Can Software Aid COVID-19 Recovery?

Can Software Aid Recovery
Can Software Aid Recovery

Can software aid COVID-19 recoveries? Companies who are feverishly trying to model their reactivation strategies are finding their spreadsheets and ERP systems starved of reliable front-end data. Statistical modelling of historical demand using BI applications seems utterly pointless and their CRM systems have been left completely stranded. Suddenly the business landscape has changed beyond all recognition. Nevertheless, the opportunities are out there for those ready to challenge the established convention. “Are You Making a Good Recovery?” highlighted 10 certainties about the recovery period which companies could take advantage of in their recovery plans.

The challenge is the same for most businesses. When will the demand pipeline refill and by how much? Will economic recovery be V, U or Nike ‘swoosh’ shaped? What has been the impact of economic scarring? What is the state of our supply chain? If we knew the answer to these, we could plan and model the optimum strategy for recovery.

For lean and agile businesses, the challenge ahead actually translates into market share acquisition and competitive advantage. Building their own ‘new normality’ will involve exploiting market opportunities and competitor weaknesses. Hard demand data, commercial intelligence and competitor analytics have never been more relevant than now.

The companies that will make the best recovery will be those who use such applications to exploit any opportunities to outperform their markets and competitors. These companies generally operate sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes which integrate with their supply-side planning to drive customer fulfilment and service levels. They could be using sales pipeline analytics, sales channel analytics and performance analytics to leverage every opportunity in their sales value chain.

During recovery periods following a crisis, there are great opportunities to leapfrog market position. Foresite would love to hear about your recovery challenges, what you need to overcome them and how you are going to build back better!

Are You Making a Good Recovery?

10 Steps to Aid Recovery
Road to Recovery written on desert road10 Steps to Aid RecoveryRoad to Recovery written on desert road10 Steps to Aid Recovery

Are you making a good recovery from the COVID-19 lockdown? Planning for business restart after the furlough period will be problematic on many levels. In the absence of demand signals from customers, or the readiness of our supply chain to respond, we need to restart in an effective way.

Emerging from ‘hibernation’ will test the viability of many companies but can also be a time of great opportunity for those that plan smartly.

10 facts that we do know and can plan for:

1. Government initiatives are designed to ensure the speediest recovery possible. It is no longer expected to be a V-shaped recovery but more a Nike ‘swoosh’!

2. Restart will begin at different times in different sectors – do you know yours?

3. Recovery, however, does not mean a return to business as usual. That could be 12 months away!

4. Recovery (for many businesses) will be from a standing start, so early growth rates could be rapid – are you and your supply chain ready?

5. Growth rates during the early part of an economic recovery are statistically up to 50% higher than normal periods. This creates opportunities for smart companies to leapfrog ahead of their competitors. Are you planning strategically?

6. If you do not have a ready demand pipeline to return to, you will need to be fast off the line with your business offering and lead generation programmes. Do you have your programmes ready?

7. The companies that restart most vigorously will be those who can outperform their markets and competitors. This is not about market growth rates – it’s about market share acquisition!

8. We are all in this together – including our competitors. Some of them may be in other countries which are experiencing trade barriers. They may be bigger than us but are they quicker or more effective?

9. A possible medium term consequence of the lockdown could be the on-shoring of supply chain by customers in order to de-risk their recovery. Might there be a ‘buy British’ sentiment in some sectors?

10. Business will never be the same again. This maybe the time for business to re-write the rule book?

One very important thing that all business can and should be doing is managing their demand pipeline and aligning their supply chain activities to fulfil it. Foresite can be a wonderful thing!

Making Accurate Sales Predictions

Business Action
Business Action Vol 2 2020

Making Accurate Sales Predictions

Business Action magazine’s February/March 2020 edition reports on how Foresite is helping businesses in the South West to grow. The seasonal nature of food and drink businesses makes predicting demand and consumer trends challenging. Therefore in markets which demand high service levels from the supply chain, Foresite is a useful ally.

