Avercast is excited to announce a new Australian customer: RSEA

Since opening in 1993, RSEA has grown to become Australian’s market leader in the sale and hire of Workwear, PPE and Safety Equipment. In fact, we are now the largest, independent safety business in Australia. They offer a wide range of quality Australian Workwear and Safety Equipment along with globally recognised brands in all areas of safety. Learn more about RSEA.

If you would like to see what we have done for companies like RSEA, request a free demo of your data in Avercast.

6 Key Forecast Exceptions Each Month

Eager to improve your forecast accuracy? Start by reviewing these 6 key forecast exceptions each month?

Finding time to review/clean up the detail forecast is always a challenge with sales/marketing review and S&OP deadlines to hit.
Here are some exception filters I find useful for review:

  1. New items – with less than 5 months of history.
  2. Override items – with previous adjustments to the sales forecast (question those as the assumptions may have changed!)
  3. Big changes vs last month – Items where the lead time forecast varies by more than xx% from last month’s forecast for the same period.
  4. Big growth/decline – Large % forecast trend up/down vs history
  5. High error – Large % forecast error previous month
  6. Questionable statistical forecast – Large % forecast simulation error

With a good forecasting system you can batch automate a ‘nested’ filtering process (varying %’s by ABC codes), tagging exceptions for efficient review and never looking at the same item twice.

Brendan Dowd is a big fan of “big picture” sales & operations planning but also interested in exploring the “nitty-gritty” details of forecasting and planning. He loves helping companies “get off the spreadsheets” by installing proven systems by Avercast.

Sealed Performance Batteries

Avercast LLC. Announces Australia’s Sealed Performance Batteries as Newest Customer.


Sealed Performance Batteries lead the way in their industry with loyalty and commitment to being the best.

Yatala, Queensland- Located just 20 minutes outside of Brisbane, Sealed Performance Batteries (SPB) distributes an extensive range of portable energy storage products throughout Australia and the Pacific Region. As SPB’s product range and customer base continue to expand, CEO Greg Roberts is committed to continuing their long tradition of delivering excellent customer service and product innovation. SPB recently invested in Avercast Forecasting and Planning modules to help achieve their service and inventory goals. Below are excerpts of a conversation with SPB’s CEO Greg Roberts.

Why move from planning in spreadsheets to a system like Avercast?

As SPB’s product range and volume continues to expand, we had simply outgrown our spreadsheets. It was taking too much time to prepare our orders, and the methods we were using were basic and didn’t take into account things like trend and seasonality. For a company like ours with lead times between 1-3 months, we needed a capability for a time phased forecast which drives the purchase plan. I had worked with systems like Avercast in previous companies and knew there was a better way. I was happy to discover Avercast could offer an affordable solution for a company our size.

How long did the implementation take?

We were live and using the software for forecasting and planning before we even paid for it….a matter of weeks from our kickoff meeting. The Avercast staff worked with our IT consultant to pull all required data directly from our JIWA financial system. Nightly and month end updates are completely automated which means we can just open the software and get to work with the latest information. The implementation was completed on time (despite our aggressive schedule) and 20% under budget. We found the system was very easy to use and easy to navigate – it didn’t require much training at all to get up and running.

What benefits is SPB gaining from Avercast?

The benefits were instantaneous.

Efficiency – Preparing vendor orders went from being a day long process to an hour. As we continue to expand our product range we won’t require additional headcount to manage the planning role.

Intelligence – Our finance manager now has a time phased projection of monthly sales, purchase orders, and inventory levels for 12+ months into the future to help manage cash flow and budgeting.

Strategy – We have been able to strategically set inventory policies which will allow us to optimize our inventory to deliver both superior customer service and profitability.

Visibility – We love the visibility this system offers. The action items and filters screen allow for quick identification of issues and opportunities…at both a detail and summary level. When a vendor requests a forecast of our purchases for the next twelve months that information is right on our screen – and we can give it to them in minutes. This type of visibility really makes you feel in control of your business.

As CEO Greg Roberts is committed to ensuring that SPB “out skills the competition in order to offer the best products and service to its customers”. Avercast is a proud partner in this effort

Wondering if your company might benefit from the forecasting and planning tools offered by Avercast? Request a free demo of your data in Avercast.

The McGee Group

Avercast is excited to announce a new American customer: The McGee Group

For 40 years, The McGee Group has been manufacturing eyewear and other related needs out of Marietta, GA. They specialize in creating unique branded personalities in their products for their customers all over the world. Learn more about the McGee Group.


If you would like to see what we have done for companies like The McGee Group, request a free demo of your data in Avercast.

what is inventory planning

What is Inventory Planning?

Inventory planning means forecasting the appropriate amount of inventory a business needs to satisfy current and future customer needs and services. Finding the right amount of inventory to have at any time is a big challenge, that when solved, increases a company’s profitability. A common problem is when there is too much inventory sitting around in a warehouse for a long period of time. Business owners need to convert that inventory into products to be sole for income.  On the flip side, when companies have to little inventory that it cannot keep up with demand also creates problems for business owners.  When a company cannot keep up with demand, it is losing out on sales. The solution to these challenges is finding the right amount of inventory to have at the right time.

