Demand Forecasting is an established problem with many approaches and solutions in the market. How is Neal Analytics’ approach different?
  • It focuses on solving the key weaknesses that almost every other solution has:
    • Only performing well at macro levels where aggregation helps smooth predictions
    • Being a black box that doesn’t explain why the forecast has changed
    • An inability to account for likely future events that will affect the forecast
  • Our demand forecasting engine leverages state of the art modeling techniques to give your business a clear picture of where demand is heading at individual store and SKU levels.

While accurate forecasts for local operations are critical, our solution goes further to analyze the key demand drivers behind each forecast. This will help your business identify the internal levers you can pull to grow your sales or market share, as well as react strategically to external forces. 

 

Example Demand Drivers

Weather:

  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Wind
  • Humidity

Sales Execution:

  • Number of Sellers
  • Wait Time
  • Length of Customer Interaction

Marketing Spend:

  • Discounts
  • Price Changes
  • Ad Spend
  • Promotion Mix

SKU Assortment:

  • Presence of Key Products or Product Groups
  • New Products
  • Product Lifecycle

Social Media:

  • Mentions
  • Sentiment
  • Interactions
  • Length of Interaction

Competition:

  • Competition Sales
  • Prices
  • Promotion Events
  • SKU Overlap

6v2

Waterfall visualization of how a change in sales over a time period is driven by various factors

Real-Time Responses to Changing Market Trends

When timing is everything, the sooner you can identify where demand is heading the more effectively you can adapt to changes in the market. Our approach allows for tactical interventions for each market to maximize demand.

Understanding the drivers behind demand gives you a clear direction for action to intervene or modify your business strategy and mitigates paralysis due to uncertainty. From practical capabilities like being able to identify which stores underperformed last week and the leading causes, to advanced resource allocation to maximize the impact of every SG&A dollar, we go beyond providing numbers to deliver novel capabilities.

 

Reporting and Analysis Excellence

Our Advanced Demand Forecasting can provide a macro-level picture for the entire business as well as drill down to forecast for segments based on customers, products, or other existing company structures. The demand engine itself is advanced enough to detect seasonality and trends to produce forecasts at the window and granularity you need.

 

Predictions Using High Confidence Data from Feature Forecasts

If a holiday has a big impact on your business, it’s probable that its effect is dampened by typical time series forecasts common in most forecasting solutions. While there’s nothing wrong with time series forecasting, (in fact our solution includes it as a baseline,) more is needed to account for the magnitude and variance of upcoming events. What if that holiday happens a week earlier? What if the weather is forecasted substantially warmer than normal?

Not only can you do this “what if” analysis, we can integrate forecasts from such models as features in our demand forecasting engine. Stop trying to use only the past to predict the future and use Neal Analytics instead!

 

Configurable to Respect your Business Logic

The forecasting engine we developed is highly customizable based on your unique business requirements and data availability. Common customizations include multiple forecast timeframes and developing specialized models for specific market or company segments.

We will work side by side with your Subject Matter Experts to determine the critical internal and external datasets most likely to influence demand and bring them into the model.