Let’s be real – demand planning is downright difficult. And if your brand is growing or you’ve ever launched something new, it kind of feels like navigating in the dark.
For most operators in the DTC space, planning is a constant headache and a huge time suck. But not anymore (that is, unless you like feeling frustrated or unproductive, then you do you).
Introducing our long-awaited production orders and new product planning features. Here’s how you can use these exciting new features to shed some light on your brand’s future and meet your revenue goals:
With so many uncertainties around today’s supply chains, working from one PO to the next will almost certainly lead to stockouts. And consequently, hurt your customer’s experience. So, why not plan a bit farther out?
With our production orders feature, gain better inventory visibility by estimating your purchase orders for the next 12 months.
With this new Cogsy feature, you can:
Planning into the future gives your team time to plan accordingly. But we know – who wants to do that when nothing seems to go as planned anymore?
That’s the beauty of our production orders feature! Get the security of a year-long plan and the flexibility to pivot on the fly.
Cogsy’s heatmap will show you which products have good coverage and which don’t. Plus, we’ll recommend which SKUs need a production order (and roughly when you’ll need to place that order).
But a lot can change in 12 months.
So, once your production orders are penciled in, the Cogsy platform will keep an eye out for factors that weren’t initially considered (like new supply chain issues or demand fluctuations). That way, you can pivot quickly and prepare accordingly – no matter what comes your way.
Imagine asking your vendor, “Hey – I need a small, rushed order of my bestselling SKU. Can you put me at the front of the line?” And them saying yes!
With our production orders feature, this is more than just a dizzy daydream. That’s because planning ahead benefits more than just you.
By sharing your working production plans with your vendor, you give them the visibility and predictability they’ve always wanted. And as a result, you’ll radically improve the relationship – plus, earn your brand some special treatment.
Meaning, the manufacturer can ensure availability in their production schedule for your inventory needs well in advance.
And depending on the vendor, you might even get the option to place smaller production runs more frequently, which cuts down your lead times.
But it also means that when you ask for a small favor or better terms, your vendor is more likely to agree. This puts you at a massive advantage over the competition.
Does this really work? Sure does!
Lalo, a fast-growing DTC brand, tested the early version of our production order feature. And by sharing their 12-month plans with their vendors, they cut down payments on their purchase orders by 50%. Plus, they negotiated better terms for the upcoming year.
As a result, Lalo’s freed up working capital and radically reduced their operational costs. And in turn, they’ve increased their margins.
(Alternatively, you can also negotiate better vendor contract terms and get the cost per unit down to get similar results.)
But how did Lalo negotiate these terms exactly? By simply planning out the year ahead. This move gave both parties more accuracy and confidence in the relationship.
“"By having our year planned out ahead of time, [we went] into our conversations with our vendor with a lot more accuracy and confidence, so both parties came out happy."Greg Davidson, co-founder & CEO of Lalo
Your team puts a lot of work into building exciting new products. But when it comes time to launch those products, how do you know the right amount to order?
With our new product planning feature, confidently move beyond guesstimates and know exactly how much inventory you’ll need to make every product launch a success.
With this new Cogsy feature, you can:
Forecasting demand for new products isn’t straightforward. For one, there’s no historical data to go off of. So, you’re basically throwing a dart blindfolded and hoping to hit the board.
But now, you’ll know exactly how much to order for a SKU you’ve never sold before.
Just select products with similar characteristics. Then, Cogsy will take the hassle out of calculating predicted sales data for the first 30, 60, and 90 days—for products with or without variants.
How does it work? Cogsy uses the sales history of those SKUs with similar characteristics and applies growth factors to generate predictions around new products’ future sales. We also factor in lead times so you know you’ll place orders for your new product at the right time.
Most brands forecast demand in spreadsheets. Depending on how many data points you need to pull in, it can take several weeks. And even then, the final forecast is just a best guess – usually a wrong one.
But you don’t have to do that anymore. With the new product planning feature, the baseline demand for every new product is calculated in seconds.
Then, you can run various simulations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days to map out a few different scenarios – in just a few clicks. This way, you can truly plan for anything.
Got an email list full of people eagerly waiting for this product to go live? Running a massive marketing campaign alongside the launch? Effortlessly add this information into your plan and instantly see how it changes predicted sales (and your inventory needs).
Okay – so there will always be a little stress around launching a new product (it comes with the territory). But it will no longer be inventory-related.
The new product planning feature ensures you always order the right amount. AKA enough to avoid a stockout, but not so much that you risk collecting dead stock right out the gate.
That way, you can fulfill all the demand that comes your way – without unnecessarily tying up cash. And you can make lots of money off the big launch, actually reaching your revenue goals.
Both new features are available to all Cogsy users, and ready to use in your accounts. If you need any help getting started, we’re here!
Don’t use Cogsy yet? No worries – try Cogsy free for 14 days.