Labour Productivity - Sales Forecasts
This article continues from WFM: Revenue-Based Scheduling: Overview
For a list of all Revenue-Based Scheduling articles, please visit: WFM - Revenue-Based Scheduling: Getting Started
- To access the Forecast page, select the Sales Forecast tab
- Users with access to more than one Location will need to select the required one from the Location drop-down before the Sales Forecast tab is displayed
Fig.1 - Selecting the Sales Forecast tab - Location drop-down also highlighted
The Forecasting page is used to review and agree on the sales forecast for the day/week/month.
Fig.2 - The Forecasting page, in Week view
The bar/line graph at the top of the page displays forecasted and actual sales data for each day of the selected day/week/month. The page will default to the Week view.
The green and red bars in the graph represent forecasted drink and food sales respectively.
The lines in the graph show actual sales, last year's sales, sales budget, and anything else that has been configured. Above the graph is a key to illustrate what data is being displayed - see Fig.3.
Fig.3 - Sales forecast/actual data graph with key, in week view
The same data, as well as the weather forecast, is displayed in table format beneath the graph.
A "Sales Forecast by Revenue Streams" is generated using historical data and the weather forecast, - this is the 'Forecast' figures in the graph & table - so this must be verified to ensure that changes in the current patterns of trade are accounted for.
Fig.4 - Sales forecast/actual data and weather forecast table, in week view
- Select the Day or Month view to see forecast data relating to those timespans
- Use the calendar icon to select the required day/week/month
- The Next and Previous blue buttons can be used to quickly jump forwards and backwards to adjacent days/weeks/months
Whereas the Week view displays forecast data for 7 days, the Day view 'drills down' to show figures for a 24 hour period - see Fig.5. The Month view shows all data for the entirety of the selected month.
Fig.5 - Hourly breakdown of forecast data, in Day view
Sales Forecasts can be reviewed at any time including, past and future weeks, However only future forecasts can be updated.
If necessary, the forecasted figures in the table can be manually updated.
- Enter/edit numbers in the Daily or weekly Drink, Food, or Other Forecast fields. "Other" forecast might be used if something other than food and drink is being sold - merchandise, for example
- Select Save Forecast when done
Fig.6 - Forecast fields that can be updated, and the Save Forecast button
If a forecast is updated, the system will then apportion reduction or increase by area based on historical splits. Alternatively, forecasts can be individually amended by area.
Managers are expected to update the system generated forecast based upon local activity, such as sporting events, weddings and party bookings. All national events such as Christmas and Easter are taken into consideration by the historical data that has been loaded.
Changes must be saved before moving away from the page.
- However, changes can be reversed by selecting Reset Forecast
Fig.7 - The Reset Forecast button
This will reset the forecast for the week currently selected. It is not possible to change or update sales in the past once the system has polled the actual sales information from the EPOS system.
Manual Entry of Actual Sales
For locations with no EPOS integration it is possible to manually enter actual sales numbers. If this is done, the System Forecast will be disabled for that location.
The functionality is controlled by a number of settings: an Organisation Setting, a Location Setting, and a User Permission.
Please liaise with your Fourth contact to have the Organisation and Location Settings enabled.
The User Level Permission can be set by following the below steps.
- Log in and select the required Location
- Go to Settings > User Levels
- Select Edit against the required User Level
- Tick the box against Allow Manual Entry of Actual Sales
- Scroll down and Save
Fig.8 – Allow Manual Entry of Actual Sales User Level Permission
If the Department is configured to allow Manual entry of Actual Sales then the only change will be to the Actual row in the Sales Forecast page.
The Actual row is displayed with entry boxes that allow Actual sales values to be entered by day.
- Actual sales values can be entered for the current day or past days only
- All entry boxes for future days are greyed-out
- The Actual Sales can only be entered in the Week view on the Sales Forecast page.
- When Actual Sales values are entered, they need to be saved by either selecting Save or pressing Enter on the keyboard
Fig.9 - Sales Forecast page for a user with Allow Manual Entry of Actual Sales permission – Actual row & fields highlighted