Planning for uncertainty is every business planner’s nightmare, but if there’s one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s always to expect the unexpected. Like the weather, market conditions can vary immensely, and even a lengthy spell of sustained growth can be interrupted by outside influences over which businesses have zero control.
Uncertainty can stimulate a defensive response among business leaders who fear that a sudden downturn in fortunes may destroy their efforts to generate productivity and growth. The caveman instinct in all of us may be to hide until the danger has receded. Still, a proactive, hands-on approach that places accurate forecasting at the heart of your strategy will help you negotiate uncertain times with greater confidence that you’ll come out strongly on the other side.
Learn From The Data
Data is the lynchpin for your business’s strategic planning, but it’s tempting to disregard it during times of economic woe. However, most companies experience turbulence from time-to-time, so data can help shape your planning for future uncertainty as well as your actions to mitigate the impact.
Accurate forecasting relies on understanding your business’s history, even where extenuating circumstances out of your control have played a key role. By analyzing your business data, you can consider:
- How your business responded to the crisis: how effective were the decisions you took in response? Where were the pinch points that were most negatively affected by the situation? Which countermeasures offered your business the most protection?
- How protected your business is against future uncertainty: what can you learn from last time? Which parts of the market are most vulnerable, and how will this affect the growth or security of your business?
The Prime Minister has talked extensively about ‘the new normal’, and an essential aspect of forecasting demand is understanding that the future marketplace may look considerably different from the past. Your target customers may desert you or purchase in different ways, and new customers may seek your products or services.
This doesn’t make your previous data irrelevant – the changing face of the marketplace may be evident in your analysis – but you may need to revise your definition of ‘normal’ and incorporate this in your forecasting models, at least temporarily while social distancing, lockdown, and recovery measures remain in place. This is where specialist forecasting software, with its ability to adapt to changing circumstances rather than being rooted in a fixed model, can support your predictions.
Take A Definitive Approach To Manage Uncertainty
Investing in our forecasting software can prepare your business for the challenges of an uncertain market, either following a global emergency or as other situations emerge. At Reflex Planning, we’re on standby to work in partnership with your business to improve your forecasting, so you can respond to demand in a timely and efficient manner.
Using world-class demand forecasting techniques, our software gives you an insightful understanding of the market so that during periods of uncertainty, you can capitalize on pockets of demand. By doing this, you maintain the core strengths of your business by making informed decisions based on a wealth of analytics. An active alert system supports your actions to address weak forecasts, while vital decisions about pricing and margins can be easily managed.
Contact Reflex Planning Today
To find out how Reflect Planning can streamline your forecasting processes, increase efficiency, and reduce your costs, get in touch today for a free, no-obligation demonstration of our software.
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