Firstly Foresite is very active in the South West working with the Source Show and Taste of the West. Secondly we are actively networking with businesses to discuss their challenges.

Foresite Sponsors Taste of the West Awards 2019

Foresite proudly sponsored the Taste of the West 2019 Awards ‘Ready Meals, Soups & Light Eats’ category. Category winners, Natural Branscombe in East Devon run by Ian Crowe and Jenny Lonnberg are producers of organic beef, salads, vegetables eggs and flowers.

Foresite’s Ready Meals category winner 2019

Foresite is pleased to sponsor Taste of the West Awards 2019 to coincide with the release of its version 8.0 for producers and distributors to the retail and wholesale sectors. This is a demanding sector that requires excellent customer fulfillment and demand management. As the leaders in enterprise software to support the sector, Foresite is keen to champion the diverse and quality businesses in the South West.

The awards ceremony was held on Thursday 12th September 2019 in the Great Hall at the University of Exeter. Foresite presented Ian and Jenny with 12 months free subscription and implementation support of our award winning software. Natural Branscombe also won the 2019 award for Supreme Champion Product.

Natural Branscombe 2019 winner of Foresite’s Ready Meals category – Taste of the West Awards 2019
Left to Right: Colin Slade (Foresite Business Advisor), Brian Hawkes (Foresite CEO), Jenny Lonnberg (Natural Branscombe), Ian Crowe (Natural Branscombe) and Chris Mellor (Foresite CTO) 12/09/2019.

Foresite have also offered 6 months free subscription and implementation support of our software to the winners of all 40 categories at the Taste of the West Awards 2019.

The Taste of the West Awards 2019 programme has been promoting and supporting the South West food and drink industry for over 25 years. It has grown to become the most prestigious food and drink awards programme in the South West.

Taste of the West is the largest independent regional food group in the UK and works hard to promote and support local food and drink from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The company was established in 1991, and today remains the leading supply chain co-operative for the South West’s food and drink industry.

Companies in the food and beverage sector wishing to improve their supply chain management and customer fulfillment should contact Foresite SPA for more information.

Business Cloud – Faster Growth Through Tech

Business Cloud interviews Foresite’s CEO in an article entitled “Cloud Tech is Rocket Fuel for High-Growth Businesses“.

Connecting the demand and supply sides of high growth businesses is essential to helping them avoid a potentially devastating spiral . Agile competitive performance in new markets has always been a key fundamental piece of the chemistry of high-growth businesses.

Business Cloud magazine aims to demystify tech for a business audience, offering insight on everything from the Internet of Things and AI to the UK’s digital clusters.

Rocket fuel for high-growth businesses
Business Cloud – faster growth through tech

Business Strategy – Connect, Discover , Lead

Business Strategy – Gartner Symposium 2018

Agenda for Business Executives

This year’s symposium suggests that the top priorities for C suite executives are to exploit digital changes ahead. Firstly 84% of CEOs expect digital initiatives to increase profit margins. Furthermore by 2020 organisations expect to attribute 40% of their revenue to ‘digital revenue’. Finally the business strategy agenda agenda covers three tracks:

  • Technology and Information
  • Business Strategy
  • Leadership

We have selected the following topics as the most important from their speaker agendas:

  1. Prioritise responses to changes in market cycles and economic uncertainties
  2. Pursuit of growth and enhanced mission fulfilment
  3. Use business models to define digital transformation
  4. Digital business is a big part of industry change and corporate strategic direction

Foresite will report on the symposium’s findings for the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019 and their impact on business strategy.

Business Strategy
Business Strategy – Connect, Discover, Lead

New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year!

The New Year is a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make. Here is a list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions according to travel company TripSavvy:

  1. Spend more time with family or friends
  2. Fit in fitness
  3. Tame the bulge
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Enjoy life more
  6. Quit drinking
  7. Get out of debt
  8. Learn something new
  9. Help others
  10. Get organised

The tradition of making resolutions goes back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians who celebrated the end of the old year by making promises to their gods.

