Guest Blogger: Len Tashman Previews Winter 2011 Issue of Foresight


The Winter 2011 issue of Foresight is now available. Here is Editor Len Tashman's preview:

This issue of Foresight—our 20th since the journal’s genesis in 2005—begins with a new feature, Joe and Simon Sez. Joe is Joe Smith of Dean Foods and author of three valuable Foresight articles on forecast process design and management. Simon Clarke, Director of Forecasting for Coca-Cola North America, has also graced these pages with his knowledge of forecasting processes and the challenges of process reform. Joe and Simon worked together for many years at Coca-Cola Enterprises. Now they partner up to spar over ways to deal with forecasting concerns and problems. The subject of this first column: Who Should Own the Business Forecasting Function? Joe leans toward Sales. Simon wants a stand-alone, independent forecasting group. And there’s the bell for Round One….

Foresight welcomes back David Orrell for a book review of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by distinguished economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. As investors, why do we repeatedly expose ourselves to imprudent risk but believe that, despite all the evidence, somehow the results this time will be rewarding? The book, David says, is essential reading for anyone who wants to put the recent financial crisis into historical perspective – and get some ideas about how to prevent the next one.

Inventory specialists all know their ABCs for classifying items (SKUs) by importance to the company and have implemented various rules for replenishing stocks of items in each class. But this issue’s Supply-Chain Forecasting feature, Classification for Forecasting and Inventory, reveals that what may work well for optimizing inventories does not necessarily facilitate the forecasting function. Authors Aris Syntetos, John Boylan, and Ruud Teunter provide an enlightening new perspective on the roles of classification and present an approach that combines inventory and forecast-modeling objectives.

Roy Pearson’s Forecasting Intelligence column looks into Forecasting Future Technology. Roy is enthusiastic about TechCast, a new Internet source of forecasts of technological innovations in seven important fields, including manufacturing, medical, and transportation. The TechCast site offers valuable insights about the likely timing for the adoption of many strategic technological innovations and provides a quick way of assembling reports about multiple technologies, with documented evidence and quantified estimates.

Alec Finney and Martin Joseph describe how to go about Getting Your Forecasting and Planning Fundamentals Right. Their three-phase process is built on an internal audit (“How good do we think we are?”), a benchmarking procedure (“In reality, how good are we?”), and prioritization of new investments (“How good should we strive to become?”). The sky is much too high a limit when it comes to new investments in the forecasting process, so it is critical to do a careful cost-benefit comparison of the opportunities for process upgrades.

Sales and Operations Planning specialists John Mello and Bob Stahl get together to explore How S&OP Changes Corporate Culture: Results from Interviews with Seven Companies. They found that, in the aftermath of S&OP implementation, these organizations saw improved interdepartmental collaboration, more openness and trust, more data-driven decision making, and increased satisfaction with many areas of company performance.

Our issue concludes with a tribute to Peter Kennedy, whose A Guide to Econometrics, now in its 6th edition, has been a bible of good modeling and forecasting practice for more than thirty years. Peter passed away unexpectedly this past summer, a loss to our profession and for us at Foresight, where he served as author, reviewer, and member of the Editorial Board. Antonio Garcia-Ferrer offers a personal remembrance of Peter’s life and accomplishments.


About Author

Mike Gilliland

Product Marketing Manager

Michael Gilliland is a longtime business forecasting practitioner and formerly a Product Marketing Manager for SAS Forecasting. He is on the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Forecasters, and is Associate Editor of their practitioner journal Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting. Mike is author of The Business Forecasting Deal (Wiley, 2010) and former editor of the free e-book Forecasting with SAS: Special Collection (SAS Press, 2020). He is principal editor of Business Forecasting: Practical Problems and Solutions (Wiley, 2015) and Business Forecasting: The Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Wiley, 2021). In 2017 Mike received the Institute of Business Forecasting's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2021 his paper "FVA: A Reality Check on Forecasting Practices" was inducted into the Foresight Hall of Fame. Mike initiated The Business Forecasting Deal blog in 2009 to help expose the seamy underbelly of forecasting practice, and to provide practical solutions to its most vexing problems.

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