted Velocity.
You also have the option to input a Manual Velocity -- this is quite useful especially if you're launching a new product with no historical sales data, but you have a good idea of what you expect to sell based on your product research (JungleScout, Helium10, etc.).
The inventory timeline is a visual chart representation of what to expect of your current inventory at Amazon, based on your selected velocity. There are many options within this area to fine-tune your forecast.
To view your Inventory Timeline, simply click the number under the Days Until S.O. column and scroll down.
As you can see, this is your Inventory Timeline. At the top, you can see the amount of inventory you have in stock. If you click on it, it's going to give you details -- these details will show you how much FBA inventory you have and how much Amazon reserved inventory you have (Amazon Reserved is simply the FC transfer and FC processing numbers).
Every change that's made in the Calculation Variables is going to reflect on your Inventory Timeline.
Sales spikes are defaulted to be off since it can throw off your entire average, but if you turn it on, you can select which ones you want to include and which ones you want to exclude.
Stock Outs is one of those that is automatically turned on and the one note that you want to make is if you've got a very slow-moving product, you want to make sure that Stock Outs is turned off. So if you've got a product that sells less than a unit a day, some of those days are going to register as stockouts -- so you want to turn the Stock Outs off. But if you've got a well-moving product, Stock Outs is an important thing to have turned on. Otherwise, your calculations can again be thrown off.
Multi-Channel Fulfillment Sales (MCF)
Multi-Channel Fulfillment Sales or MCF is something that you might want to come in and turn on -- it includes any sales that are fulfilled by Amazon that are sold from another platform or are considered non-Amazon sales.
Buffer Stock is a pretty cool feature and a great way to ensure you won't run out of inventory at Amazon or your warehouse. It tells you to purchase or to transfer inventory before you hit the number that you've set and you can either choose "in Days" or "in Units".
In case you can't and you need to transfer inventory from your warehouse below your buffer, we'll always make the recommendation to transfer because running out at Amazon is the last thing anyone wants.