Does anyone have a great forecasting tool for a production environment? Multiple products with varying schedules. Thank you, Nick
Alan, i guess it all depends on your budget. You can be looking at tools that are hundreds of dollars and hundred thousand dollars.
We are more on the hundreds of dollars side :).
We use power pivot and power BI for our planning. We set-up our own models and we are able to do driver based by product, customer, geography and we mainly do sales and margin. The expense side, is fairly straightforward for us. Its mostly by account and cost center, but we don't use too many cost centers. I really like what Microsoft has done with their BI platform.
it serves our needs well...
What are you looking to forecast? Machine loading? Shipments? Profit? Cash?
Looking to forecast hours of production towards workload. For example, knowing I have let's say 8 millon jobs in2015 my department needs to do, i need a tool that i can plug in 8 millon and how many employees per shift I have and it spits out a breakdown of what amount of employees on what shifts easily. In addition to that, I am also looking for one that will help forecast a budget as well.
I am replying here under Mark's question because I'd like to expand on his question and your reply (below). The goal is to understand better what you want to achieve-that may refine the suggestions for you.
1. Are you trying to plan a production schedule for a product manufacturer that relies heavily on direct labor? OR, are you a service organization trying to balance available resources (employees) to jobs (projects)?
2. If you are a production operation, then good ERP systems will help you plan materials (MRP) and schedule production orders (based on material availability, labor levels and machine output constraints/capacities. The better ERP systems also support simulations.
3. If you are trying to conduct an S&OP exercise (sales & operational planning), then you may need an S&OP software tool that reads ERP data and forecast sales data to generate a balanced plan. It also uses material availability, labor levels and machine output constraints/capacities.
4. If you are trying to perform a simple financial projection, you may get away with a financial modeling tool. BUT, if this tool does not help you check materials/labor/machine capacities/constraints, you may end up with a bad result.
Our company began using Adaptive Insights about 10 months ago and have completely moved off of spreadsheets. It's been a real game-changer for us to change our forecasts monthly (P&L, Cash flow, and balance sheet).
Forecast Pro is a forecasting tool that can handle a large amount of data, is user friendly, and has saved me days worth of forecasting time each month. Its value far exceeds the cost.
We've been using Adaptive Insights for 3 years now. We moved off of an expensive enterprise software package that didn't work well for us and starting using Adaptive for a fraction of the cost and with fantastic results. We've cut our budget season down by a few months, we've been able to get real buy-in from our end users/budget owners and we're managing the whole system without I/T involvement.
It's a fantastic software package and a great company to work with.
We use a tool called Maconomy from Deltek
I analyzed over a dozen CPM providers and the final three were Adaptive Insights, Host Analytics and Prophix. I was leaning towards Adaptive Insights, and we beat them so badly on price I don't know how they could make money at the final number. At the end of the day we went with Prophix because it is premises-based instead of SaaS. My IT Director really wanted to avoid the cloud.
Premises-based will save money over time compared to SaaS.
The installation went pretty well and we came in on time and on budget. We used Prophix for the installation rather than one of their partners.
A CPM consultant familiar with all three said that it is similar to choosing Honda or Toyota. Both will be absolutely fine. It's just a matter of taste.
I've used stats packages with Stata and R, in conjunction with output in
We use Adaptive Insights for rolling forecast.
Our company has used Adaptive Planning from the Adaptive Insights suite of products for several years. It is a great tool for forecasting, budgeting and reporting of actuals and variance. I'm not sure what you mean when you say production environment. Are you looking to forecast production and allocate resources like an ERP or to do the unit and dollar forecasting? If you are trying to do the latter I would recommend Adaptive as a flexible tool that can likely be built out to meet your production forecasting needs.
I'd give Adaptive Insights a try. I've implemented this product at two different companies, and I couldn't effective do my job as FP&A Manager without something like this. Their support staff is phenomenal, you'll come know them by first name.
Hope this helps.
We have just started to setup our forecast in Adaptive, it looks promising but I have not had much time to devote to this.
I have to recommend Adaptive - the key benefit it brings is usability but just as important is the power that it gives to non technical users to build highly relevant forecasts.
We have just started to report and forecast in Adaptive to great effect.