Forecasting is often considered an isolated functional task, instead of an integrated process. As a result, there is very little focus placed on creating organizational alignment. Yet in the real world, teams link together in business units and regional teams to consolidate forecasting information. Most teams manage to consolidate the key results of their forecasts, but all to often, leave valuable information in their spreadsheets because there is no alignment between forecasters.
One of the major challenges of offline Excel models in forecasting is establishing alignment on both the results that come out of the forecast models and the assumptions that drive it. This is mainly due to the fact that different models/approaches are used by different forecasters. In many cases, forecasters intentionally create unique models to showcase their own personal contribution which often then works against corporate objectives.
As a result, a significant amount of time and energy is wasted trying to create alignment by analyzing the difference in each model’s methodology, assumptions and parameters. The use of offline Excel models then results in a major loss of organizational control and leads to a sub-optimal use of resources resulting in slower insights to decision makers.
A key element of FPI is therefore to improve process control. This must, however, not come at the complete expense of flexibility to react to changes in market dynamics. Enterprise-class forecasting can improve process control without necessarily eliminating flexibility and dynamic change management. The result is better alignment across teams and interconnected processes. Teams are now spending more time around insight generation instead of alignment.
i2e by Scarsin's forecasting platform was propose-built to improve process control while maximizing the flexibility of Excel as a modeling tool. Find out how your forecasters can work in Excel hosted in i2e, thereby improving process control for organizational decision making.