We're having an early spring in North Carolina. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the warmer temperatures make even a pistol whipping more enjoyable. What better way to take advantage of the new season than filling your spring with educational opportunities in forecasting.
Plan in Perfect Sync with Customer Demand (Webcast, March 22)
Predictive analytics meets Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) in this Supply Chain Leadership Series webcast brought to you by SAS and Steelwedge. Join hosts Charlie Chase, Business Enablement Manager at SAS (and author of Demand-Driven Forecasting) and E.J. Tavella, VP of North American Sales at Steelwedge, along with special guest Tom Wallace.
Tom, of course, heads the "short list" of contributors to the field of S&OP. Tom and Bob Stahl have authored the standard books and training materials on Sales and Operations Planning, as well as a darn-good (and much underappreciated) book on forecasting. I would highly recommend you pick up their Sales Forecasting: A New Approach for a fast and enlightening read on improving the forecasting process.
INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research (Chicago, April 10-12)
INFORMS is broadening its base from the core operations research and optimization crowd. This practitioner-oriented event includes a day long forecasting track, with speakers from Cisco, Ford, McDonald's, Bank of America, and Accenture.
IBF Best Practices Conference with Demand Management Forum (Dallas, May 4-6)
I'll be moderating the annual Demand Management Forum on the afternoon of May 4, in conjunction with IBF's Best Practices Conference in Dallas. This year's topics are:
Applying Demand Management
Lean Approaches to Forecasting with CPFR and FVA
We include the section on worst practices every year, to give our panelists (and the audience) a chance to confess to the mistakes they themselves have made (or have seen "a friend" commit). We have a great panel with representatives from Newell Rubbermaid, Robert Bosch, RadioShack, Avantor Materials, and Altimeter Group.
APICS and IBF present the Best of the Best S&OP Conference (Chicago, June 16-17)
This will be my first time at this event, and details on the full speaker and exhibitor lineup are coming soon. I'll be presenting "Lean Forecasting: How to get more bang for your forecasting buck" with Mark Hahn of Amway.
International Symposium on Forecasting (Prague, June 26-29)
ISF is the premier academic conference on forecasting. It provides an opportunity to hear the latest research developments from around the world, and I've found it surprisingly accessible and valuable for a practitioner such as myself. Membership in the International Institute of Forecasters (which hosts the event), includes subscriptions to both the International Journal of Forecasting, and Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting. The April-June 2011 issue of IJF includes a review of The Business Forecasting Deal by Stephan Kolassa, as does the Fall 2010 issue of Foresight by Ulrich Kusters.
If Prague is too far for your 2011 travel budget, the ISF comes to Boston in 2012 and will include several practioner sections being organized by Foresight editor Len Tashman.