Vanguard System™ Cost Modeling

What Sets Vanguard Apart

Complex Models

Cost modeling is effective when relatively fast and reliable. Vanguard System™ is geared for speed and accuracy, especially at your most complex:


  •      Product development: Estimate life-cycle costs for next-generation products
  •      Project management: Predict risks of budget overruns
  •      Operations: Calculate costs of manufacturing processes, distribution plans, and inventory policies
  •      Marketing and Sales: Evaluate cost-effectiveness of promotions and customer-retention campaigns
  •      Finance: Analyze P&L and balance-sheet implications of capital expenditures

Costing Methods

The enterprise cost-modeling solution — flexible environment. multiple methods:

  • Generative Costing: Decompose total cost into estimates for individual processes, activities, and resources
  • Parametric Estimating: Set statistical links between cost and design using historical data
  • Technical Cost Models: Integrate performance properties (reliability and quality)
  • Custom: Create new or hybrid costing methods

Easy Interface

Vanguard’s hierarchical-tree interface exemplifies Divide-and-Conquer cost modeling. To build a complex cost model, divide it into two or more simpler component models. To build these component models, apply the same process again, breaking them down into still finer elements. The result is a Vanguard tree.

Unlike spreadsheets, Vanguard automatically constructs a visual diagram that matches the logical structure of your model. This makes it far easier to tackle complex, and sometimes ill-structured cost models.

Vanguard’s tree structure not only simplifies model building, it provides an at-a-glance understanding for those unfamiliar with your model. Anyone can quickly navigate the model, drill down to assumptions, see results and provide feedback.

Real-time Automation and Collaboration

Key knowledge experts are spread throughout the organization. Why then do we rely on individual modelers with second-hand knowledge? Effective cost modeling demands that we tap the right experts directly, engage them in collaborative processes, and provide them with the tools and resources to build libraries of reusable intelligence. Vanguard System delivers on these values with automated precision, threading together myriad component models, currencies, time scales and update schedules to synthesize seamless, active and expanding knowledge bases.

Capture Uncertainty, Quantify Risk

Traditional costing methods calculate a point estimate, or a single number to rely upon as your cost estimate. For this estimate to be true, every aspect of your product, project and system would have to be known with 100-percent certainty. So what happens when things change as they do, such as product design, project scope or production volumes?

Quantitative Risk Analysis is the irreplaceable method we use to capture uncertainty and to quantify our cost risks and opportunities. We replace point estimates (for any parameter) with fuzzy values and conditional branches that reflect our uncertainty. We then assess the probabilities of potential outcomes, as well as the magnitudes and full range of potential outcomes. And when historical data is scarce, we interpret and apply our management estimates, assumptions and uncertainties to similar ends. That’s Vanguard.

At the core of it is Monte Carlo Simulation, a set of advanced statistical methods that we use to simulate thousands of scenarios simultaneously from repeated random sampling. The key here is identifying the importance of our cost risks, given the probability and magnitude of each and every potential outcome.

Featured resources

White paper

Advanced Analytic Forecasting

Case study

Aurobindo saw a 99% increase in inventory utilization

White paper

Portfolio Review to Full S&OP with Cloud-Based Advanced Analytics

What our clients have to say

Joachim Schwarzkopf MBA, PhD

Senior Portfolio Manager, Novartis – Vaccines & Diagnostics

"We are making strategic decisions that have long-term impacts on our business. Without Vanguard, we would not have the visibility and analysis we need to make the right decisions."

Ana Rodriguez

Director, Enterprise Applications and Integrations

"Vanguard has enabled Skullcandy to be more automated and calculated with our Demand Planning. The usability and thorough on-boarding and configuration process offered by Vanguard enabled us to completely migrate from our historical software very quickly"

Brent Phillips

Director of Demand Planning at Traeger Grills

“Our team selected Vanguard Software because we believe they are the best solution for our current demand planning needs and future supply planning needs.”