Three types of inventory include

  • Production– Inventory such as raw or direct materials which are used to make a finished product. ( wood needed to make tables at a factory would be an example of this type of inventory).
  • Customer Service– Inventory including items that are already assembled, along with item(s) to maintain or compliment that assembled item. (for example wholesale T.V’s along with their remote controllers)
  • MRO (maintenance, repair and other activities) – These items are not a part of a product but are used to make a product. (for example the blades needed on an electric saw to cut the wood needed to make tables.

The most important aspect to inventory planning is cycle inventory. The second most important aspect to inventory is safety stock.

Safety Stock– An extra supply of inventory used to ensure that a company doesn’t run out of goods needed to keep working. When demand suddenly increases business owners at times don’t have sufficient inventory to meet demand.  Having a good safety stock helps companies keep working in times of demand.

Here is the Safety Stock Formula:

Safety Factor x Standard Deviation x √(Lead Time)

Multiplying these will give you the amount of safety stock you should carry for a particular product.

To calculate the safety stock for a particular item you would need to know 3 things.

  1. Safety Factor– this is also known as a z score. You can calculate different z scores depending upon what percentage of accuracy you want, in order to be sure you never run out of safety stock. The most common z score used to calculate safety inventory is 1.96 which gives a 95% chance that you will never run out of inventory.
  2. Standard Deviation– this refers to the variation in different data points. To calculate the standard deviation for an item that you want to calculate the safety stock for, you  need history data points. For example, you might need to know how much of that product was demanded each day for the past 12 days.  Daily demand in the past could be used as the data points to calculate the standard deviation for that item. Excel can calculate standard deviation through the stdev function.
  3. Lead Time- This is the amount of time it takes to have the product delivered to you from a supplier. (note: all units of time for standard deviation and lead time need to be calculated with the same measure of time. In our example we used days, so everything needs to be calculated in days. If we were doing weeks, everything would need to be calculated in weeks and so on.)

Having these three variables described above would provide a safety stock amount to have on a monthly basis.

Cycle Inventory– Means the amount of inventory that will be needed from one supply to the next.  This is the most important aspect to inventory planning because it involves the replenishment process of inventory that was used to make and sell a product. For example a truck load of wood that is used up this week will need to be replenished by a new truck load of wood coming in at the end of this week.

ABC Classification and Cycle method

ABC Classification is method of ranking inventory of most importance first. The criteria of importance is classified by a dollar amount. This method is based on Pareto’s Law (80-20 rule). The inventory that constitutes the highest dollar amount is classified as “A” category, which represents 10-20% of items and 50-70% of the dollar volume of inventory. The Inventory that is in the middle range of importance is classified in the “B” category which represents around 20% of the items as well as 20% dollar volume of inventory. The inventory that is considered the lease important is classified in the C category, which contains 60-70% of the items and 10-30% of the volume.

Let’s take a look at an example of how the ABC classification and Cycling method could be applied.

Here are the steps:

  1. Calculate the annual dollar volume for each item of inventory (column J in spread sheet below) by multiplying the annual unit volume (column H) by the unit cost (column I) for each item.
  2. Place the items in order of decent under column J (annual dollar volume)
  3. Calculate each of the % of annual dollar volume (column K) by dividing each of the annual dollar volume cells (cells in column J)c by the sum of annual dollar volumes (cell J14)
  4. Then according to percentage size manually assign the classifications according to level of importance as shown in column L.

Performing an ABC classification and cycle method allow you so prioritize your inventory, and allow you to know which inventory is most important.

The Naive Forecasting Method

In this video, we cover the naive forecasting method. This forecasting method simply states that we forecast that this period will be the same as the previous period. While there are some situations that call for this method of forecasting, we recommend using a more robust approach.

Avercast is a forecasting and demand planning software company. Avercast forecasting software is powered by over 200 forecasting algorithms to make supply and operations planning more accurate.

forecasting methods

Forecasting Methods

This is an overview of some basic forecasting methods. These basic forecasting methods are broken into two categories of approaches: Quantitative and Qualitative.

Quantitative forecasting approaches use historical data and correlative association to make forecasts. Qualitative forecasting approaches look at the opinions of experts, consumers, decision makers and other stakeholders.

This video is about basic forecasting methods and covers 9 of the most common approaches. Avercast forecasting software makes good use of these approaches, and is powered by over 200 algorithms.

Ball & Doggett

Avercast is excited to announce a new Australian customer: Ball & Doggett Pty Ltd

Ball & Doggett Pty Ltd encompasses a diverse range of business units within the paper, print media and communication media sector. We look forward to helping this great company achieve their forecasting and inventory planning goals. Learn more about Ball & Doggett Pty Ltd.

If you would like to see what we have done for companies like Ball & Doggett, request a free demo of your data in Avercast.

Avercast’s Leading Forecasting Software Has Arrived in Australia!

Avercast’s powerful forecasting software is powered by over 200 algorithms!
Get a more accurate forecast for your business.

Avercast, the global authority on demand and supply planning software, now has an office in Australia! Avercast’s proven functionality and flexible solutions make it the perfect choice for Australian companies of all sizes. Establishing an office in Australia enables us to offer local support for our Avercast clients and provide better assistance to prospective clients evaluating our systems. Our local staff has over 23 years of experience with supply chain planning, which enables us to help support your process requirements as well as your software needs. Avercast demand and supply planning software integrates with all major accounting and business systems to make the specialized task of sales forecasting and inventory/distribution/production planning efficient and effective. You knew there had to be an easier way! Call us today at 02-8007-5308 to discuss your forecasting or planning challenge.

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