With the global supply chain still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, many electronic device manufacturers still suffer from parts shortages. Studies show that relief will only be in sight by 2023 at the earliest.
Scenarios like these are not common, and we can see how the industry was not prepared for such a hit. However, the situation provides a lesson for manufacturers to put more effort into forecasting and better prepare for future disruptions in production planning.
Instead of being reactive to market demands, forecasts can help electronics manufacturers to prepare high-demand products ahead of time and capture a larger share of and profitability in the market. In addition, accurate forecasts help them maintain a balance between supply and demand by making calculative predictions about the market trends.
What is forecasting, and why it's good for you
Forecasting is the process of making future decisions based on past and present data while also factoring in the trends within the industry. With production forecasting it is possible to predict future demand for a manufacturer’s product, allowing you to facilitate better communication with your customers and set accurate expectations.
In addition, manufacturers can use forecasting to predict the number of resources and the amount of investment required to meet future demand. It helps companies identify possible upgrades needed in the future to stay ahead of their competitors as well as meet their customer expectations.
Typically carried out by production managers, the process of forecasting involves the collection of historical as well as real-time data. This data serves as an input for a range of statistical and objective calculations to make accurate predictions. In many cases, forecasting also involves subjective judgments from experienced professionals. However, businesses can eliminate these manual processes and use forecasting tools that automatically analyze available data and provide accurate estimations.
When implemented correctly the end goal of accurate forecasting is increased efficiency and customer satisfaction. By understanding trends in supply and demand, you can improve communication with both suppliers and purchasers, budget for future market fluctuations, and set proper expectations with your end customers.
Types of Forecasting
Manufacturers can use several forecasting methods to develop production forecasts. These include:
Pattern or Trend
A pattern or trend is something that is quantified to be reparative. For example, if the company experiences more electronics sales towards the end of the year, and if this is true for the past few years, it signifies a pattern. The company can then use this pattern as a guide for the future to ramp up production when the demand is high.
A cycle in terms of forecasting pertains to economics. Cycle forecasting involves studying the economic booms and busts, which tend to repeat time and time again. For example, if the research shows that employment rates are soaring and new business opportunities are opening up, it is a sign of economic growth. However, it is not permanent, and a bust will follow. Therefore, businesses must figure out the cycle forecast to understand where they stand and formulate their plan to navigate the bust period.
Inventory forecasting, also known as demand planning, is the process of forecasting the amount of inventory required for the future. The core objective is not to have a shortage or surplus but the right inventory to meet customer demands. Inventory forecasting also takes stock replenishment into account.
Navigate Through Challenging Times with Forecasting
We are amidst one of the worst supply chain crashes in history, and it will take a few years for the supply chain to reach optimum levels. Situations like these are what makes forecasting so crucial for both you and your customers.
Businesses need to think long-term to keep their production rolling. AT JEM Electronics, we specialize in helping businesses meet their parts requirements with no or minimal downtime. We use different forecasting techniques to source and stock parts for our clients, enabling them to effectively meet their customer demands even during disruptions.
Contact us to learn more about how our capabilities can help meet your electronic product manufacturing challenges.