[ Q ] Do you have any research/survey data regarding where to place the forecasting function? I have a client who is in the process of migrating to the S&OP process and wants to decide where to put it. They do not want it within Supply Chain, and are looking for a data-supported alternative. Anything you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

[ A ] Based on an IBF survey, most companies house their forecasting function within Supply Chain (49%), followed by Sales. The reason may very well be that forecasts are used most by the Supply Chain. Further, data shows that forecasting error is the lowest when they have it within Marketing (16.30%), and highest in Supply Chain (26.32%).  You read more on the relationship between different departments and forecast error in IBF’s research report, ‘The Impact of People and Processes on Forecast Error in S&OP’.

[Ed: You can find all of IBF’s research reports here.]


Happy forecasting,

Dr. Chaman Jain,

St. John’s University