Aligning sales planning with up-to-date information

Situation

Each month, the demand planners at a major motorcycle manufacturing company analyze inventory levels and project sales for the upcoming months. The process involves nearly 40 people and takes an extensive amount of time and effort to ensure that forecasts for every item, including bikes, parts, accessories, and apparel are as accurate as possible. The company had the data needed to complete accurate projections, but wanted to complete the process more efficiently. In addition, the company hoped to produce analysis reports that distilled the data into an easy to review format for c-suite executives.

The Continuus Approach

Each demand planner monitors and projects their inventory levels using an excel spreadsheet. Because at the individual level this process is working for the company, our BI engineers did not want to change the workflow for the individual demand planners. To provide efficiencies to our client, we automated the collection of information from the individual excel files to Alteryx. Implementing Alteryx as the middle ground between the demand planners’ individual files and the combined output file saved hours of manual re-keying of information and improved the accuracy of the blended data. Finally, through an automated process, the data is now visualized using Tableau. Once the visualizations are reviewed, it is published to the employees who need access to the projections.

Results

This new process is providing decision-makers across the entire company with access to the most accurate data much faster than in the past. By automating the process, report preparation is much simpler, allowing employees to focus on strategically aligning sales projections with up to date, accurate information.