Archive for forecasting

Integrated Assortment Planning: A Vital Capability for Retailers

In today’s changing market dynamics, the retail business is getting more competitive by the day. Increasing competition by online marketplaces, along with evolving consumer expectations and shopping patterns are making the category management decisions more complex. As customers’ options increase, so do their expectations. Assortment planning decisions made by these teams need to be more dynamic and localized as manual analysis based on broad assumptions and averages do not suffice anymore. Here are the vital capabilities for surviving in the new world of retail.

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AI May take Over the World, but it won’t Improve Forecasting

But before AI does take over the world, can supply chain practitioners use AI and cognitive computing technologies to improve supply chain operations? Don’t hold your breath.

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IBM Continues to Improve their Supply Chain Control Towers

IBM manages more than $30 billion a year as part of its supply chain, with thousands of supply chain managers and analysts worldwide. IBM is using Watson and huge troves of weather and location data – IBM acquired The Weather Company last year – to improve their supply chain risk management program.

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The Unbiased Forecast

I’ve been interviewing supply chain executives at consumer goods manufacturers to learn how they are using downstream data. A key focus area for these executives is using this data to improve the accuracy of their demand forecasts. A couple of the executives I interviewed raised an interesting point about forecasting that I don’t remember coming across before: the importance of having an unbiased forecast. Forecasts, by their very nature, are rarely completely accurate. Historically, most […]

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The Semiconductor Industry Struggles with Forecasting

Achieving robust forecasts is very difficult, if not impossible, in some industries. This is particularly true for companies in the semiconductor industry, which is very volatile because of its speed of innovation. Moore’s Law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware, in which the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years (equivalent to about 30 percent cost reductions per year). This […]

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S&OP is Not a Supply Chain Process!

So says Peter Skurla, the man credited with coining the phrase “Sales & Operations Planning” and a principal at Oliver Wight, the consulting organization most strongly associated with expertise in S&OP.  Over my years of covering supply chain management, several companies have told me how helpful “Ollie Wight” has been in helping them get to a better S&OP process. In a conversation with Peter, he made the point that if you want to have supply […]

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