Blue Sky Cuts Labor-Cost Projection, Upgrades Seasonal Planning Ability with Vanguard Software

The organizational products company says Vanguard Software will improve the way it brings planners, calendars, and notebooks to market at retail stores nationwide.

Blue Sky recently selected Vanguard Software from a large pool of vendors to automate and improve its sales forecasting and planning processes. Until recently, Blue Sky had used spreadsheets to compile and manage sales and operations data. This process had become burdensome for the scale and complexity of Blue Sky’s sales and distribution process.

Apart from factoring multiple channels (direct, retail, online, and in-store), Blue Sky also works to support an aggressive seasonal demand; the start of each calendar year (January – December) and academic year (July – June). Blue Sky attributes nearly half of its annual sales during those two demand rushes. The company needed best-in-class forecast automation, plus the ability to forecast by customer, product line, or SKU quickly and easily. These abilities are essential to seasonal planning, marketplace agility, sales growth, and profitability.

“In any industry, key insights into trends and market shifts, in addition to solid baseline predictions, are paramount to effective decision-making,” said Harlan Arita, VP of Supply Chain at Blue Sky. “Vanguard Software’s platform stood apart for that very reason. It combines fluid baseline forecast automation with the ability to assimilate adjustments and overrides in ways that match our internal business processes. That’s seamless integration of people and process in a unified environment,” he said.

Vanguard Software’s business forecasting and planning platform is designed to provide exceptional baseline forecasts that also layer in the market foreknowledge of business users: new customers, promotions, competitors, and more.

“We make every effort to give our clients the most dependable and accurate forecasts in market, allowing them to make optimal plans, policies and decisions,” said Neal Goffman, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer with Vanguard Software. “Our ultimate goal is to maximize efficiency and profitability throughout the organization.”

Arita said he expects forecast-related labor costs to drop by 15 percent, while forecast accuracy increases by at least 5 percent. Meanwhile, employees tasked with manual forecast processes will be free to focus on higher value pursuits. Arita also noted that once sales forecasting and demand planning applications are in place, Blue Sky may look to install Vanguard Software’s inventory optimization tool to lower carrying costs, reduce stock outs, and further boost profitability.

“Inventory optimization is the next phase with Vanguard. We see much value with having the same SKU being sold to different customers from different warehouses; with that, the challenge lies in having the right inventory at the right place and time – all things that Vanguard Software has the ability to deliver.” Arita said.

About Blue Sky

Blue Sky creates dated planners, calendars, notebooks (and more) that help people manage their time and organize their lives – effectively and with style. Blue Sky products help customers plan effectively and stay organized with a variety of sizes, formats, and designs to suit any lifestyle and personality. For more information, visit

Vanguard Software

About Vanguard Software

Vanguard Software introduced its first product for decision support analysis in 1995. Today, companies across every major industry and more than 60 countries rely on the Vanguard Predictive Planning™ platform to reduce overstocks, optimize inventory distribution, reduce supply costs with an agile platform based on advanced algorithmic modeling. Based in Cary, North Carolina, Vanguard Software makes every supply chain more resilient through better forecasting, scheduling, and replenishment.