The Romans also made vows to the god Janus (hence January) asking for forgiveness in exchange for gifts! In 46BC when Julius Caesar changed the calendar, resolutions became more recognisable with people making promises such as showing kindness to others.

In medieval times knights affirmed their commitment to chivalry at the change of year.

To all our followers – please keep following us in 2018 which proves to be an exciting year for Foresite. We have new European customers going live in January and in Q1 we will be releasing an exciting retail demand planning application for FMCG companies. We have other exciting developments planned for Q2 so keep following and sending us your comments and suggestions.

But what of our business resolutions? Let’s begin by organising our customer fulfillment activities effectively with sensible and pragmatic demand planning!

Need a hand with that? Give us a call – we’d be glad to help.

Happy New Year 2018 to all our followers and customers.

Courtesy of TripSavvy.

 

New Year Resolutions
Happy New Year

Drive Demand – Deliver Service

New Foresite Leave-behind for 2018

Foresite publishes its new leave-behind for 2018 – “Drive Demand – Deliver Service”. This functional overview is a concise and informative synopsis of the powerful functionality of Foresite demand planning and sales forecasting software. This is therefore a must-read for operations managers looking to align  customer fulfilment with sales; efficiently and  profitably.

Drive Demand and Deliver Service

Whether this is part of a formal sales and operations planning (S&OP) or integrated business planning (IBP) system, or just your regular production and supply planning, make this your first New Year’s resolution to drive efficiency and profitability.

Download your copy of our  functional overview now by visiting our Publications page under Technical Documents.

Drive Demand - Deliver Service
Foresite: 1 Victoria Square, BIRMINGHAM

The Importance of S&OP

We saw this excellent article and wanted to share it. At Foresite we are strong supporters of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) and work with companies who are taking the plunge to integrate their demand-side and supply-side processes. Whether this is full-blown IBP (Integrated Business Planning) or something more simple and practical. The important point is therefore that implementing S&OP is a vehicle to better decision-making and collaborative working.

S&OP Highlights

“So many businesses operate in silos. S&OP is a means of overcoming this insular approach. At both a strategic and operational level, optimising a business by alignment through S&OP can transform performance and gain competitive advantage in service, sales, cost, capital and reputation.

It does not provide a business with a crystal ball, but it does provide a vehicle with which to analyse potential scenarios and their likely impact and a solid model with which to assess sudden changes. It is also a seamless interface between production planning and customer fulfilment, informed decision making, business control and governance.

Furthermore, implementing S&OP is a vehicle to better decision-making and collaborative working. To run the process well you need a forecast for every product, a set of inventory policies, a capacity plan and a production plan; and you can’t work that all out on a piece of paper, or on an excel spreadsheet for that matter. Business systems are therefore required to support Sales and Operations Planning.”

Courtesy of Interim Partners. Interview with Rupert Tubbs by Sarah Simpson (Principal of Consumer Manufacturing at Interim Partners).

Importance of S and OP
Foresite: Business Planning

IBP – Driving Efficiency & Profit

Foresite’s Latest Whitepaper on IBP

Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is the subject of our latest whitepaper “IBP – Demand Planning & Forecasting”. Gartner have cited a massive shift in companies creating digital connections within and across their supply chain operations. And a recent study for Aberdeen Group showed that 85% of companies implementing formal demand management generated significant performance improvements. Average gains include 13% improvement in overall forecast accuracy, 24% gain in inventory turns and 5% improvement in gross margin.

We explore how companies that work toward the Demand Driven Value Networks ideal use demand forecasting (e.g. Foresite) within their S&OP. This is a key differentiating capability, so they can plan, sense and shape to brings profitable balance to the business.

IBP Integrated Business Planning
Foresite: ‘Way We Work’ Collaboration