Introduction to the Fuse Forecasting View
Fuse is an intuitive blend of a top-down and bottom-up approach. We usually start with a top-down forecast, by inputting a sales goal and distributing the sales across categories and SKUs. Then we allow you to edit individual SKUs in a bottom-up approach.
To the right is the overall view, which displays your sales by category. To return to this view at any time, simply click on "Forecasting" in the header navigation.
Setting the Sales Goal
First, set the date range in which you are forecasting. Click on the black triangles to display a calendar drop-down, and select the date you want.
Then set your overall sales goal for the time period by clicking on the black box under "revenue goal," then editing the number to the total dollars you expect to sell.
Understanding your Goals
The revenue goal is the number of total sales you hope to make in the time period specified. Usually, this number comes from finance, or is calculated based on a YOY growth over last year's sales.
When editing in % mode, you are redistributing sales against the revenue goal.
In contrast, the "Forecasted" number is calculated real-time from edits made to your forecast. Since items are sold in whole numbers, you may notice that this number differs slightly from your goal, because it is the sum of # units sold x retail price.
When you edit in $ or # mode, you may notice that the difference between forecasted sales and the your revenue goal increases as a result.
ChangING THE CATEGORY-LEVEL DISTRIBUTION
Here, I'll walk you through a scenario where you'll need to adjust the distribution on a category level. You may decide that this year, dresses are going to be your main seller (35% of sales), much more than previous years (when they were 20% of sales). To that end, you'd like to re-distribute your sales forecast on a category level.
1) Simply click the black box to edit the number at the category level. Input the new percentage; in this case, 35%. Make sure the toggle next to the black box is in % mode!
2) Click the "preview" button to re-distribute sales across categories. Since dresses increased to 35% of sales, we re-distribute the remaining 65% of sales across the other categories, preserving the same proportions.
3) Notice that after the re-distribution, Tops were reduced from 22% to 18% of sales. If you're happy with the changes, click "save," or simply click "discard" to start anew.
Changing SKU-level Distributions
Similar to category-level distributions, you can also change the distribution of the category sales into individual SKUs. In this example, we change the Oriana Dress from 20% to 40% of Dress sales. Note: you can edit multiple SKU's at once.
1) Click the black box for the SKU you want to edit. Input the new percentage; in this case, 40%. Again, make sure the toggle next to the black box is in % mode!
2) Click the "preview" button to re-distribute sales across the SKUs in the same category. Like the categories, we preserve the proportions when we re-distribute.
3) After the re-distribution, if you're happy with the changes, click "save," or simply click "discard" to start anew.
Conceptually, the left side of the toggles (% mode) is the top-down forecast, and the right side of the toggles (# and $ mode) is the bottom-up forecast. When a category or SKU are in bottom-up mode, they will be frozen in the value that you set them at. To un-freeze them, simply switch back into % mode, and they will dynamically re-distribute every time you hit "preview." We designed this system so that you can combine both a top-down and bottom-up forecast in one view.
Forecasting from the bottom-up is easy: simply switch the toggle to # mode.
Input the number of units you are forecasted to sell.
Sales of the Brooklyn Beanie will now be kept at 3000 units, and will not be re-distributed unless you switch back into % mode.
Fluidity of the Forecast
If you decide that you want the SKU to be part of re-distribution again, simply switch the toggle back to % mode. You'll see that the percentage of sales has been adjusted to 56%, which corresponds to your 3000 units.
You can freeze another SKU, such as the Diva Beanie.
Click on the "preview" button at the bottom of the sidebar to redistribute. As you can see, the Brooklyn Beanie and the Mia Beanie were re-distributed in the same proportion as they were after you un-froze the Brooklyn Beanie.
You can toggle between % and # mode for any number of SKUs at a time. Just remember that when you hit "preview," the SKUs left in # mode will be kept at the number of units you specified, and the SKUs left in % mode will have the remaining cash for the category spend redistributed amongst them, in the same proportions that you left them in.
Category spend can also be capped at a certain dollar amount. It works the exact same way that the # mode works on SKUs, except that your input is in $ and not # of units sold. You can toggle between modes for any number of categories that you want