The Global Neighborhood of demand planners and forecasting professionals is coming together. Conversations and discussions are happening throughout the world and answers/ comments to common challenges are being addressed in forums. Since 1981, the IBF has educated and trained this community through publications, events, newsletters , membership benefits and certification. Now more than ever, professionals with a common interest are listening and being heard through social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.
A few weeks ago, two discussions on the IBF Linkedin group began to swell and became quite popular in the weeks to follow. This led me to ask two of our long time supporters and seasoned practitioners to participate in a webcast, which aired live on June 3rd and will be available shortly on demand. Mark Lawless, a Senior Consultant for the IBF spoke on Improving Forecasting Performance in Order to Improve the Quality of Business Decisions and Jeff Marthins of TastyKake put his own CSI twist on S&OP, a case study.
The overall message put forth by the webcast was that forecasting is where success in business all begins. Our two presenters showed the importance of having the right forecasting model and the right team in place to stand behind the forecast which can ultimately result in greater chance for success. By now we have all heard that upper management support for the Sales and Operations Planning process is key. However, Jeff also pointed out that having a champion to carry out the process is also just as important. Plus, bring the right data to the meeting is crucial as well.
It takes work and effort to support what you do and what you believe in. A community that faces the same challenges and engages those issues collaboratively can be motivational and can help overcome obstacles. Learning and sharing ideas can help prevent another lesson learned of Failed S&OP. The old saying goes: “If you are a forecaster you will always be wrong.” I would like to think forecasting morphed into something more sophisticated, providing the best answer, supported by an educated group, that drives quality in making a business decision.
See for yourself! Download the slide deck from the Mini Tutorial here.
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