Renee Thomas Jacobs

CEO, Buy Auto Parts

"From the first time we loaded our data into Vanguard, we've been happy with the results. Between heightening our understanding of sales cycle curves, the immense flexibility, and responsiveness of the platform, and providing a single view of all items and categories, we've had a very positive experience."

Jim Cafferty

Lead Evaluator for Winzer

“One vendor stood head and shoulders above the others through the process — Vanguard Software. Vanguard consistently worked harder and provided more tangible, high-quality data and answers to questions than any other competitor.”

Vijay Ramadoss

IT Technical & Management Expert

"Vanguard is really easy to use and allows you to quickly pull demand data to use to support the business. Vanguard’s staff is always willing to help out with any question/concern I have about the system/information. Vanguard’s onsite training was extremely beneficial to help learn the tricks of the tool."

Geoffrey Taylor

Logistics and Inventory Manager, AFT Pharmaceuticals

"We looked for a software which could deliver the necessary requirement for our business and allows for customization. Vanguard has that capability and proven to be a reliable software, with a good supporting team behind it."

Cameron Yee

Business Analytics Manager, Buy Auto Parts

"After reviewing five different forecast systems, Vanguard excelled in all our requirements. Vanguard has great visualization and interface tools to assist with Ad-hoc and strategic analysis. The ability to measure statistical forecast accuracy greatly adds merit to the competency of the system. What really sold us was the exceptional customer service support to maximize the full potential of the software."

David White

Business Intelligence Manager, Endeavour

"After the initial Pre Sales demonstrations to our prospects, the most common statement is not whether they wanted to go ahead, it is when should we start the trial."

Ewelina Piasecka

Demand Planning Manager, Sensata Technologies

"Vanguard brought massive, positive improvements to purchasing, confidence, and stock reduction. Their system helped us stabilize production. That saved us money, but it also enabled us to grow the business more sustainably. Instead of managing spikes in demand, we achieved much greater stability in production scheduling and fulfillment."

Curt Mason

Financial Analyst, Francesca's

"We use Vanguard to effectively create and distribute sales plans to our field leadership to help them manage their business units."

Dave Palew

Director of Supply Chain, Aurobindo Pharma USA

"At its core, Vanguard Forecast Server is a user-friendly forecast generator with powerful analytical tools and easy-to-read reports. As users become more adept with the system, their ability to manage and manipulate forecasts increases tremendously. The results are consistently more accurate forecasts, time and again, and better forecast accuracy leads directly to a better bottom line for our business."

Marcia Ferrill

Assistant Director, Planning and Development – Kansas Department of Transportation

"Vanguard's forecasting process makes us so much more effective as an agency, especially when every dollar really counts."

Patty Thompson

Sr. Accountant, SDOT

"South Dakota DOT had heard from another State DOT about how they forecast their cash, and because we had been looking for that type of system, we spoke with that agency and decided to inquire about getting a similar system tweaked to fit our needs."

Tim Oligmueller

Director of Business Intelligence, Keen Footwear

"The reason I chose Vanguard was the quality of the pre-sales support and assistance in setting up a proof of concept with our actual data. While functionality was similar between all the choices your team and immediate sales support are what closed the deal."

Chris Patterson

Demand Planning Manager, Natrol

"Vanguard is a premier forecasting tool for businesses of all sizes. The data flexibility, reporting tools, continuous support is why we chose Vanguard over other software solutions."

Carl Turner

Vice President of Supply Chain, Mayne Pharma

"Our company grew rapidly with the acquisition of a large number of products that more than doubled our SKU (stock-keeping units) base. We were implementing a robust Sales and Operations (S&OP) process and needed a tool to assist our team in forecasting demand. We evaluated multiple solutions and continued to return to Vanguard based on their solution and the quality of their design and support team. Since implementing Vanguard we have seen a substantial improvement in our forward-looking forecast as measured by our Mean Absolute Percentage Error. We are confident we made the right selection in choosing Vanguard."

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