No organization owns a magic crystal ball, so industry trend predictions, especially in an area as erratic as fashion, will never be perfect. However, using data to forecast both the immediate and long-term future can allow companies to adjust their strategies to comply with any needed future changes.
An article in the online publication Information Age features a number of organizations that are using technology to improve business projections. One of the featured companies is German catalog shopping leader Otto. The clothing distributor is making major strides toward projecting customer behavior with greater accuracy, all with the help of its database software system. By using an analytics solution to determine the validity of its information, Otto is able to gain some crucial insights such as future product demand.
Thomas Friese, senior product manager for forecasting at Otto, spoke with the news source about the benefits of accurate projections, particularly as they pertain to reducing spending. By knowing what clothing items are going to be in demand, Otto can organize cost-effective shipping schedules.
“Many of the clothes we sell are manufactured in China, so a substantial portion of their retail cost is shipping,” Friese said. “If we can order enough in advance, we can ship the items across on cargo ships. But if we need more than we’d bargained for, we have to fly them over, which costs much more.”
As this blog has mentioned in the past, simply collecting data will not give businesses the resources they need to conduct accurate projections. Otto’s success stems from its database system. Companies in a similar situation would be wise to develop a FileMaker-based solution that can effectively collect and organize data, weed out non-pertinent information and present appropriate valuable insights that businesses can use to their advantage.