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SMART forcast explained

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What is a SMART forecast? 

The SMART forecast in PMI is a daily breakdown of your monthly productivity/hours forecast . SMART forecast allocates the month forecast to each day based on the expected activity levels of hotel using the cost driver forecast and historic staffing patterns. This can be used to plan staff schedules in line with the monthly forecast.

This is displayed in the labor cockpits to review when planning staff schedules. It is shown as the yellow line on the graphs. 

What is the purpose of SMART forecast? 

SMART provides a daily allocation of the hours determined in the monthly forecast by either the forecast hours or forecast productivity (depending on ‘Locked target’ setting).  

SMART Forecast uses Machine Learning (ML) to recognize trends from previous periods and allocate the daily hours appropriately.  

Use this as a guide to how many hours you should schedule each day in order to meet the monthly forecast set, while ensuring the number of hours is in line with the department’s needs on the day.  

SMART Forecast is used for productive hours only. This does not account for any non-productive hours (training, fire alarm, sick leave etc.)

How is SMART calculated? 

The calculation depends on the ‘Locked target’ specified in the cockpit settings. This can be reviewed and updated by users with admin rights.

Locked target should be set to ‘Productivity’ for operational departments, whose hours will fluctuate based on the activity of the hotel. Use ‘Hours’ locked target for admin departments where the staffing is fixed, and hours do not vary much.

If ‘Locked target’ in Tools is set to ‘Productivity’:

SMART hours forecast for the month = Primary cost driver forecast/productivity forecast

For example, a hotel expects to have 100 room nights (primary cost driver) this month, and the Housekeeping target is to clean 2 rooms per labor hour (productivity forecast). So SMART forecast would calculate Housekeeping hours needed for the month as 100/2 = 50 hours.

SMART Forecast then uses Machine Learning to allocate the hours per day. It looks at the expected activity each day, as well as trends from previous periods to determine a daily staffing recommendation.

If ‘Locked target’ is set to ‘Hours’:

SMART productivity forecast for the month = Primary cost driver forecast/hours forecast

This is displayed as ‘SMART Month-end’ in the cockpit.

SMART Forecast then uses Machine Learning to allocate the hours per day. It looks at the expected activity each day, as well as trends from previous periods to determine the daily staffing recommendation. The daily forecast is displayed in the graph, and are summed together to get the SMART MTD value.

For example, if there are many check-outs on a Sunday, but housekeeping usually waits until Monday to clean all rooms, the SMART Forecast will recognize this and suggest more hours on the Monday, even if activity levels are higher on the Sunday.

The same logic applies to SMART Budget.

SMART Last year = current month cost driver forecast /Last year’s actual productivity

This can be used to see if your current productivity has improved or not compared to last year.

Please note – Due to COVID-19, historic data from March 2020 up to (and including) February, 2022 are disregarded when analyzing historic data to predict future trends.

SMART MTD: The sum of the SMART forecast for the month to date days.

SMART Month end: The set monthly productivity/hours forecast.

SMART settings

Use only primary cost driver in SMART

SMART looks at a wide range of cost drivers to identify historic trends and allocate daily hours based on history. There is an option to change SMART to use only the primary cost driver to allocate daily hours.

This is useful when;

  1. Staffing patterns have recently changed, thereby making the historic trends an inaccurate reference point for scheduling future hours, or
  2. The department should staff only based on the primary cost driver for the same day, and nothing else.
    1. For example, a standard restaurant without the need to prepare anything in advance and unable to save work for coming days.
  3. Departments are outsourced as cost usually solely depends on the cost driver level according to contract.
    1. This setting will be enabled as default for departments that have the cockpit type setting on ‘Outsourced’ 

‘Use only primary cost driver in SMART’ can be enabled by users with Administrator rights. Select the Tools icon on the relevant cockpit, and choose Settings. To check if this setting is being used, hover over the SMART forecast legend icon in the main graph.


This setting allows you to manually set the minimum and maximum number of hours that SMART should calculate on any given day. SMART will not forecast outside of these settings.

This is useful if you have little or no historic data in PMI, or if your staffing patterns have changed significantly compared to past periods.

You can also set Min/Max hours for a holiday season. For example, if you will be closed over the Christmas period, you can set the Max hours to 0 to ensure SMART will not allocate hours on those days.