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Spring 2013


  1. Forecasting Revenue in Professional Service Companies by Kevin Foley 
    “What will our revenue be this year?” Your firm’s financial experts will spend countless hours on this one question; it will keep the CEO, CFO, and possibly the investment advisors and shareholders working late into the night. Kevin Foley writes here that, for professional service firms, models of revenue forecasts should effectively represent the opportunities, proposals, and backlog in the sales pipeline, and not merely the judgmental projections of sales and project teams. He offers a template for constructing revenue forecasts and using them to improve organizational processes.
  2. FVA: A Reality Check on Forecasting Practices by Mike Gilliland 
    Mike Gilliland has long advocated the use of a forecast value added 
    (FVA) metric to assess the effectiveness of managerial adjustments to statistical forecasts as well as other individual phases of the forecasting process. FVA has caught on in many companies as an aid in eliminating unnecessary or even harmful actions – something for all businesses to think about.
  3. S&OP and Financial Planning by John Dougherty and Chris Gray 
    How can a company align its financial and operational plans? The key, according to John and Chris, is the S&OP process, which can supply critical monthly updates for financial planning, budgeting, investment decisions, and cash-flow management.
  4. Collaborative Forecasting: Beyond S&OP by John Mello 
    John Mello’s previous articles for Foresight have shed new light on organizational (mis-) behavior in forecasting and the cultural adaptations resulting from S&OP implementations. Now he describes the potential benefits from Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR), a process that extends the internal collaboration in S&OP to external collaboration across the supply chain.
  5. Rare Events: Limiting Their Damage Through Advances in Modeling by Gloria González-Rivera 
    Rare events such as tsunamis and avalanches often result in severe losses, but such “acts of God” have been beyond the predictive ability of our forecasting models. Advances are being made, however, in forecasting rare economic events. As Gloria tells us, the key is to account for system connectedness to single out the fragile side of an economic network, to quantify the cross-linkages among financial and other institutions, and to perform stress tests that, when credible, will be able to reduce the uncertainty associated with a potentially catastrophic event.
  6. Book Review by Tom Willemain 
    Practical Time Series Forecasting: A Hands-On Guide
    , by Galit Shmueli
  7. Megatrends and Game Changers: The US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 by Ira Sohn


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