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Best Practices in Demand Management & Forecasting

Estimating future demand is a crucial yet challenging business process to ensure the company successfully grasp every single business opportunity in the market. Combining fast pace of economic growth and changes of life style in US, demand planners are more challenged with increased uncertainties of market demand. To achieve accurate demand planning and forecasting, demand planners are required to combine the forecasting science with effective judgment on both internal and external factors. This is not an easy task.   This two-day business-forecasting workshop covers the fundamentals of demand management and planning, including roles/responsibilities and accountabilities, definitions, process flows, levels, timing and horizons, technologies, and mechanics. We will explore best and worst practices companies are applying today; ‘demystify’statistical forecast methodology and models using Excel and then discuss the applicability of these models to SAP APO DP, JDA Manugistics and i2, ForecastPRO and other systems. Special time has been allocated to discuss exception-driven forecast tools and management techniques that direct attention of forecast managers to the issues that need to be addressed before publishing new forecast to the S&OP process. The training design accommodates discussion and idea sharing among participants as well as hands-on practice in MS Excel.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

The hands-on training course is specifically designed to address key issues in the minds of those with management and executive responsibilities and those who work alongside them. Attendees will hear real world lessons learned that will enable better decision making when they are back in their offices. Group activities and discussions offer more in-depth look into forecasting and planning. Extra time is devoted to hands-on segments of workshop to demonstrate forecasting concepts and their applicability. The overview of Best and Worst Forecasting practices is designed to demonstrate real life situations we have experienced first-hand as line-managers and when helping our clients to reach their objectives.

Who should attend?

This Workshop is Designed for Directors, Managers and Analysts Responsible for: Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), Forecasting / Planning, Demand Planning/Demand Management & Operations, Inventory & Demand Planning, New Product Forecasting, Materials Management, Allocation and Planning, Load Forecasting, Strategic Planning, Production Planning, Product Life-Cycle, Merchandizing, Retail Collaboration

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Module 1: Keys to successful forecasting process and function

·  Problems and Needs

·  Goals and Objectives

·  Coordination and Leadership

·  Process Management

·  Forecast Model Development

·  Communication with Participants and Users

·  Four Forecasting Process Approaches

·  Independent

·  Concentrated

·  Consensus

·  One Number

·  Myths About Forecasting

·  Silo Forecasting Impact on Organization


Module 2: Data patterns and demand variability

·  The Bullwhip Effect

·  Demand Variability and the Methods to Minimize It

·  Recognition of Data Patterns

·  What kind of problems to look for in the data and how to treat them


Module 3: Inputs and outputs of demand plan

·  Profit Potential

·  Risk Management Input

·  Operations Planning


Module 4: Forecasting models: Qualitative / Quantitative

·  How much data to use for different statistical models

·  Subjective assessment models overview


Module 5: Time series models

·  Inherent assumptions

·  When time series work and when they don’t

·  Time series elements: Level, Trend, Seasonality, Cyclicality, Noise


Module 6: Cause and effect models

·  Regression models

·  When to use regression models

·  Steps in development

·  Key assumptions


Module 7: Minimizing forecasting error

·  Forecast error metrics

·  Uses of forecast error measures

·  Sources of error

·  Error analysis, communication and remediation

·  Exception driven forecasting process

·  Relationship between MAPE / Bias, Customer Service and Inventory KPIs


Module 8: New product forecasting

·  New product success and error rates

·  New product success and failure factors

·  Issues to consider when developing new product forecasts

·  Qualitative and Quantitative methods used in new product forecasting 


Module 9: Promotions forecast

·  Promotions forecast error rates

·  Manage the process for unplanned and abnormal demand

·  Factors, issues, and considerations in developing romotions forecasts

·  Cannibalization impact of promotions on base / open stock SKUs


Module 10: Worst forecast practices summary and discussion

·  Worst practices in the mechanics of forecasting

·  Worst practices in forecasting process


Module 11: Best forecasting practices summary

·  Forecasting process

·  Data collection and analysis

·  Methods and models

·  Software and systems

·  Communications & People


Benefits to you

· Develop and refine methods and processes to link forecasting to the growth of revenue

· Master the skill to “sell” demand planning to your organization through higher inventory turns and higher customer service

· Leverage on the value of internal and external collaboration that leads to more accurate forecasts

· Enhance your knowledge of statistical concepts that are fully applicable to all forecasting software packages and systems

· Learn ways to incorporate the market intelligence into statistical forecasting

· Analyze patterns in data and gain understanding of data cleansing methodologies that lead to better statistical base line forecasts

· Interpret level, trend and seasonality changes to develop more accurate forecasts

· Acquire knowledge of how to setup the Exception Driven forecasting process that improves the utilization of your resources

· Learn from practical examples – Explore the Best & Worst Practices in Forecasting

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

2 Day Course

Course details

TBA, 2013

For more information about this course and upcoming course dates, please contact Emily Jones at or call 312.540.3000 ext 6714

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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or


"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac