Highlights from IBF Orlando


Last week I had the pleasure of attending (with six of my SAS colleagues) the IBF's Best Practices Forecasting Conference in Orlando. Some of the highlights:

Worst Practices RoundtableIn addition to the SCB interviews, Charlie and I hosted roundtable discussions, and delivered regular sessions (mine co-presented with Erin Marchant of Moen).

  • The "worst practices" roundtable had participants confessing their forecasting sins -- or at least reporting ones committed by "friends" or colleagues.

Erin Marchant did a fabulous job at our "Applying Forecast Value Added at Moen" presentation. While they are still early in their FVA efforts, she shared some extremely valuable insights from Moen's journey:

  • FVA analysis takes the emotion out of forecast discussions
    • Data now supports the conversation about how to improve the process
  • Sometimes you can't do better than the naive forecast
    • FVA helps you focus your forecast improvement efforts in the right places
  • FVA is a measure of your forecast process
    • NOT an "us vs. them" proposition
    • NOT a catapult to throw others "under the bus"
    • NOT an excuse to create the sales forecast in a silo
  • FVA starts a conversation that improves your forecasting process!

Erin also noted that because of FVA:

  • We are able to better pinpoint the causes of forecast error and start dialogues about those parts of our process.
  • We are able to begin conversations about our supply chain structure that could lead to more accurate demand signals and better service for our customers.

Learn more in Erin's prior interview on the IBF blog, and in her forthcoming SupplyChainBrain interview.

Receiving pillow from Eric Wilson of Tempur SealySpecial Thanks

Thanks to Eric Wilson of Tempur Sealy and the folks at Arkieva, who contributed the Tempur-Cloud® Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow that I won in the raffle at Eric's session.

My long-term forecast is for good sleeping.

Stephanie MurrayAnd as always, IBF's Director of Strategic Relationships, Partnerships, Memberships, & Events, Stephanie Murray gave SAS the royal treatment. For me personally, this included a stash of M&Ms (brown ones removed per contract), and mini-Tobasco sauce with every meal.

Stephanie's energy and behind-the-scenes organization are a huge (and under-appreciated) part of the success of these events.



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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