New issue of Supply Chain Forecasting Digest

Forecasting, planning, and supply chain management is a challenging and ever-changing profession. It is a profession where we all benefit from the experiences of each other. Why re-discover the wheel when we can collaborate?

This month's IBF Member Spotlight features David Hightower. David is with ON Semiconductor and serves as Procurement System and Data Manager. David has been involved in forecasting for 8 years. And you will find insights and suggestions from David that you will find applicable to your situation and issues.

Forecasting excellence can be a most allusive goal, but it is essential to our profession and to our careers. So, we are featuring an article about a large consumer products company that has been doing structured supply chain forecasting for more than forty years. Their experience can shed light on the factors that lead to forecasting excellence. These include process improvement, collaboration, data management, statistical forecasting, IT support, and systematic error analysis. This article relates the experiences of this company over a forty year period and the factors that made a difference in forecast quality and accuracy.

The IBF Supply Chain Forecasting & Planning Conference was held in Tempe Arizona this past February. A centerpiece of the conference was the keynote speech at the conference luncheon. The keynote address was made by Jay Jackson, the Vice President of Supply Chain at Stuller Jewelers. Jay's presentation was titled "What They Want, When They Want It." It illustrated how Stuller has utilized strategies such as Customer Intimacy, Product Leadership and Operational Efficiency to sustain a competitive advantage and compete in the Jewelers Distribution marketplace. This edition contains a summary of Jay's presentation and contains findings that you will want to know in order to improve your company's performance and use of strategy.

Forecasting can be a tough profession, and one in which it is better not to be thin-skinned. Error is always the object of criticism and finger pointing. Results count, and results in forecasting relate to accuracy and timeliness. So, this edition has an article by Eric Wilson entitled "My Dog Ate My Homework." It explores some of the excuses and behaviors adopted when forecasts are not sufficiently accurate. And more importantly, it explores how to move beyond the excuses and develop more accurate forecasts. You will not want to miss this one.

And last but not least, the edition continues with the series by Mike Gilliland on "Forecasting Worst Practices." As always, Mike shows practicality and efficiency in his approach to forecasting. As forecasters, we often over-engineer the forecasting approach and overlook the importance of simple but effective benchmarks for good forecasting practices. Mike puts us back on track using Forecasting Value Added as a framework for getting the best results with the most direct approaches. You will enjoy and learn from Mike's no-nonsense approach to developing and assessing forecasts and forecasting.

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