Introducing Moving Holidays Support in HIMPACT

By March 29, 2021 Blog Posts No Comments

Moving Holidays will help you order the right amount in time for holidays that fall on different days each year.

Buying the right amount of inventory at the right time is always a challenge. This challenge is even greater when you add holidays to the mix. Holidays or other annual events that fall on different days each year are especially tricky. Some holidays can move up to 28 days because they are based on the moon cycle, such as:

  • Mardi Gras
  • Easter
  • Passover
  • Hannukah
  • Chinese New Year

Other events, like hunting season, back to school, and sports seasons can have date ranges that vary from year to year. There are also some holidays that only move by one week each year, such as:

  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving

When short shelf lives come into play, even these small calendar shifts need to be accounted for.

For many buyers, it can be confusing to keep track of when to remember to buy for these moving holidays. HIMPACT buyers had one of two options in the past. The first was to use Events to “pre-buy” inventory with enough lead time so it arrived slightly earlier than the peak in demand. The alternative was to manually adjust the seasonal profile for where the peak would fall in the given year. Using this upcoming Easter as an example, this means buyers would adjust the profile so that HIMPACT would buy-in for the peak as though Easter had always fallen on April 4 each year.

The trouble with this approach is the buying team would need to do this for all products that are both completely tied to a moving holiday, such as Jello Easter Bunny molds, as well as items that are sold all year but see a significant uptick as these moving holidays approach, such as the Cottage Cheese example below.

HIMPACT now has the ability to define when these moving holidays occur for the last three years and this year. Armed with that information, HIMPACT will automatically move the demand from previous years to line up with where the peak in demand should fall this year.

There are just a few steps to this process. First, you create the moving holidays. Then you give HIMPACT the dates, by year, for when those holidays start. In this step, you can also tell HIMPACT how many days before the actual holiday’s start date you typically see the peak in demand. If you are a wholesaler, this could be 14-28 days before the holiday. Retailers might only be 7-10 days before. In the final step, you link an item to a moving holiday.

In studying several customers’ data, we noticed that there tends to also be a slight uptick in demand after the holiday, especially for items that are carried all year. One example would be certain Passover-driven wines. In essence, this is a mini pipeline fill. To accommodate this, HIMPACT also supports moving any number of days after the holiday’s peak as well. When you see each item’s data in the graphs, you’ll easily see if this applies or not to a particular SKU.

In the graphs below, you can see the before and after effects. After reviewing the graphs, you may wonder why cottage cheese sales spike around Easter. This is because it is used to make a particular Easter dessert by some Eastern European descendants.

In this first image, we can see the peak demand for low-fat cottage cheese over the past several years. Note the two clear peaks in 2015 and 2016 before Easter, with a small one for 2017 too.

To add an item Moving Holiday, simply select “Moving Holiday” in the ribbon at the top.

Select the moving holiday that this item is bound to.

If you make a mistake, it is easy to undo.

This next graph shows a legend that explains that the dotted line represents the holiday Easter, and the dashed line represents where we expect the peak in demand to occur this year.

Here is the final result with the correct moving holiday parameters in place. You can clearly see that HIMPACT has moved the peaks from weeks 6 and 7 to week 9.

The user interface should be somewhat familiar to you if you are a current HIMPACT user, especially if you ever look at weekly history.

Besides improving buyer efficiency, for every item you set up, you’ll see significant savings in Safety Stock. This has always been the downside to simply adjusting the profile. When the profile does not match the history well, safety stock will need to be higher because it is perceived as a natural volatility. Some of our users do adjust the history for these items using the Scrub tab. However, Moving Holiday is now a much easier way to accomplish the same task.

The Moving Holiday function ensures you will have the items in stock your customers expect, and at the right time. It enables you to order at the precise time to eliminate out-of-stocks and also prevent spoilage. You no longer have to manually calculate moving holidays. HIMPACT does it for you.

Best of all, this will be added as a Base Module feature free of charge! The new moving holiday feature is available for anyone who wants it starting in April. Otherwise, everyone will get it with the Summer Update.