- 1 hour on-demand video
- 6 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Goal: Improve sales forecast accuracy, resulting in higher sales (fewer stock-outs) and lower inventory holding costs (better inventory turnover)
- Objective 1: Apply exponential smoothing to your sales data
- Objective 2: Test various forecasting methods and settings to find the best combination
- Objective 3: Measure your forecasting accuracy
- Comfort with basic Excel spreadsheets
- Access to exponential smoothing software, or the ability to download and install a free exponential smoothing software package
In about one hour you can learn to:
- Use exponential smoothing, the most popular forecasting method.
- Test your forecasts before putting the company (or your reputation) at risk.
- Assess whether your forecasts are adding value.
Most managers involved in forecasting are missing one or more skills in basic forecasting. We boil it down to five steps, and show you how to master each one.
This course is all about doing. You look over our shoulders and view the computer screen as we forecast sales for multiple products and industries.
Every forecaster should be able to do exponential smoothing. It is by far the most popular forecasting approach among experienced forecasters.
One of the biggest leaps you can make as a forecaster is in accuracy measurement. We show you the best way, and we demonstrate it throughout the course.
Forecasting software works, so you don't need to understand detailed forecasting formulas. Instead, we focus on how to use forecasting software wisely.
We are confident that mastery of the basic concepts provided in this course will significantly increase your forecast accuracy. The result: fewer stock-outs, higher sales, and lower inventory costs.
Included in this course:
- 9 lectures
- 6 Excel workbooks (actual spreadsheets from lectures)
We tap into the very latest thinking on forecasting. But rather than bore you with our technical mastery of the subject, we focus on simplicity and practicality. Only the essential ingredients of forecasting excellence are presented. And we do so with passion.
We hope you enjoy the course. Good luck and good forecasting!
- Individuals involved in sales or demand forecasting
- Finance managers
- Product managers
- Sales managers
- Sales operations
- Marketing managers
In the Introduction I briefly describe myself and the course. I am the author of numerous books and articles. My most recent book is Sales Forecasting: A Practical Guide (available at Amazon). This course is designed for busy managers who need to learn the fundamentals of sales forecasting.
In the Background chapter I talk about how sales forecasting differs from other types of forecasting. Then I show how the learning curve applies to sales forecasting and talk about how this course was designed to avoid complex formulas. I close the chapter by discussing the forecasting attitude and give you an exercise to stretch your thinking.
The third step on the forecasting learning curve is to avoid linear extensions. In this chapter I review the linear extension, with the intention of dissuading you from using it. I describe MASE, or the best way to measure forecast error. These concepts are demonstrated using the online banking example. Then I conclude with a discussion of why the linear extension is such a poor choice for sales forecasting.
The last chapter summarizes the major points in a process I call Five-Step Forecasting: Plot, Divide, Test, Assess, and Apply.It is possible to make the process more complex, but I can’t recommend a simpler one. These steps form the minimum requirements of a sound sales forecasting process.