Amazon Vendor Central Forecasting Report Automation

Explore the power of harnessing your Vendor Central Forecasting report data for growth

Forecast reports for Amazon Vendor Central contain valuable information for understanding and predicting customer demand for various products.

Per Amazon, the Forcast reports;

identify customer demand of the products for production and inventory planning purposes.

These reports are used for production and inventory planning, crucial aspects of retail operations, especially in a dynamic and competitive marketplace like Amazon.

What Is The Vendor Central Forecasting Report?

The forecasting reports provide a detailed, weekly demand forecast, enabling precise short- to medium-term planning. Data is reported at the ASIN level for the most recent weekly forecast generation date.

The granular report data is beneficial for managing inventory levels and ensuring supply aligns closely with expected demand.

Product Information: Detailed information about each product, possibly including SKU numbers, product names, categories, and other identifiers.

Historical Sales Data: Data on past sales, which could be segmented by periods (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).

Demand Forecasts:

  • Mean Forecast
  • P70, P80, P90 Forecasts

Geographical Data: Since the reports are specified for the United States, they might include region-specific or state-specific demand forecasts.

Time Series Data: Forecasts might be provided for future periods, such as the next quarter, half-year, or full year.

Market Trends and Seasonality: Insights into how different times of the year or market trends impact product demand.

What Data Is Included In The Vendor Central Forecasting Report?

Here’s a breakdown of the columns included in the Vendor Central Forecasting Reports:

  1. ASIN and Product Information: The report contains columns for ‘ASIN’ (Amazon Standard Identification Number), ‘Product Title,’ and ‘Brand.’ This information is used to identify each product uniquely.
  2. Weekly Forecasts: The report provides weekly demand forecasts for various weeks. Each column seems to represent a specific week (like ‘Week 0 (7 Jan — 13 Jan)’, ‘Week 1 (14 Jan — 20 Jan)’, etc.), indicating the forecasted demand for each product in those weeks.
  3. Forecast: The report’s title suggests that these forecasts are mean (average), P70, P80, and P90. The numbers represent an average expected demand for each weekly product.
  4. Numerical Values: The values in the report are likely the forecasted quantities (units) expected to be sold each week.

The P70, P80, and P90 forecasts are valuable for risk management and inventory safety. By planning for a higher-than-average demand scenario; businesses can ensure sufficient stock to meet unexpected increases in demand, thus minimizing the risk of stockouts and potentially lost sales.

Next, we dig into what are P-levels and why they matter.

What Do P-levels Forecasting Reports Mean?

P-levels (such as P80, P90, etc.) are critical in inventory and demand planning, and they play a significant role in determining the level of buffer stock to maintain.

  1. P-Level (Probability Level): The ‘P’ in P-level stands for ‘probability’. P-level forecast provides an estimate of future demand with a certain confidence level. For instance, a P80 forecast indicates an 80% probability that actual demand will not exceed the forecasted amount.
  2. Buffer Stock Implications:
     — P80 Forecast: This forecast level suggests a moderate buffer stock. It indicates a balance between having enough inventory to meet most demand scenarios (80% probability) and not overstocking excessively.
     — P90 Forecast and Higher: As the P-level increases, it implies a higher buffer stock level. For example, a P90 forecast indicates a higher certainty (90% probability) that the actual demand will not exceed the forecasted amount, leading to more inventory being kept as a buffer to meet potential spikes in demand.
  3. Stock Availability: The CR or P-level is directly tied to the likelihood of an ASIN being in stock. A higher P-level means a greater probability that the product will be available throughout the buying horizon, reducing the risk of stockouts.
  4. Risk Management: Choosing the appropriate P-level is a risk management decision. Lower P-levels (like P80) might reduce carrying costs but increase the risk of stockouts. Higher P-levels (like P90) increase carrying costs but reduce the risk of losing sales due to stockouts.
  5. Strategic Decision Making: Businesses need to consider various factors like the cost of holding inventory, the likelihood of demand spikes, and the consequences of stockouts when deciding on the P-level for their forecasting.

