What’s REALLY happening here?
When you sell large projects or take large orders, it can be incredibly difficult to see when the revenue is coming in, and when the resources will actually be consumed. Companies are turning to Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Multi-Period Forecasting from mcaConnect to help with:
- Demand planning operations for the operations side of the business.
- Projected service hour utilization broken down by role
- Resource utilization over time
- Cash flow projections
How multi-period forecasting works is that it has “Opportunity Bundles” which can include any number of products and services over any time span. You define these bundles, either up front or as you build your quote. These bundles can then be weighted based on probability of the sale closing. You can also pull in historical data to compare trends from prior years.
How a Manufacturer Uses Multi-Period Forecasting
Let’s say you close an order for 100,000 widgets. You get a deposit up front and set up a production schedule. Multi-period forecasting enables you to forecast which components, resources and personnel will be needed – and when these resources will be freed up and now available for other jobs. Your sales person can easily provide the granular data needed for forecasting, which can then be uploaded to your ERP Demand Planning Module with just a single point of entry. This allows your VP of Sales and your VP of Manufacturing to both have the information they need. You also know when you can expect to get paid for the product delivered.
How a Professional Service Company Uses Multi-Period Forecasting
You win a multi-year deal that requires an entire project team. Each role within your organization is billed at a different rate. These roles will change in demand as the project progresses. For example, in the first phase of the project, you might need an analyst and solution architect. Later in the project, you’ll need programmers. Multi-period forecasting helps you understand which roles and resources will be needed at various phases of the project, while also forecasting when the client will be billed.
Armed with this information, you get a clear picture so you can:
- Smooth out cash flow
- Right size your workforce
- Make the appropriate technology investments
- Time your product launches
- Shift project timelines to maximize utilization rates
- Align production schedules with suppliers
- Coordinate internally – data can be brought into ERP Demand Planning module