Lanham Associates Advanced Forecasting & Procurement for Manufacturing and Distribution

Is your replenishment process and inventory control blowing money out the window?

Do you look or think about your inventory and make this face?

Are you carrying too much inventory? Is it the right inventory? Are the carrying costs eating into your profits and destroying your margins? Are you overstocking to avoid stock outs?

Lanham Associates Advanced Forecasting & Procurement (AFP) is the answer.

Having the right Inventory at the right place at the right time improves customer service, reduces the lost opportunity cost of not having enough stock and reduces both your inventory and carrying costs.

Standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV has tools to handle inventory and procurement.

AFP takes those functions to the next level.

Let’s say you have $20 million in inventory. If you could reduce the cost of your inventory by just 20%, that’s $4M. If we factor in the carrying costs of that inventory $4 million at 20% of the value of the inventory, that’s $800,000. That’s a lot of money.

Lanham makes savings realizations like these a reality while at the same time helping you to ensure you have the right products available to your customers. AFP will help you determine what to buy, how much to buy and when to buy it.

Do these statements refer to you?

  1. We aren’t stocking the products our customers expect us to have immediately available.

  2. There’s too much dead stock in our warehouse

  3. We have a hard time identifying surplus inventory

  4. Our turnover is much lower than most other distributors in our industry.

  5. Why aren’t we making more money?

AFP comes up with The Total Forecast which can include:

  1. Statistical formula-based forecast

  2. Adjustments to the statistical forecast, including Promotions

  3. Collaborative forecast-outside information from customers

Lanham offers four levels of functionality:

  1. AFP Basic

  2. Track and filter inventory demand and use it to forecast sales levels for the future. Several methods are used to develop a suggested order quantity.

Once you have AFP Basic, you can add:

  1. AFP Collaborative Forecasting

  2. The ability to enter or import a collaborative forecast from a customer.

  3. AFP Advanced Forecasting

  4. Use of multiple forecasting formulas which are used to reforecast the past as a method of determining which formula to use to forecast the future for an individual item. This use of multiple forecasting formulas is often referred to as focused forecasting.

  5. AFP Production Forecasting

  6. Forecast finished goods and create simulated production orders for the planning horizon, typically several months, to drive component demand.

Benefits and Features:

  1. Best-Fit Formula Forecasting – The system is delivered with 18 forecasting formulas, and uses the Best-Fit forecasting method of “reforecasting” the past for each item, and using the most appropriate forecast formula going forward. New formulas can be added or existing formulas modified.

  2. Customer Collaborative Forecasting – Import a forecast from your customer based on their planned buying or create a forecast for a customer and export to Excel for their review. Update the forecast based on the customers’ projections and re-import.

  3. DRP – Distribution Requirements Planning:- Looks at the entire company and optimizes inventory across all warehouses.

  4. Handles Hub & spoke branch replenishment

  5. Forecasts can be created based on history and other information such as:

  6. Filtered Usage – Only sales that are expected to recur should be considered as historical input for the forecast.

  7. One-time sales can be flagged by the customer service person and excluded from usage.

  8. Unusual usage is flagged by the system to provide the user a means of adjusting abnormalities.

  9. Smoothed Usage – Irregular usage can be automatically smoothed to improve usage patterns.

  10. Redirected Usage – Usage history from discontinued items can be reassigned to new items.

  11. Cloning – A percentage of Historical Usage can be cloned from an existing item to a new item. This allows you to forecast new items without waiting for historical usage to accumulate.

  12. Inventory Balancing

  13. visibility Review the suggested order and access:

  14. Detailed Sales History by Period

  15. Total Forecast Detail

  16. Time-Phased Expected Inventory

  17. On-hand inventory

  18. Open sales orders

  19. Purchase orders

  20. Warehouse transfers

  21. Kit components

  22. Surplus and Excess Inventory in all warehouses

  23. Replenishment path of the item

  24. Detailed calculation lines for each item

  25. Container planning Roll multiple PO’s into a single suggested order per container or split lines between containers.

  26. Reduction of slow-moving and obsolete inventory

  27. Reduced stock outs

  28. Increased inventory turns

  29. Reduced transportation costs.

  30. Review the calculations involved in the suggested quantity from the forecast.

  31. Make adjustments based on product lines or manually on the item

  32. Can have multiple forecasts rolled up by company, warehouse, product line.

  33. Show forecast in cost, price, and quantity measures.

  34. If you have production or assembly, forecast components are based on the finished good but also on items as finished goods.

  35. Considers Expected Dates to forecast and lead time.

  36. Can consider Vendor Targets dollar amount, net weight, gross weight and volume.

  37. Can suggest to transfer surplus inventory from another location.

  38. Alerts tell you about situations like stock-outs before they become a problem.

What customers are saying

“We can track how a recommendation was derived in a visual way, and apply human logic to ensure that it makes sense. Few if any other forecasting and replenishment solutions allow you,” said Bill Palmer, Corix Manager of Special Projects.

“We are a big fan of AFP , and at this point, I don’t think we could work without it.”

“Even though we import 90% of our inventory, and it is on the water for 4 to 6 weeks, we have greatly improved our visibility. With AFP we can drill down on any area of the system to get visibility to the detail around a formula, forecast, a suggested order, or what is currently on the way to us. We know when and why things are happening, and just as importantly, we can change them as we need to.”

“We have been using AFP for several years now.  We wanted something that could create a sales forecast that we could plan production to.  It does that very well.  Our challenges are related to promotions/usage redirection, customer (collaborative) forecasts, and new items.”


Contact us at or call us at  512-829-4000

#DynamicsNAV #forecast #Inventory #planning

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