Predictive Insights today announced its Long-Term Demand Forecasting solution. The cutting edge tool uses a combination of machine learning, economic and behavioral insights to enable restaurants and retailers to accurately predict demand up to 18 months ahead.
Traditional approaches to demand planning are becoming more challenging, with historic data providing little relevance into future demand. Predicting demand only two to three months ahead is also not enough for stores that need to budget and order stock further in advance.
Neil Rankin, CEO at Predictive Insights, said: “Businesses often base forecasts on activity from the same week or period of the previous year. Due to Covid, behavioural changes and other disruptions, this historic data is dirty. Forecasts based only on this data are even more inaccurate now.”
The team of economists and data scientists at Predictive Insights use a combination of data points to improve the accuracy of forecasting including real-time data, transactional data and relevant external data.
Through the machine learning platform, customers are provided with actionable insights for strategic planning, budgeting, demand forecasts, staffing, stock optimisation, lead scoring, promotions, pricing and behavioural nudges.
The medium-to-long term Demand Forecasting solution has been trialed at multiple outlet stores in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia and can lead to an improvement in branch managers’ predictions by up to 30 percent for forecasts up to 18 months ahead. The short-term Demand Forecasting solution (providing hourly, daily and weekly forecasts up to eight weeks in advance) can halve forecast errors compared to traditional approaches.
Neil commented on the added benefits: “In addition to improving accuracy, a big bonus for our customers is that machines are doing the heavy lifting. Where data gathering and analysis can be a full time job, machine learning can help to provide analysts with a baseline for review. This takes the tedious work away, allowing people to add additional insights and do so much more with their data.”