Rhythm Helps Drake Forecast Better to Meet Customer Deadlines

DRAKE factory

The Business Problem

A better way to forecast customer growth

As a provider of custom-built machines that help food processing companies load frankfurters, sausages, cheese sticks and other products, Drake has to forecast when customer demand arises so they can have all of the appropriate teams and resources in place (engineering, welder, machinists, etc.) in order to meet their deadlines.

George Reed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, shared that sales forecasts, expenses and hiring plans were historically determined once a year during their annual budgeting and forecasting process.

Each opportunity is large and the sales cycles are long and complex. They knew all the orders that would come. What was missing was confidence when the order would be placed as that impacted the resources needed from engineering, and the lead time human resources had to hire any additional staff needed.

Investing in a CRM system was not a good option because the volume of sales was low but the complexity of each sale was very high. They knew about each and every deal, what they needed was a better way to discuss the details and activities impacting the close date on a regular basis. 

“Rhythm helped us to get much more in touch with our budgeting and forecasting process and allow us to go from gut confidence to intellectual confidence in our forecasting.”

George Reed, Vice President of Engineering, DRAKE

DRAKE Loader_ George Reed copy


How Rhythm Helped

A reliable system to review KPIs and customer insights weekly

“Using Rhythm, we have standardized forecasting with confidence”, says George Reed.

Prior to using Rhythm, spreadsheets were used to identify what orders to expect. The Rhythm team helped create a standard set of metrics (KPIs) in Rhythm Software that is reviewed in Drake’s weekly meeting to help them gain insights so they could reliably forecast when orders would close. 

The metrics provide a consistent way to identify any dialogue needed that impacts the closing dates. This helps substantiate the confidence in the forecast and provides information to plan for resource allocation, hiring and staffing.


The Results

Anticipate Customer Production Needs 4X Better

Using Rhythm has helped the whole business get better:

  • 4x more confident in forecasting close dates
  • Increased the lead time to let production know when they need to hire resources
  • Reduced margin of error by 50%
  • Much more stable workforce which allows us to be a better employer

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