Introduction

Inside the Budget & Forecasting settings page, you can manage budget and forecasting settings, budget modes, check if forecasts are available and for how long into the future.

TL:DR: A quick forecasting setup guide

  1. Budget settings must be configured. The budget template must be set to "Monthly budgets" to be able to access new forecasting features.

  2. Forecasting settings (Sales variable and Business rules) must be configured.

  3. A department must have an "Available" status in the Status list.

  4. Bulk enable all from the Overview page or pick departments from the Status list and click Actions > Enable Forecasting.


Data requirement: To enable forecasting a department must have a minimum of 60 days of historical data (hourly level). This should include both sales data (net sales/gross sales) and traffic data (number of customers or number of visitors).

Forecasting horizon: With 60 days of data a department will get a forecast 14 days into the future for both sales and traffic. With each extra day of historic data (from 60 - 61 days) the forecast horizon will increase by 1 day (from 14-15 days). The maximum horizon is 14 months for both sales and traffic forecasts.

Employee capacity: To use ML employee capacity recommendations a minimum of 2 years of historical data and min. 3 months of planning data is needed.


Settings Structure

  • The Overview

  • Status list

  • Budget settings

  • Forecasting settings

  • Department overrides

The Overview

The overview page provides a short summary of active budget modes, forecasting availability, and settings configuration. You can also "Enable all" available departments with a single click. Bulk enabling will deploy client-level settings to all departments.

Status list

The status list can be used for:

  • Manage budget modes.

  • Forecasting availability status,

  • Forecasting horizons.

  • Customize forecasting settings for a department.

Forecasting Status.

  • Available 🔷: Forecasting is available for this department and can be activated by switching the department to the forecasting budget mode.

  • Enabled ✅: Forecasting is enabled for this department

  • Unavailable ☹️: Forecasting is unavailable for this department. This can be because of missing data, opening hours settings, or missing weekly balance configuration. Alternatively, If data has recently been imported the AI models might not have finished processing the data.

Forecasting Horizon

To see a departments forecasting horizon hoover the department status to show the tool tip. Each forecasting variable will show a horizon from 14 days to 12 months. N/A will be shown if a forecasting variable is not available.

Budget settings

The budget settings manage when the Financial year starts and the type of budget template you will use. Using period-based budgets disables access to the new forecasting features.

Forecasting settings

Main highlights:

  • Forecasting settings will be kept disabled from configuration until at least there is one department with the forecasting status "Available" to prevent unnecessary and false configuration beforehand.

  • Enabling Forecasting can only be done once all forecasting settings are configured.

  • Settings are client-level and are deployed for all departments once saved.

  • Department-level customization is done inside the overrides page (Accessed from the Status list).

Sales variable

  • SameSystem's machine learning engine will provide daily and monthly sales predictions of the selected variable.

  • Checks and calculations are done beforehand meaning that only eligible variables are available to select.

  • Once selected the setting in the Weekly balance configuration page "Use as turnover in budget pages" is updated based on your selection.

NB: Selection can be only done once. Contact support if you want to change this setting.

Business rules

Capacity calculation method - this defines how traffic recommendations inside Schedule's Day view are calculated:

  • Manual: employee capacity must be defined manually.

  • Auto (Machine Learning): Machine learning algorithms use historic data to automatically calculate the optimal employee capacity levels. Departments not yet eligible for automatic capacity will use the manual fallback mode temporarily. Once Auto (Machine Learning) becomes available the department will switch to this capacity calculation setting without further notice.

Employee capacity (Manual) - this defines how many customers or visitors an employee can handle per one working hour. This setting must be defined for both variables (Clients and Visitors). If a tab for one of the variables is disabled then this means none of the departments use that variable and it can be skipped. Also, employee capacity can be defined for different busyness intervals because when footfall increases employees can maybe handle more/fewer people. This can be configured for as many different busyness intervals as needed.

Example: Forecast predicts 50 visitors in an hour interval. Employee capacity interval between 41-80 visitors is set to be 10. The calculation will convert 50 visitors into 5 recommended sales hours (5 employees) for that hour interval.

Manage departments (Auto (Machine Learning)) - manage here which departments use Auto (Machine Learning) capacity calculation. Departments not yet eligible for automatic capacity will use the manual fallback mode temporarily. Once Auto (Machine Learning) becomes available the department will switch to this capacity calculation setting without further notice.

Note: Reasons why Auto (Machine Learning) capacity may not be available in a department:

  • Not enough planning data. The minimum requirement is 3 months of planning data (shifts inside schedule).

  • Not enough sales data. The minimum requirement is 3 months of sales data.

  • Data is inconsistent - data must be consistent in the sense that there is a variation in the number of employees and their work hours over time. That variation correlates positively with visitor flows or transactions, i.e. more employees are serving customers in typically busier time.

Other elements within a section:

  • "Available" shows how many departments could enable Auto (Machine Learning) capacity.

  • "Enabled" shows how many departments have actually enabled Auto (Machine Learning) capacity.

  • "Edit departments" - manage which departments which use Auto (Machine Learning) capacity. If you do not wish a department to use the automatic mode, you can deselect it from the list here and it will remain using the fallback employee capacity.

Fallback employee capacity (Auto (Machine Learning)): Until departments can use Auto (Machine Learning) for capacity calculation departments will instead use this manual mode temporarily. When Auto (Machine Learning) becomes available the department will switch to this setting. The mechanics are the same as "Employee capacity" in the above.

Minimum employees: This defines a minimum number of employees to be on the floor at any time, regardless of what a forecast recommends.

Department overrides

Client-level forecasting settings can be overridden to better match the department’s needs.

  • Overrides can only be accessed for departments that have forecasting enabled.

  • Department overrides are accessed through the Status list by clicking the edit icon in the overrides column.

  • If a department is saved with a custom configuration it will display a checkmark in the status list.

Traffic variable - the selected variable is used to calculate hourly suggestions inside Schedule's Day View for each individual department (department-level setting).

  • A data check is done beforehand and only eligible variables are available to select.

  • The setting automatically picks the best option.

Business rules: The remaining settings are similar to client-level Business rules described above but are deployed only for a selected department.

Restore defaults: Restores department-level settings to client-level configuration.

Permissions

Forecasting settings (Permission: Forecasting setup) - the defaults are:

  • Administrator: Full access, all shops.

  • Regional manager: Full access, shops that are part of his/her group (can be found here)

  • Remaining titles: No access

Full access: Access, read, write.

No access: Menu entry not available, no access.

Limited access: No access.

Forecasting hub (Permission: Forecasting hub) - the default are:

  • Administrator: Full access, all shops.

  • Regional manager: Full access, shops that are part of his/her group (can be found here)

  • Shop manager: Limited access, own shop/s

  • Remaining titles: No access

Full access: Access, read, write.

No access: Menu entry not available, no access.

Limited access: Access, read, write (write only daily budgets). Monthly numbers are accessible but not permitted to do changes and Save. Daily budgets always auto index (alter remaining days) if changes are done for a day).

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