Executive Summary

  • Promotions are only infrequently adjusted for in the demand history.
  • In Brightwork Explorer, one can adjust promotions to allow the forecasting system to account for promotions.


The primary issue for backward promotions management is promotions identification. Even the best forecasting applications are set up around the standard workflow, which is not focused on promotions identifications.

What are Promotions?

The following are the generally agreed-upon categories of promotions:

  1. Customer Promotions: The most common type of promotion is directed at customers and what people typically think about when they think of a promotion.
  2. Sales Promotions: These are promotions directed by the producer to a supply chain partner.
  3. Trade Promotions: Promotions directed towards a retailer or wholesaler are referred to as trade promotions.

About Promotions Management

Generally, promotional forecasting is not a significant focus of forecasting books, forecasting classes, or statistical forecasting. However, promotions can be a potent influence on demand and a significant factor in reducing forecast accuracy when unaccounted for in-demand history. For those who do not work in the guts of marketing or forecasting, it can be surprising what a significant factor promotion can play in a company’s strategy.

  • Promotions are common in many industries; however, they are most probably prevalent in the retail and consumer package industry.
  • Promotions degrade forecast accuracy by increasing the variability of the sales history, creating unexpected spikes in demand, and increasing the work on the part of the demand planner and many other individuals throughout the supply chain.
  • While this may not seem like a significant problem, companies generally greatly understaff the forecasting area. Therefore, every extra overhead concerning forecasting tends to lessen the likelihood that the item in question will be accounted for. Furthermore, because of competitor promotions, it is improbable that all of the effects of promotions will ever be accounted for in the forecast system. However, the objective is to capture as much of the promotional effect as possible.

Promotions have the common effect of decreasing forecast accuracy. The first step to reducing their impact is to account for them properly. However, while there is functionality for promotions management in all supply chain forecasting applications, the effort required to do means that promotions are not accounted for more often than not. And when the statistical forecast runs, it reproduces the promotional “bump,” which must then be manually adjusted.

Doing Promotions Management in Brightwork Explorer

However, with the Brightwork Explorer easy promotions identification screen, your promotions can be quickly identified, and after identification, you declare how much of the quantity was due to promotions. We then import the data back into your ERP or forecasting system.