Forecast Solutions

Demand Planning and Forecasting Workshop (2 days / 14 hrs)

Overview

The first day of this demand planning course is close in content to the 1 day Introduction to Sales Forecasting, giving a sound background to the various approaches to demand forecasting and a selection of the more common methods.  In the second day some additional forecasting methods are introduced, together with guidance on the selection and calibration of forecasting models.  Methods for forecast accuracy measurement are discussed.  The course also covers stock policy, calculation of safety stocks and role of demand planning within a typical S&OP process.

Course level:

Basic or Intermediate

Price:

Please request a fixed price quotation by email or through the form here, giving the number of delegates.  Courses are currently delivered online only , usually through the Zoom platform, and are hosted throughout by the expert trainer / consultant.

Course Dates:

Courses are arranged for individual companies in order that they can be tailored to give the most relevant content and best experience for the delegates.  Dates are simply agreed by Forecast Solutions and the participating company.  Bookings are a provisional only until payment for the course has been received. 

Who should attend:

The two day workshop is suitable for those looking to gain an in-depth understanding of processes as well as methods for demand planning and sales forecasting.  It is attended by people from a wide range of job roles in areas such as demand planning, marketing, operations, supply chain and purchasing.  Delegates come from many different industry sectors spanning consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, high tech, financial sevices and industrial sectors.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of a wide range of forecasting methods for demand forecasting over the short term and medium term horizons.

  • Understanding of how a suitable forecasting model can be chosen and it's parameters calibrated.

  • Appreciation of how the company can manage the uncertainty of demand and prepare to deal with abnormal demand.

  • Sufficient insight to support consideration of potential improvements to the company's existing methods and procedures.

Typical Course Content:

  1. The role of demand planning in this and other organisations.  Alternative approaches to demand forecasting including subjective methods, causal analysis and time series projection.

  2. The importance of a good seasonal analysis.  Some simple methods for the calculation of seasonal indices in stationary and non-stationary data.  Checking the validity of the seasonal pattern.

  3. Understanding the key factors that drive the business.  The use of causal analysis to investigate and quantify the effect on demand of causal factors such as price, weather and economic indices.

  4. Curve fitting as a way of projecting the sales trend.  This covers straight line fitting plus a few other basic methods that are available in Excel.  Choosing between different types of curve and measuring goodness of fit.

  5. Explanation and illustration of the use of moving averages in forecasting, including situations with intermittent sales.

  6. Example of simple exponential smoothing and related methods available to include a linear trend in the projection. 

  7. Explanation of further developments in exponential smoothing including the new Forecast Sheet tool in Excel.

  8. Practical approaches to the difficult issues around forecasting for new products and new business.  Dealing with product succession.

  9. If promotions are a feature in the company's business, coverage of some practical methods for dealing with promotions.  The need to cleanse historical data of promotions prior to statistical forecasting.

  10.  The purpose of forecast accuracy measurement and the most effective measures to use.  A worked example illustrating the usual methods.

  11. Explanation of some further forecasting methods and how a suitable forecasting model can be chosen from the wide range of options available.

  12. Setting inventory policy in terms of the timing and size of stock replenishment orders.  Calculation of safety stocks for fast moving and slow moving items.  Forecasting and planning for intermittent demand.

  13. Calculation of a stock development plan in conditions of infinite supply or constrained supply.  Management of abnormal demand.

  14. Forecasting in the context of a sales and operations planning process.  Considerations around forecasting for the medium term as opposed to short term horizon.

  15. If the company operates in a consumer goods market, the availability of EPOS data and its potential use in forecasting and planning.

  16. The six steps in a typical sales forecasting process and consideration of best practice in forecasting process for the specific company.  Reconciling alternative versions of the forecast.

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Alternative forecasting courses

For those looking for a more basic introduction there is the 1 day Introduction to Sales Forecasting course and for those who specifically wish to consider using Excel for forecasting there is the Forecasting in Excel Course (1.5 days).  Please visit the main Training Page for a summary of all our demand planning and forecasting training.