Retailers – Do you Need to Adjust your Financial Plans, Budgets and Forecasts Quickly?

‘September’s 3% inflation could be “last straw” for retailers’

- Ben Stevens, Retail Gazette – 17 Oct 2017


UK retail sales fall year on year for first time since 2013

- Phillip Inman, The Guardian - 16 Nov 2017


‘Christmas spending expected to fall for first time since 2012, Visa says’

- Josie Cox, Business Editor, The independent, 20 Nov 2017


UK Inflation figures for September and October were 3%. The highest since April 2012. Any higher and Mark Carney would be writing to the government and likely be called in front of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee.

In November, the Bank of England interest rate rises for the first time in 10 years. There can only be one result - a squeeze on consumer budgets.

For retailers, this could not have come at a worst time, given as we are in the run up to Christmas. The most important time of the year for retail and where, for many organisations, an overall annual profit is either made or lost.

The time to act on this news is limited. So therefore, it is the time to review financial budgets and plans and test any proposed changes. The question is, how quickly can you reflect a change of strategy in your financial plans to see the effect? Furthermore, when this does not give you the answer you want, how quickly can you do it again once you have made further changes? And Again?... If you are using spreadsheets or old legacy software then the answer could well be, just not quickly enough!

In the Planning and Forecasting for the Hurricane Season post on LinkedIn we reflected on the need for agile and responsive planning, budgeting and forecasting. For retailers, this is another example of that need and for them to adopt solutions where many scenarios can be modelled and compared to optimise their plans, budgets and forecasts. The sort of solutions, where statistical modelling can automatically simulate many different options and come up with a truly optimised result. A result, that also highlights the crucial variables that will need to be focused on if the desired outcome is to be realised.

Retailers need these solutions right now and it is those that have them who will be able to best ride out the current storm made up of inflation, interest rates and of course Brexit. Whilst I cannot offer up an instant solution. With modern software in the cloud implementation times can be very short, a few weeks, and any organization can be quickly up and running with a much better way to plan, budget and forecast.

We would be very happy to show you how – no obligation. In fact, we are planning a webinar on 7 December at 10:00 specifically aimed at retail organisations. Spending just 30 minutes could help you to see what a difference we can help you make to your planning, budgeting and forecasting processes. To join us click here and register to attend.