The Sales and Inventory Forecast in Dynamics 365 for Financials provides forecasts for your inventory items based on historical sales and current inventory quantities. It will also suggest items that need to be purchased to meet forecasted sales.
This functionality uses an algorithm to determine the sales forecast. You cannot enter the sales forecast manually, nor the inventory forecast.
The basic steps to get this going are:
- Install the Sales and Inventory Forecast Extension (available from within Dynamics 365 for Financials). Also see on AppSource.
- Review the Forecast Setup.
- Run the Forecast.
This is the documentation from Microsoft on this feature:
Here’s the current text as of September 2016: https://madeira.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/ui-extensions-sales-forecast/#setting-up-forecasting
Setting up forecasting
In Project “Madeira”, the connection to Cortana Intelligence is already set up for you. But you can configure the forecast to use a different type of period to report by, such as changing from forecasting by month to forecasting by quarter. You can also choose the number of periods to calculate the forecast by, depending on how granular you want the forecast to be. We suggest that you forecast by month and with a 12 month horizon for the forecast.
Using the forecasts
The extension uses Cortana Intelligence to predict future sales based on your sales history to help you avoid inventory shortage. For example, when you choose an item in the Items window, the chart in the Item Forecast pane shows the estimated sales of this item in the coming period. This way you can see if you are likely to run out of stock of the item soon.
You can also use the extension to suggest when to stock up on inventory. For example, if you crate a purchase order for Fabrikam because you want to buy their new desk chair, the Sales and Inventory Forecast extension will suggest that you also restock on the LONDON swivel chair that you usually buy from this vendor. This is because the extension forecasts that you will run out of stock of the LONDON swivel chair in the coming two months, so you might want to order more chairs already now.
Here’s a quick video showing this functionality: