The Business Forecasting Deal: Exposing Myths, Eliminating Bad Practices, Providing Practical Solutions

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9780470574430: The Business Forecasting Deal: Exposing Myths, Eliminating Bad Practices, Providing Practical Solutions

Practical-nontechnical-solutions to the problems of business forecasting

Written in a nontechnical style, this book provides practical solutions to common business forecasting problems, showing you how to think about business forecasting in the context of uncertainty, randomness and process performance.

  • Addresses the philosophical foundations of forecasting
  • Raises awareness of fundamental issues usually overlooked in pursuit of the perfect forecast
  • Introduces a new way to think about business forecasting, focusing on process efficiency and the elimination of worst practices
  • Provides practical approaches for the non-statistical problems forecasters face
  • Illustrates Forecast Value Added (FVA) Analysis for identifying waste in the forecasting process

Couched in the context of uncertainty, randomness, and process performance, this book offers new, innovative ideas for resolving your business forecasting problems.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Business Forecasting Deal
Exposing Myths, Eliminating Bad Practices, Providing Practical Solutions

"Mike Gilliland's new book is a breath of fresh air. It's simple, straightforward, easy to read, insightful—and loaded with solid, practical advice on how to improve the forecasting process in your company."

—From the Foreword by Tom Wallace

"Into a market awash in forecasting texts, each promising to be the panacea for supply chain inefficiencies and sales shortfalls, Mike Gilliland's The Business Forecasting Deal is a refreshingly objective assessment of the real costs and benefits of forecast process improvement. Above all, his book cuts to what should be at the heart of all our efforts: are the expenditures in time and money we are making in forecast improvement truly resulting in incremental profitability?"

—Jonathon Karelse, National Marketing Manager, Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc.

"A great book, unique as well. Mike Gilliland is the first person with a mission to bring 'worst practices' into the open so that forecasters can see what they are doing wrong and the price they are paying for it. Nothing can happen unless they recognize their problems, for which Mike has made a tremendous contribution."

—Dr. Chaman Jain, St. John's University; Editor, Journal of Business Forecasting

"Mike Gilliland has captured the key issues in this book, and his work, particularly on volatility and Forecast Value Added, is to be applauded."

—Martin Joseph, Managing Director, Rivershill Consulting Ltd.

"I have used Mike Gilliland's Forecast Value Added (FVA) analysis for the past year, and it has made a big difference in understanding what steps in our forecasting process are worthwhile and what steps need to be improved or eliminated. His advice on the proper way to present FVA to upper management has helped gain the confidence of the division in this analysis."

—Dave Wehling, Manager, Marketing Requirements, International Division,

The Toro Company

"Mike Gilliland provides a unique perspective on the forecasting discipline. He presents sound quantitative lessons paired with pragmatic, realistic, and effective methodologies for applying his techniques. This book is an excellent and perhaps mandatory addition to the repertoire of demand managers and supply chain management professionals alike."

—Emily Rodriguez, Supply Chain Program Manager, Intel Corporation

From the Inside Flap:

The Business Forecasting Deal
Exposing Myths, Eliminating Bad Practices, Providing Practical Solutions

Business forecasting is the ultimate no-win game. You're almost always wrong—except on those rare, random occasions where actual sales come in exactly on forecast—and you get beat up routinely for your "lousy forecasts." Against this framework, The Business Forecasting Deal turns forecasting on its head. Instead of focusing solely on statistical modeling and forecast accuracy—accuracy being largely determined by the nature of the demand you are trying to forecast—Michael Gilliland turns your attention to forecasting process efficiency and effectiveness. His unique perspective, utilizing the emerging method of Forecast Value Added (FVA) analysis, shows how organizations can meaningfully improve their performance by eliminating the "worst practices" that now sabotage and confound their forecasting efforts.

While predicting the future is a very difficult thing, there is no shortage of articles, books, consultants, and even software vendors willing to tell you (or sell you) their version of forecasting best practices. However, many of these purported "best practices" do not work—they fail to make the forecast any better. Through FVA analysis—a method that has been employed at several major corporations including Intel, AstraZeneca, Cisco, and Yokohama Tire (Canada)—The Business Forecasting Deal shows how to identify the waste and inefficiencies in the typical forecasting process. By eliminating those (surprisingly common) practices that make the forecast worse, FVA analysis is helping companies get better forecasts with less effort and less cost.

Written in a nontechnical style, this book provides practical solutions to a wide variety of business forecasting problems. It illustrates a new way to think about business forecasting in the context of uncertainty, randomness, and process performance, all within the internal political arena in which real-life forecasting is conducted. While there is no magic formula to guarantee perfect forecasts, this book will change your perspective—and improve your success—in dealing with the problems of business forecasting.

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