Original Date: 07/14/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Sales Forecasting
Thermacore has developed a sales forecasting system to manage its business and production processes. Sales are broken down into seven product areas: processor modules; notebook PCs; desktop PCs; workstations/servers; telecommunications; power electronics; and other. The company then identifies its current and potential heat pipe customers for each product area.
The Three-Year Forecast chart provides information on the previous year’s sales; the current year’s actual and projected sales; and the next three years’ forecasted sales. Current, projected, and potential customers are listed on this forecast chart. The visibility of the potential customer list enables Thermacore to identify new business opportunities and determine the additional efforts needed to obtain these new customers. The Current Business Unit Forecast chart displays the current year’s forecast as well as the previous year’s sales by customer.
Other charts used by Thermacore provide monthly and weekly breakdowns. The Strategic Design Wins chart shows designs won, designs pending, new prospects, and designs lost per month. This chart provides instant visibility for identifying those projects which are critical for Thermacore’s future business success. The Forecast vs. Plan chart compares the company’s operating plan with its monthly forecast, and highlights the variations between the two. Thermacore also developed a Master Schedule chart for its production area, which shows the previous two weeks’ history, the current month’s weekly production requirements, the next three months’ weekly production requirements; and the projected demand for the following six months.
Thermacore uses its business forecasts in a weekly, future-business meeting to discuss strategies and actions for winning future business. The production schedule is used in a different weekly meeting to discuss production problems and other issues. These meetings are key tools that enable Thermacore to meet its delivery schedules and attain future work.
Many of Thermacore’s customers developed from a long-term working relationship which did not have an immediate pay off in new business. Thermacore routinely assists potential customers with their thermal problems without gaining immediate sales. One customer, who has just begun buying large quantities of heat pipes, had been working with Thermacore for the past three years on thermal transfer problems. This willingness to work with potential customers and provide them with the best possible solution for their situation has resulted in many loyal and dedicated customers of Thermacore. Upon placing an order, customers can rely on Thermacore’s dedicated workforce to deliver prompt, quality products.
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