Sandeep Karkera

Sandeep Karkera

As I consider the evolution of the role demand planning and forecasting has gone through over the years and what the future may hold for the involved professionals, I can’t help but think we could be on the cusp of a renaissance.

Last month, I was truly delighted to be part of the prestigious IBF Conference in Dubai for the second year in a row. I learned many new things from a large group of well-known experts participating in the event.

It was heartening to witness company representatives speak publicly of their problem areas and the barriers common to most businesses. Understanding the challenges and trends in industry can be difficult. If one is to keep pace with this dynamic environment, then it has to be through peer to peer networking. What better way to achieve this than in the company of industry pioneers willing to share their experiences and the pitfalls faced by their company in particular, and the industry as a whole.

One of the themes we heard consistently throughout this year’s conference was the constant struggle to update, streamline, and manage change in a company’s S&OP process. Any change in demand, supply, capacity issues, evolving product life cycles, etc., is extremely difficult to predict, assess and respond to in the absence of well trained and experienced demand planners and forecasters.

The IBF conference offered an excellent opportunity for learning of industry changes through real case studies and shared experiences. The conference also offered research based workshops and access to IBF’s extensive benchmarking research. It’s a brilliant platform to garner market support or work to change the current dynamics of the market to achieve company initiatives. Updates on the latest technological advancements were explored through discusions regarding specific business requirements with IT professionals. This was an exceptional opportunity for peer networking and to gain knowledge in the many areas related to demand planning and forecasting.

I personally admire IBF’s passion and continued support of the demand planning and forecasting fraternity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire IBF team for a successful learning experience. I’m confident that the attendees gained useful knowledge that will be of value to them in the future. I am sure they will continue to attend this event in the future and be part of the IBF success story.

Pictures from the IBF Dubai Conference:  CLICK HERE

Sandeep Karkera
Demand Planning Manager 
Heinz Africa & Middle East FZE