Editor Len Tashman's Preview of Foresight
For a look at articles in the Spring issue of Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting, here is editor Len Tashman's preview:
Kevin Foley is an IIF–Certified Forecaster with over 15 years of consultant experience in defense and aerospace companies. Drawing on this background and experience, Kevin guides us through the maze of Forecasting Revenue in Professional Service Companies. The key is understanding the contractual pipeline from beginning to end – from the identification of new opportunities to client billing – and making careful estimates for the probability, timing, and value of new and existing contracts.
Mike Gilliland [yes, that is me] has long advocated the use of forecast value added (FVA) to determine if each component aspect of the forecasting process is working to add value (improve accuracy) – or actually worsening it. In FVA: A Reality Check on Forecasting Practices, Mike reviews the logic behind FVA and tells us how it is being applied in four companies.
Our section on S&OP this issue has two superb discussions. In S&OP and Financial Planning, John Dougherty and Chris Gray, the authors of S&OP: Best Practices (2006), lend their insight and expertise to show how constant comparison and reconciliation between operating and financial plans in the S&OP process can help keep each functional area attuned to contribute to a firm’s overall objectives.
Then, for businesses with an effective S&OP process already in place, John Mello’s article Collaborative Forecasting: Beyond S&OP examines the benefits a firm can reap by collaborating with supply-chain partners to share forecasts and replenishment plans, as well as manufacturing and merchandising strategies. But John notes that Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) isn’t a free lunch, and he lays bare key obstacles in its implementation.
We read over and over again about "black swans", an extreme form of rare events that, while very unlikely to occur, can cause great upheaval if they do. In Rare Events: Limiting Their Damage Through Advances in Modeling, Gloria González-Rivera summarizes the state of the art in the forecasting of rare events and recommends strategies to mitigate the damages if they recur.
We asked Tom Willemain to have a look at a new forecasting text, Practical Time Series Forecasting: A Hands-On Guide, by Galit Shmueli of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Tom did so, and found that the book is “a little gem” suitable not just for the classroom; he calls it a wonderful “leave behind” to help corporate forecasters-in-training understand the basics of time-series forecasting. Get all the details in Tom’s review.
The Spring 2013 issue concludes with Ira Sohn’s assessment of the latest National Intelligence Council report, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.” The report identifies four megatrends and six game changers that, in various combinations, create four possible or potential worlds for the year 2030. For those of you who plan to be around 17 years from now, it’s compelling stuff.