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Spring 2018

Special Feature: Supply Chain Forecasting: Choosing Service-Level Targets

This special feature addresses the very critical matter of how a company should determine its service-level targets, or the probability that no shortages occur between the time you order more stock of the item and when it arrives on the shelf. The two articles in this section—Tom Willemain’s Choosing and Achieving a Target Service Level and Shaun Snapp’s How Should a Company Set Service Levels? Perception vs. Reality—show that problems in setting proper targets lie in (a) the inherent complexity of the challenge; (b) unrealistic modeling assumptions; (c) difficulties in implementing software applications that model the relationships between service levels and inventory costs; and, perhaps most tellingly, (d) the reliance in many companies on misperceptions about service-level goals and misalignment across functional areas on what the targets should be.


  1. Bridging the Distributor into a Collaborative Demand-and-Supply Planning Process by Can Eksoz and Dilek Önkal
    This article argues that, in the principles we’ve created for supply-chain collaborations, the focus has been on manufacturers and retailers while largely ignoring the distributors who often provide the critical link between these two. They show that distributors face a unique set of challenges in that both upstream (manufacturer) and downstream (retailer) actions can interfere with their demand-and-supply plans. The authors present a model for Bridging the Distributor into a Collaborative Demand-and-Supply Planning Process. Also included is a Forecaster in the Field, Interview with Dr. Can Eksoz.
  2. The Future of Work in the United States: Projections of Occupational Employment to 2026 by Ira Sohn
    The changes that technology will bring to the employment landscape of our economy is a clear message in the new job projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Long- Range Forecasting Editor Ira Sohn examines the BLS findings and methodology


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