Category Archives: Guest Posts

Worst Practices in Forecasting

Leonard Jay Tashman

Foresight editor Leonard Jay Tashman

Companies launch initiatives to upgrade or improve their sales & operations planning and demand planning processes all the time. Many of these initiatives fail to deliver the results they should. Has your forecasting function fallen short of expectations? Do you struggle with “best practices” that seem incapable of producing accurate results? Continue reading

Forecasting and the Rising Tide of Big Data

“Trillions of records of millions of people…Finding the useful and right information, understanding its quality and producing reliable analyzed data in a timely and cost-effective manner are all critical issues.”

Smart Software Senior Vice President for Research Tom Willemain recently had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Mohsen Hamoudia, President of the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), to discuss current issues with, and opportunities for, big data analytics. The IIF informs practitioners on trends and research developments in forecasting via print and online publications and the hosting of professional conferences.

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Handling Extreme Supply Chain Variability at Rev-A-Shelf

Headshot of Rev-A-Shelf's John Engelhardt

John Engelhardt, Director of Purchasing and Asian Operations, Rev-A-Shelf

Does your extended supply chain suffer from extreme seasonal variability? Does this situation challenge your ability to meet service level commitments to your customers? I have grappled with this at Rev-A-Shelf, addressing unusual conditions created by Chinese New Year and other global events, and would like to share the experience and a few things I learned along the way.

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Truth in Forecasting—Practical Advice at Year’s End

Head shot of Turbide

Consultant Dave Turbide

At year’s end, we are often caught up in thinking and planning for the coming year. Did 2013 turn out the way you expected? Will 2014 be dramatically different? Are there other factors—things we are planning to do; things we think our competitors might do; outside forces like changing taste, demographics or economics—that might change the course of business in the coming year?

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A CFO’s Perspective on Demand Planning – “More Strategic Than You Think”

Head shot of NKK Switches Vice President of Finance Bud Schultz

NKK Switches Vice President of Finance Bud Schultz

Bud Schultz, CPA, Vice President of Finance for NKK Switches, presented his company’s experience with demand planning during a recent webinar. The following is a brief summary of Bud’s key points; view the complete webinar by clicking here.

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Recommended Resource: The IIF

A go-to source for info on cutting-edge forecasting research, the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) publishes journals and hosts conferences that we have relied on for decades. In this introduction, IIF Business Manager Pam Stroud gives an overview of the organization’s offerings. (Smart Software Senior Vice President for Research Tom Willemain serves on the Editorial Board of the IIF’s practitioner-oriented publication, Foresight.)

When founded in 1981, the IIF set as its goal: “Bridge the gap between theory and practice, with practice helping to set the research agenda and research providing useful results”.  The IIF keeps its members abreast of the latest trends and research in forecasting through its publications, events and website. Its members are drawn from corporations and institutes of higher learning in more than one hundred countries, and form a vibrant community for networking and professional development.

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Saving Billions? How Far the ‘Center for Innovation in Logistics Systems’ Might Take the US Army

Col. Parlier, in uniform

Dr. Greg Parlier (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired)

Contributed to The Smart Forecaster by Dr. Greg Parlier (Colonel, U.S. Army, retired). Details on Dr. Parlier’s background conclude the post.

For over two decades, the General Accounting Office (GAO) has indicated that the Defense Department’s logistics management has been ineffective and wasteful, and that the Services lack strategic plans to improve overall inventory management and supply chain performance.

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