By all means use forecasting time fences. And by all means violate your time fences.

A time fence is a defined period in which the forecast should not be changed. An item's forecasting time fence often mirrors the item's planning or sourcing lead time. If it takes two months from when an item is ordered to when it's received into inventory, there's logic in not changing the forecast within that two-month period, since a change to the forecast will have no impact on the item's availability.…

The Value of Collaborative Forecasting

Some vendors of forecasting software go out of their way to envelop forecasting in a geeky, esoteric, statistical fog. 

When you set out to forecast sales, are you really trying to decompose time series into level, trend and seasonality? Is your aim to detect null and alternative hypotheses in tests of autocorrelation? No. The true goal of any sales forecasting exercise is to forecast human…

S&OP: Should the Budgeting Process Ever End?

A personal survey of 200 randomly-selected companies confirmed that 161 of those companies operate on fiscal calendars that begin in January. 

It’s a safe assumption then that the majority of U.S. businesses can finally hear "Auld Lang Syne" playing faintly in the background as the seemingly endless process of constructing the annual budget nears its end.

I hate to ruin the party,…

Uncommon-Sense Approach to Forecasting

The Old Farmer’s Almanac -- a new version of which is published each September -- provides a solid year’s worth of reliable, though safely vague, regional weather forecasts.

Even more admirable than the accuracy of the Almanac’s forecasts is the disclaimer with which its predictions are tempered:

“We believe nothing in the universe occurs haphazardly; there is a cause-and-effect…

3 Tips for Managing the Dr. Oz Effect

We're the curmudgeons who grouse in the shadows as the latest sales windfall is celebrated. While our colleagues gleefully exchange high fives to celebrate an unprecedented sale, we bury our heads in despair at the burden of fulfilling our customers’ hopes and our salesmen’s promises.

All kidding aside, unforeseen spikes in demand are a fact of life for forecasters and planners. But few…