Editor Len Tashman’s Preview of Foresight
The importance of trust in the dissemination of forecasts through an organization cannot be overstated. Lack of trust, due in no small measure to the biases arising from “silo mentalities” and misplaced incentives, can and too often does undermine the forecasting process. Foresight has devoted many articles to organizational biases and game playing, with warnings against tolerating such behaviors and recommendations for how to avoid and negate them. Now Sinan Gönül, Dilek Önkal, and Paul Goodwin examine the latest research into the factors that instill trust in the work of the forecast providers. Their article, “Why Should I Trust Your Forecasts?,” is followed by commentaries from forecast leaders at IBM (John Parks), Boise Paper (John Unger), and the Lego Group (Lauge Valentin) as well as an extension to supply chain partners by supply-chain specialist Ram Ganeshan.
This issue begins a new series of Forecasting Methods Tutorials with Eric Stellwagen’s introduction to “Exponential Smoothing: The Workhorse of Business Forecasting.” Providing nontechnical overviews of important methodologies and illustrating method strengths and limitations, these tutorials should enable forecasters to make more informed use of the software that supports the forecasting function.
The Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process is the infrastructure through which most companies develop, disseminate, and reconcile forecasts to guide decision making across their functional areas. S&OP gurus Bob Stahl and Tom Wallace team up once again to offer an examination of “S&OP Principles: The Foundation for Success.” Their discussion addresses the key elements of proper S&OP implementation as well as the tactics for overcoming organizational pushback.
Principles provide a guidepost—but the devil is always in the details. Amy Mansfield, Production Planning Manager at V&M Star, gives us a step-by-step set of instructions for proper implementation of an S&OP process. Her article is aptly entitled “Executive S&OP Implementation – Do It Right.”
We conclude the fall 2012 issue with Associate Editor Stephan Kolassa’s review of two new introductory forecasting textbooks. Principles of Business Forecasting is a collaborative effort of two renowned forecasting scholars, Keith Ord of Georgetown University and Robert Fildes of Lancaster University. This volume should be a valuable addition to the forecaster’s reference shelf. The second, Forecasting: Principles and Practice, is a digital text which is available free online. The authors are Rob Hyndman and George Athanasopoulos of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Rob is Editor in Chief of Foresight’s sister publication, the International Journal of Forecasting.