At first, Byron started to manually forecast inventory. There was no easy way to get the data out SAP so he would bring up one material number at a time, look at the history, and type the information into a spreadsheet. The time it took him to do that for just 30 material numbers was lengthy and frustrating. He realized it wasn’t a sustainable process for all 3,300+ active material numbers that SaskTel used.
Creating 5-year forecasts
Byron was in luck. Around the time he was beginning his inventory forecasting initiatives, SaskTel started offering Alteryx training. With just five weeks of training and a sample time series forecast, Byron built a highly accurate forecasting report.
His forecasting report has proven especially important during the pandemic with material lead times 2.5-3 years out. Byron is forecasting a minimum of five years to make sure SaskTel has the materials they need when they need it and has been working closely with a business analyst to automate these processes.