Mike Gilliland

Mike Gilliland

My thanks to Constance Korol for the invitation to guest-blog on IBF’s site. It is quite the pleasure to follow Tom Wallace, one of my favorite thought-leaders in the field, and a true giant in S&OP (even if not a true giant in stature). If you are one of the few people in this profession who has not met Tom or his colleague and frequent co-author Bob Stahl, I encourage you to pick up one of their books or attend one of their seminars. Tom will be speaking at the IBF/APICS Best of the Best S&OP Conference in Chicago, June 18-19.

I wanted to report on a recent event, IBF’s 7th annual Consumer Products & Retail Forecasting Forum, held April 29 at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. I’ve had the chance to moderate this event every year, and it is interesting to observe the unique “group personality” that each Forum develops. This year was probably my favorite. Even in tough economic times we had a nice group of 30 attendees spanning a wide range of industries such as food & beverage, footwear & apparel, household goods, and manufacturing. (It is still rare to find a true retailer at forecasting and planning conferences, as these functions continue to emerge in that industry.) The smaller group size actually helped audience engagement and interaction with the Forum panel.

This year’s panel featured long time acquaintances and frequent IBF speakers Curtis Brewer of Bayer Cropscience, Scott Roy of Wells Dairy, and Richard Herrin of Tredegar Film Products. Two new panelists adding valuable contributions were Todd Gallant, Director of Planning at Timberland, and William Hardy, Director of Forecasting & Production Planning at Carhartt. Curtis set up the forum’s most incongruous moment, introducing us to a new product line of gigantic “teabags” to be used for nurturing new tree and shrub plantings.

We are already looking forward to next year’s Forum and the recruitment of panelists. If you have thoughts on Forum topics, or would be willing to serve as a panelist, please contact me (mike.gilliland@sas.com) or Constance or Anish at IBF. Meantime, please find more on my full time blog The Business Forecasting Deal.

Mike Gilliland
Product Marketing Manager
SAS Institute
Email: mike.gilliland@sas.com
Blog: The Business Forecasting Deal