Forecasting in Pharma
Proper planning and accurate forecasting in the pharmaceutical industry are vital, and skipping this step can cost pharmaceutical companies countless hours and billions of dollars. Because forecasting involves analyzing previously collected data and making predictions about future trends, there are numerous factors to consider, including selecting the best techniques to use. Forecasting strategies, determining and using the most important data, and using the best management practices contribute to whether the forecast will be successful or a bust.
Forecasting helps in deciding where to allocate funds and the best times to do so. Reviewing historical data and having an idea of what may happen in the future allows companies to determine staffing needs, possible outcomes, and time constraints. Additionally, forecasting also helps make decisions such as which clinical trials may be best with the given timeframe and a host of other critical factors in the decision-making processes. As mentioned in "Evaluating the Challenges when Forecasting in Pharma," a previous article, not all data will help predict future outcomes, and there will be challenges faced when forecasting in pharma.
Forecasting is a critical step that allows one to analyze and prepare for those mentioned challenges. Putting systems in place and hiring the right staff and support are two significant parts of running a successful operation and executing efficiently. Although forecasts do not offer a guarantee, they allow companies to plan for production, equipment, tools, staff, location, finances, marketing, and promotions
The planning necessary to properly execute a successful sales strategy is one of the most critical parts of forecasting. Being able to predict, plan, market, and promote products using specific dates helps the process run smoothly. For example, knowing the projected launch date of a particular drug also provides other data such as when marketing and promotions should begin, when they should ramp up, in which locations, demographics and times to present each promotion.
In conclusion, a forecast is a company's road map. It not only shows where a company has been but also provides excellent insight as to where the company may potentially be heading. It provides for flexibility in an ever-changing world. Having the proper management solutions will aid in collecting and monitoring data, which will help ensure the most accurate results to use in building a forecast.