Logistics is an extremely dynamic business sector that faces high cost pressure and is impacted by various external factors. In today’s complex world it has become more challenging than ever to forecast customer demand for transport and warehousing.
Next to recurring demand patterns like seasonality, national holidays, and month/quarter ends you are suddenly faced with unforeseen disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and the Suez Canal obstruction. As these events are non-recurring, it is more difficult to integrate them in your capacity demand forecast. The shortage of resources and capacity, and a lack of skilled manpower are impacting your planning and processes. In the past, volatility of your demand was limited. It was sufficient to have some buffers, personnel were ‘easy’ to find, and space was available to cope with the upward swings. Short-term planning was able to solve these challenges because there was enough excess capacity. In the world we are living in now, this is not the case anymore. To be successful, logistics companies need to boost their capability to look ahead and take effective decisions based on actionable insights.
In order to get more grip and control on your demand and processes, you require a reliable forecast with the right insights. EyeOn Planning Services has a proven track record in providing forecasting and insights to companies in a variety of industries. We are using a method that turns data into insights, delivering true business value instantly. This allows you to quickly improve the quality and efficiency of your own forecasting and planning processes. The aspect that our customers appreciate the most about our method is the fast implementation; Within as little as 3 months you will already experience the first benefits.
One of our strengths is the integration of key demand drivers in your forecast. We do this by applying more advanced statistical models or by using machine learning techniques like driver-based forecasting.
Below, we present two customer cases to give you a better idea of the added value our method provides to your company.
In this first case we worked with a transport management company that had virtually no insight into what could happen in the future. All they knew was the current situation and the past. By generating a weekly transportation lane forecast based on traditional statistics we could already demonstrate the added value of insights such as segmentation and seasonality. Their business was more forecastable than they expected, and an insight like segmentation guided them to make better decisions per lane. Together we identified a number of quantifiable key demand drivers based on which we can equip our customer with more advanced machine learning based forecasting methods . This driver-based forecast will give them even more control and guidance. It also offers the customer insights that are valuable for negotiating long-term contracts with carriers.
Our second customer case is that of a warehousing business which lacked robust planning. Bad forecasting resulted in an extreme overflow of items and an overloaded warehouse. Their planning process was not up to standards, as it was not prepared for the market uncertainty the company was facing. The planning process was based on certain assumptions and the whole operation was relying on multiple sources of truth. Results were not monitored correctly, and they lacked proper reporting. As an immediate first step we built a ‘one source of truth’ data foundation, then accurately measured the results and implemented a more activity-based reporting. These three aspects are essential to set-up your planning process.
Are you interested in learning more about how EyeOn Planning Services can support your logistics business? Feel free to reach out to us!