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Fall 2013

Special Feature: Forecasting Support Systems

  • Supply Chain Forecasting & Planning: Move On from Microsoft Excel? by Sujit Singh
    Surveys of business use of forecasting support tools reveal that Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software continues to reign supreme in smaller organizations. As Sujit Singh explains, there are many virtues to this solution; however, the balance of pros and cons begins to tip as organizational size and complexity increase. Sujit provides a comprehensive examination of the efficacy of relying on Excel to support the forecasting and planning functions and then describes the gains and costs of moving up to a best-of-breed planning application.
  • Forecasting with In-Memory Technology by Tim Januschowski, Stephan Kolassa, Martin Lorenz, and Christian Schwarz


  1. The Future of Financial Forecasting along with Forecaster in the Field Interview by Jeff Mishlove
    Jeffrey Mishlove, author of The Alpha Interface series of empirical research on the financial markets, highlights five trends that have the power to alter the landscape of financial forecasting. His message is essential food for thought for all of us in the forecasting profession: only rarely is it possible – or even advisable – to stick to our tried-and-true methods of the past. It is crucial for forecasters to stay on top of advances in such areas as constantly increasing computer capability, “natural language” processing, and expanding the power and complexity of algorithms.
  2. Using Process Behavior Charts to Improve Forecasting and Decision Making by Martin Joseph and Alec Finney 
    Martin and Alec have long studied the application of statistical process control (SPC) concepts to forecasting and planning. The objective of SPC is to distinguish “normal” variation in the output of a process from a signal that the process is changing – and possibly out of control. The authors show 1) how Process Behaviour Charts (PBCs) can be created and used to good effect within S&OP and budgeting by providing context for observed changes in sales, and 2) whether they are signalling that a forecasting problem should be addressed.
  3. Book Reviews
    Demand and Supply Integration; The Key to World-Class Demand Forecasting 
    by Mark Moon – reviewed by John Mello 
    Keeping Up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding + Using
    Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport and Jinho Kim – reviewed by John Pope
  4. New Directions in Managing the Forecasting Process by Chris Gray
    Chris Gray, noted S&OP author, summarizes the most important elements of the business world’s new focus on proper management of the forecasting process.


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