Different P-level forecasts provide a range of scenarios from optimistic (lower P-levels) to conservative (higher P-levels). This allows businesses to plan their inventory and production strategies according to risk tolerance and operational objectives.

What are the benefits of the Amazon Vendor Central Forecasting Reports?

There are a few benefits of forecasting reports. By analyzing this data, businesses can identify trends, anticipate future demands, and adjust their strategies.

  1. Inventory Management: Helps determine how much stock to keep to meet customer demand without overstocking, which ties up capital and space, or understocking, which can lead to lost sales.
  2. Production Planning: Assists manufacturers in planning their production schedules, raw material procurement, and labor allocation based on anticipated product demand.
  3. Risk Mitigation: The probabilistic forecasts (P70, P80, P90) provide different scenarios, helping in planning for uncertainty and reducing the risk of unexpected demand fluctuations.
  4. Financial Forecasting and Budgeting: Essential for financial planning, including revenue projections and budgeting for marketing, logistics, and other operational expenses.
  5. Strategic Decision Making: Guides high-level strategy, including decisions on product development, market expansion, and promotional campaigns.
  6. Customer Satisfaction: Accurately predicting customer demand ensures that products are available when customers want them, thus enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  7. Customization for Market Needs: Account for regional market trends and consumer behaviors, enabling more tailored decision-making.
  8. Supply Chain Optimization: Accurate demand forecasting helps optimize the supply chain, from supplier orders to distribution strategies.

Forecast Reports Do Not Equal Purchase Orders

It is important to note that Forecasting reports provide a forecast for customer demand, not a promise of purchase orders. The report provides a forecast for unconstrained customer demand. Per Amazon, “If there are already on-hand or on-order units available to cover customer demand, this would be accounted for when the system issues purchase orders.”

How To Access Vendor Central Forecasting Reports?

Vendors have two primary paths to access reports: manual downloads or API automation.

Manual downloading occurs in your Vendor Central account interface. Automation taps into the Amazon Selling Partner API (Amazon SP-API) to automate report processing and storage in a cloud warehouse or data lake (see the Amazon docs here).

Manual Access via Vendor Central:

  1. Login: First, sellers must log into their Amazon Vendor Central account.
  2. Navigate to Reports: Usually found in the main navigation bar, this section contains various sales, inventory, and performance reports.
  3. Locate the ‘Forecasting’: Within the Reports section
  4. Select Date Range: Amazon allows sellers to pull reports based on specific dates. Choose the desired range.
  5. Download: Once the report has been generated, there will typically be an option to download it. The report is often available in different formats .csv or .xls.

Note: Manual downloads are more time-consuming and may not be ideal for frequent and up-to-date data analytics.

Automating Vendor Central Data:

The Amazon Selling Partner API (SP-API) allows for direct, automated access to Amazon forecasting data, making it easier for businesses to integrate it into their systems. Openbridge allows Amazon Vendors to save time manually downloading reports, increasing data velocity and reducing errors in messy merging and tracking downloaded reports.

Unlock Effortless Inventory Management With Our Code-Free Amazon Integration

Are you struggling with complex, messy forecasting data management for Vendor Central? Say goodbye to the hassle. Openbridge offers a seamless, automated solution that unifies your data into a private, trusted data warehouse or data lake like Amazon Redshift, Databricks, Google BigQuery, and more — all without a single line of code.

Why Choose Openbridge?

  • Automate with Ease: Skip the manual report downloads. Enjoy automated data feeds directly into your private cloud data warehouse or data lake.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Leverage high-velocity data for machine learning, business intelligence, and more.
  • Versatile Compatibility: Works effortlessly with Google Data Studio, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and other tools.

Openbridge automation extends beyond inventory to a broad collection of Amazon and non-Amazon data sources;

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