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Cost-Margin Forecasting

Many companies emphasize cost and margin analysis in product planning and sales strategy. Such companies want to use cost and margin analysis to drive lifetime value.

Forecast Requirements

The forecast must allow end users to evaluate costs and margins on each opportunity or product revenue to determine the value of a deal. There is a need to evaluate these costs and margins over a series of scheduled revenues, as some opportunities may lose money initially, but over the long term might be highly profitable.

Administrator Usage Example

The administrator defines a product cost/margin forecast series. The Auto Forecast Search Spec is set as follows:

[Product] IS NOT NULL and [Calculated Primary Flag] = 'N'.

This search specification pulls product revenue line items that have a product indicated into the forecast.

End User Revenue Example

The end user:

  • Creates a new opportunity or account.
  • Associates and creates product revenue line items using the New Record command, revenue scripts, or revenue plans.
  • Instead of adding just revenue information, adds cost data for every product added.
  • Using the revenue spreadsheet, views each product and its cost and margin expectations by month or week. The end user can modify these costs and margins accordingly and view them graphically using the Chart view.

NOTE:  The spreadsheet needs to be configured so that Cost and Margin are exposed for each date.

End User Forecast Example

The end user:

  1. Creates a forecast based on the product cost/margin forecast series.

    In the forecast Details they see the revenues they are working on automatically pulled into their forecast.

  2. Views the total revenue expected from each of these revenues from the Forecast Details list view, or views the cost and margin expectations over time for each product using the spreadsheet view.
  3. Views a graphical presentation of this data using the Chart view, or by creating reports.
  4. Adjusts and submits the forecast.

NOTE:  This example requires minor configuration to the revenue spreadsheet view to see the Cost and Margin by each date. For more information about configuring the revenue spreadsheet view, see About Configuring Revenue and Forecast Spreadsheets.

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