The increased volatility and competitiveness of today’s market has led firms to engage in collaborative forecasting and information-sharing practices in order to improve forecast accuracy. However, knowing how and when to collaborate with downstream partners remains a challenge.
“It seems that the benefits are widely touted though little substantive research exists about how to best use the mass of downstream data available to forecast more accurately”, says Metthew Weller, PhD Candidate in Management Science at the Lancaster Research Centre for Forecasting.
“At the Lancaster Centre for Forecasting we are conducting a research study to address some of the open questions in this domain, initially through a web-based survey of forecasters and demand planners.”
To be more specific, they are focusing on the following research questions:
• What forms of collaboration are companies participating in and what data is being shared by their downstream partners?
• How are firms using this information, if at all, in their forecasting process? Through statistical methods, analytics or judgement?
• How do firms cope with differing data conditions and forecasting requirements of different customers?
Matthew: “Our theory is that there is a huge amount of data available, but except for a few idealistic cases published, companies are either not able to leverage the data through their forecasting systems and rely on either a judgemental or exception management approach rather than the advanced statistical techniques available.”
In a later phase, they will look to test alternative methods of integrating downstream data into the statistical forecasting process automatically and compare accuracy with established benchmark methods.
We encourage you to take the survey at:
All respondents will be entitled to a copy of the results and their data will remain private with no details of specific cases made available. The survey should take between 15 to 20 minutes to complete and it is possible to use the save & continue option to break up the task. Subsequent follow-up interviews and case studies may be conducted with interested companies to obtain an even richer picture of the current state of the art.
Please feel free to extend this request to any colleagues or members of your network who would be suitable respondents (forecasters/demand planners at manufacturing companies), however they are only looking for one response per business unit.
If you have any further questions or wish to show an interest in participating in the study, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew via email firstname.lastname@example.org.