Written by Jerred Ziegler.
As much as they may want to, companies can’t predict the future to know what their customers will want next. In fact, many miss the mark on their quarterly sales predictions by an average of 13%. But with predictive sales software from Prevedére in Columbus, Ohio, companies can potentially reduce their forecast error by 50%.
“Companies were forecasting future demands, revenue, and opportunity for their business using internal historical data, guesswork and unbridled optimism by the sales team,” said Rich Wagner, founder and CEO of Prevedére. “We provide fact-based data that helps them more effectively predict the future.”
Prevedére, translated from Italian, means “to forecast,” and their software does that by monitoring more than a million external factors — everything from social media to global economics to weather forecasts. It processes the data in seconds using cloud technology, and delivers it in an easy-to-understand, visual format via web browser.
The company’s clients are seeing results in their bottom line. RaceTrac Petroleum, a nationwide chain of gas stations and convenience stores, didn’t have a system for predicting sales until using Prevedére’s software. Now they can forecast the foot-traffic coming into their stores within a fraction of a percent.
“They have over 40,000 guests per month, so our technology can forecast their traffic and demand for products like soft drinks, candy, snacks, and gas with extreme accuracy,” said Wagner. “It allows them to stock up or destock inventory ahead of consumer demand.”
Wagner started Prevedére in 2012 after developing a similar system for a chemical company he was working for at the time. He realized that, even though he was collecting all of the facts to predict future sales, company leaders weren’t able to decode the complex reports that he built. After finding a way to deliver the data so that it could be understood and used effectively, he knew his software could benefit other businesses as well.
Prevedére received $300,000 in early funding from Rev1 Ventures, a central Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier. The funding helped Wagner hire a sales team and build the software for their first clients. After getting its start in Columbus, Prevedére opened additional offices in Boston and Sunnydale, California.
In the past year, the company has doubled in revenue and staff, with 25 employees and plans to continue hiring. Their sales and customer support staff work out of Prevedére’s Columbus office, which Wagner says is a great location because he can recruit quality computer scientists from area universities. He says there is also a rich client base in the area.
“Columbus is a very diverse city as far as industry,” said Wagner, “You have the top retail, banking, insurance, utilities and manufacturing companies right here in central Ohio. That diversity gives us a lot of opportunity to grow.”