Journal of Business Forecasting Fall 2013

Volume 32 Issue 3
Fall 2013

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“How to Use What-If Analysis in Sales and Operations Planning”
By Sujit K. Singh and Jane B. Lee

In uncertain markets, what-if analysis is a must for demand and supply planning. The authors show how to use it by discussing a number of case studies, and the way to determine their impact. To make the most of this analysis, one has to go beyond standard technologies and use the one that is specific to this type of analysis.

“S&OP: An Opportunity to Lead from the Middle”
By John Hobby and Amy Jaeger

Based on their experience, the authors describe in detail how to develop and implement a robust S&OP process. To develop it, you need buy-in from upper management, support from all other stakeholders, clearly defined goals and a plan to achieve them, and deadlines when the project will start rolling and begin yielding benefits. It is a long, drawn-out process, but patience, persistence, and hard work will pay off in the end.

“Supply’s Demand-Shaping Roles”
By Larry Lapide

This column deals with demand-shaping activities, the primary responsibility of marketing and sales managers. However, while not responsible for demand-shaping per se, supply chain managers should play two important roles. The first of these is ensuring that supply is in place to meet all anticipated future demand. The second, often overlooked by these managers, is advocating that demand-shaping be done with supply in mind. The second role involves a better alignment of demand with potential available supply, and is aimed at maximizing profitability, in contrast to just maximizing revenues.

“Forecasting Challenges of the Spare Parts Industry”
By Michael Morris

Forecasting the demand for spare parts is very much different from finished goods. The author describes the unique problems that occur when forecasting spare parts, and how to best deal with them. He also discusses SKU proliferation as well as the legal obligations that accompany forecasting spare parts.

“Sales & Operations Planning: Sales’ Insight in the Planning Process”
By Andrew S. McCall

Sales input is the key to the success of an S&OP process. The author explains in detail how to use it and why. To make the process robust, we need executive support, sales team engagement, leverage, and accountability. The best way to leverage the input of Sales is to focus on the goals they are pursuing, and making transparent their input as well as ensuring they are adding value.

“Answers to Your Forecasting Questions”
By Chaman L. Jain, St. John’s University

“In a Stagflation Phase from Lack of Private Investment”
By Evangelos Otto Simos, Ph.D.

“The U.S. Economy…A Challenging Recovery… Sidestepping into the End of the Year”
By Jack Malehorn


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The Journal of Business Forecasting (JBF) has been providing jargon-free articles on how to improve demand planning, forecasting, supply chain, and S&OP, step-by-step for over 30 years. A subscription to the JBF comes with IBF membership at no additional cost.