Production Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant using Dynamics 365 Business Central

What is a Production Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant?

A Production Forecast serves as a pivotal planning tool that finds frequent application among production and plant managers. Its primary function revolves around projecting a manufacturing plant’s production output for the upcoming months within a given year. Notably, this planning model encompasses an essential feature: an automatic presentation of factual quantities corresponding to individual items across year-to-date periods. These quantities derive influence from both price and volume metrics. Each distinct section within the template corresponds to a different plant under consideration. At the template’s zenith, a comparative graph facilitates a side-by-side evaluation of actual versus projected figures for each plant. An illustrative instance of this planning template is provided below.

Purpose of Plant Production Forecasts

Plant Production Forecasts hold particular significance within the realm of manufacturing enterprises. They provide an ongoing perspective concerning the anticipated revenues stemming from each product that a plant delivers. Embraced as a fundamental component of robust business methodologies within Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) divisions, these forecasts empower companies to enhance their grasp of revenue and profitability prospects. Simultaneously, they diminish the likelihood of managerial missteps that might arise due to a dearth of insights into anticipated product-generated revenues resulting from prognosticated production.

Benefits to Users

The utilization of a Production Forecast model extends far beyond numerical projections. It serves as a dynamic tool that empowers business users across various roles to make more informed decisions and enhance their operational efficiency. By offering a clear overview of anticipated production levels, these forecasts enable production and plant managers to optimize resource allocation, ensuring that materials, labor, and capacities are aligned with projected demands. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of overstocking or underutilization, leading to cost savings and streamlined operations. Moreover, the visibility provided by such forecasts equips financial planners and analysts with the insights needed to devise accurate budgeting and resource allocation strategies. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of expected revenues, businesses can prioritize investments, manage cash flows, and allocate funds to areas that promise the greatest returns. Thus, the Production Forecast model transcends its quantitative function, fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making and operational excellence among business users.

Plant Production Forecast Example

Here is an example of a Production Forecast input form by product and plant.

Production Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant using Dynamics 365 Business Central

Production Forecast for a Manufacturing Plant Example from Solver

You can find hundreds of additional examples here.

Who Uses This Type of Planning Template?

The typical users of this type of planning template are: CFOs, plant and production managers, budget managers.

Other Planning Templates Often Used in Conjunction with Plant Production Forecasts

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Departments sometimes use several different Plant Production Forecasts, along with labor forms, capex, other operating expense forms and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples

Learn More About Solver CPM For Manufacturing


Only Solver delivers a one-day rapid deployment, including free and instant access to $100K of value available on Day 1 in the Solver Marketplace. Solver is committed to helping you with all your advanced planning and reporting needs, so you can Accelerate Better Decisions – starting now. Take a free tour of Solver for any of these ERPs: