Thoughts About Advancing Your Career in Forecasting & Planning from an IBF Member

Andrew Avery, CPF

It was spring of 1999 when I was in Parkersburg WV looking for my next opportunity in Demand Management. I had just recently become a member of the Institute of Business Forecasting (IBF), and had begun using the career center to find possibilities for a more challenging position.

Looking through the recent job postings on the IBF Jobs page, I noticed a position in Boston MA that looked interesting. I had been born in the Boston suburbs, and I had an elderly grandmother still living in the area, so the position appealed personally as well as professionally. I went through the application and interview process, and landed a very exciting position with a company in the paper industry just starting on the path to Sales and Operations Planning and in need of a “startup” Demand Manager.

Needless to say I’m a big fan of the quality of positions posted in the IBF career center.

In the 15 years or so that I’ve been a member I’ve come to appreciate the organization a great deal more as I grew my career and expanded my utilization of the offerings of the IBF. I’ve attended conferences and seminars, and learned a great deal from practitioners who were expanding the value demand management could add to an organization. I’ve created network opportunities that I value many years later.

I’ve also taken advantage of the certification opportunity with IBF, first becoming certified in 2005 and since renewing. And I’m glad I did. While my paper industry career was robust over 13 years, the economics just weren’t sustainable and I found myself looking for new opportunities again this year. As you might suspect, IBF was among my first contact points. While I haven’t found the perfect opportunity just yet, several of the more challenging director level positions I’ve sought have required CPF certification.

I strongly recommend to forecasting professionals that they consider CPF, as it’s potentially an “order winner” as you compete with a growing number of skilled Demand Managers out in the marketplace. It’s a strong differentiator in a brave new world where software looks at your resume first and a machine decides whether or not a human being touches it. Every “key word” you can add to your qualifications helps, and there are few key words more critical to high level Demand Management opportunities than “IBF” and “CPF”.

Andrew Avery
IBF Certified Professional Forecaster (CPF)

Click here to learn about IBF Certification

Click here to view IBF’s Job Board in Forecasting, Demand Planning, S&OP, and Supply Chain

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