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Sales Forecasting A New Approach Paperback – January 1, 2002
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From the Inside Flap
Some years ago a colleague of ours, Ollie Wight, was teaching a public seminar. An early part of the session was devoted to self introductions by the attendees. Heres what happened when a marketing vice president introduced himself:
Marketing V.P.: "Hi, Im Joe Smith, Im the V.P. of Marketing with Ajax Widgets."
Ollie Wight: "Im not familiar with the widget business. Whos your competition?"
Marketing V.P.: "Manufacturing"
At the time we thought it was humorous. But weve encountered this kind of situation too many times to think its just a funny story. Its too widespread.
Jim Burlingame, formerly Executive Vice President at Twin Disc company in Racine, WI, claimed "Ninety-five percent of all marketing-manufacturing relationships are adversarial." Jims number may not have been accurate to four decimal places; maybe the percentage is 88 or 98.6. But Jims point was right in the mark: The "national average" is that people on the commercial side of the business Marketing and Sales normally do not have warm, friendly, supportive relationships with the folks in Operations Manufacturing, Purchasing, Materials, Logistics. An vice versa.
Why is this so? Why do these people hassle each other instead of devoting their time and mental energies to serving the customers? Well, theres a lot of reasons: functional silo organizations, misaligned performance measurements, left-brain vs right-brain personalities, unenlightened leadership that pits one group against the other, and oh yes not soing the forecasting job well. This includes lack of accountability, poor forecasting processes, dealing with too much detail, and unclear objectives.
This last issue not dong the forecasting job well is what this book aims to fix. We hope it helps companies make things beter on the forecasting front. Doing a better job of forecasting can help the individual company increase its customer service (order fill), reduce inventories, run the plants better, and last but certainly not least sell more product. But there are implications far beyond that.
First, we believe that the New Economy does exist. Things are different today. We can have good growth, high employment, and low inflation all at the same time. And while we havent completely eliminated the business cycle (yet), we have dampened its ups and downs by more than a little bit. Better business processes Total Quality, Sales & Operations Planning, Lean Manufacturing, Enterprise Resource Planning, Just-In-Time, and others have contributed enormously to this.
Second, better sales forecasting processes can help not only the individual firm, they also can have a beneficial effect on the economy as a whole as they take hold widely throughout industry. As a large number of manufacturing enterprises get better and better at forecasting, the New Economy will work even better, productivity will continue to increase, inventories will lean out even more, and the business cycle will be dampened further.
There are three themes that play throughout this book.
Emphasize Teamwork, Not Formulas
Forecast Less, Not More
Focus on Process Improvement, Not Forecast Accuracy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tom Wallace is the author of eight books including Sales and Operations Planning: The How-To Handbook. He is co-founder of The S&OP Teaching Team.
Bob Stahl has spent the last 30 years on leading edge processes for logistics and supply chain management. He is founding partner of Supply Chain Partnership. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I have recommended this book to upper level management and to demand planners at our other plants. I most certainly recommend this book highly to everyone.