One of the most commonly asked questions around Demand Planning is "Who should be responsible for the forecast?" The answer is simple - key forecast data should be supplied from a number of different sources who all have responsibility for making the forecasting process effective. The main requirement is therefore COLLABORATION
There is, of course, clear onus on any Demand Planning department to coordinate the demand plan, to analyse forecast variance and to understand the art of the possible around any forecasting package, so that this sort of system is used to its full potential. Giving other business stakeholders access to actually amend system forecasts is particularly dangerous as;
The above issues will not always be the case of course, but it would be very dangerous to allow widepsread access to a bespoke forecasting package and would seriously damage the effectiveness of any such system.
But the above mentions and relates a lot to actual forecast packages. COLLABORATION is required in any forecasting process regardless of whether a company purchases specialist forecasting/replenishment packages or whether a business forecast is provided and maintained manually. And this is regardless of whether stock is purchased or manufactured, stock owned or third party replenished. So who is involved in the collaboration process? ;
In my experience, COLLABORATION improves forecast accuracy and this can only benefit affected KPIs such as service levels, stockholding costs and wastage reduction for short shelf life products. But all key players must be made aware of these business benefits and the COLLABORATION process needs to be consistent and ongoing with a common motivation to drive these improvement (not just done on a whim occasionally and reactively when an issue has arisen).
Article by Jonathan Salt on 25th April 2014