Lean Principles in Forecasting

Even a well thought-out forecasting process can be wasteful if it is not done properly. The application of lean principles is relatively new to Forecasting, even though it is something we have been doing for years without recognizing it.

Any activity that does not create value for the consumer may be defined as wasteful, according to John Gallucci, Senior Director of Supply Chain at Nice-Pak Inc., after his Lean Forecasting & Planning presentation at IBF’s recent Business Forecasting & Planning Academy @ 2 Levels.

He and his attendees targeted those activities for elimination, shared tools to assess where waste exists in their companies, and were able to provide an unending list of examples in their current processes, such as duplicate activities, manual processes, time spent on low-priority items and internal politics.

“We must take a more holistic view when targeting the elimination of waste in the Forecasting process”, says Gallucci.

“It exists in our processes, policies, and systems. It is an unwieldy enemy that transcends functions and requires change management practices. Eliminating waste from Forecasting requires continuous improvement techniques that by definition never reach an end-state.”

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