Raise a Toast to Digital Business!

By Lora Cecere digital business1 1024x810 Raise a Toast to Digital Business!

It is the week before Thanksgiving in the United States, and as a good Yank, I am reflective. I am giving thanks. I started this blog in 2010. Today, 270 posts and five years later, I am thankful for the opportunity to sit at my kitchen table and communicate to almost 20,000 supply chain professionals globally (directly through this blog and through connections on Linkedin). I am in awe of what is possible today.

No doubt about it, we live in a digital age in our personal lives.… READ MORE

How to reduce data Complexity for Supply chain analytics

By Haresh Gopalan cube for bom resized 600 How to reduce data Complexity for Supply chain analytics

By Haresh Gopalan and Jeff Keene. Supply chain analytics requires expertise both in the subject matter as well as in the tools. The challenges, in particular around data wrangling, require deep understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities.

An example of this can be found in one technique that we use in network design, which can also be applied in other areas where this type of data is used such as inventory optimization transportation planning and risk assessment. Supply chain network design involves decisions around the number and location of facilities: plants, warehouses, and supplier base and how products flow through them from raw materials to finished products.… READ MORE

Uber Gets the Buzzfeed Treatment

Recently a dipshit editor named Ben Smith over at Buzzfeed ambushed Uber executive Emil Michael by taking out of context something Michael said at a private dinner and publishing it under a misleading headline.

It was such a clever ambush that Emil Michael couldn't hope to explain himself without inflaming things further. So he wisely issued a half-assed non-apology-sort-of-apology to make it all go away.

But he's stained. That stuff lives forever on the Internet. It was a total hit job and Buzzfeed pulled it off.… READ MORE

Financial Advice from the Fed Chair

By Jeff Speakes

In two recent speeches Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen has highlighted issues of personal finance. In each case she referred to results from the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), the most recent version of which (2013) was released just last month. In September, Chairman Yellen commented on the meager levels of wealth for families in the bottom quintile of the wealth distribution. The average net worth reported by the bottom fifth was just $6,400 in 2013.… READ MORE

Proactive Threat Assessment and Risk Mitigation

By Mary McAtee container ship offloading Proactive Threat Assessment and Risk Mitigation Contingency Planning Proactive Threat Assessment and Risk Mitigation

Maybe it is because I am a New Yorker and lived through both 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy but I have an ingrained set of memories related to both events. I remember the scramble to pluck people off of the shoreline after the Towers had fallen. Thousands of people were crammed between the Hudson River and safety. Everything that floated and could get close to shore became a rescue vessel. It was the most massive water evacuation since Dunkirk.… READ MORE

A Life Well-lived

How do you know if you're living your life right? Is there a standard for that sort of thing?

I came up with a little graph of what I think a well-lived life looks like. The idea here is that we are born 100% selfish, as babies. But if we manage our lives well, our selfishness declines continuously until death. Death is the ultimate lack of selfishness.

I came to this idea by observing the natural evolution in my own selfishness over the years.… READ MORE

How to Stop Teens from Texting while Driving

You would become a billionaire if you built a device to stop teens from texting and driving. The insurance companies would love it.

I think I figured out an elegant way to stop teens from texting. Yes, I could form a company to produce the product myself. But building a company takes time, and luck, and patent applications, and lots more. I would be dicking around trying to form a company while thousands of people die in the meantime.

So I'm going to release this idea for anyone who wants to take a run at it.… READ MORE

The First Key to Inventory Accuracy

By Jon Schriebfeder

Over the past several weeks, I have been working with two customers to improve the accuracy of their inventory. That is, to ensure that the on-hand quantities in their computer system agree with what is actually on the shelves in their warehouses. No matter how comprehensive or sophisticated your software, you cannot achieve effective inventory management unless your on-hand quantities are accurate. Over the next several months, we will look at “best practice” policies and procedures for maintaining an accurate inventory.… READ MORE

Gaming the forecast

By Mike Gilliland JohnMello 128x160 Gaming the forecast

Business forecasting is a highly politicized process, subject to the biases and personal agendas of all forecasting process participants. This is why many — perhaps most — human adjustments to the forecast fail to make it better. And this is why relative metrics, such as FVA, are so helpful in properly evaluating process performance.

The Games People Play

John Mello

In his article “The Impact of Sales Forecast Game Playing on Supply Chains” (Foresight, Spring 2009), John Mello provides a useful taxonomy of seven such games that bias the forecasting process and degrade forecast accuracy.… READ MORE

The Transparency Party

The other day a friend mentioned that he would vote for the first presidential candidate that agrees to wear a GoPro camera on her head and live-stream every working minute of the presidency.

My first reaction to the idea was that it was funny but impractical.

But . . . the idea was coming from one of the smartest people I know. So I listened as he unfolded his thoughts. There's a lot of cleverness baked into this simple idea, and it is more doable than you first think.… READ MORE

Understanding the Black Box

By Sylvia Starnes Sylvia Starnes Continental Tire 240x300 Understanding the Black Box

Education in the demand planning arena is a critical part of achieving improved results. We here at Continental Tire are always looking for ways to increase our forecast accuracy and improve our customer relationships; IBF is one of our main sources for doing so. Over the years, it has been my experience that the more demand planning education that a forecaster has the better. During my career I’ve seen very few people move into higher education seeking to prepare for a career in demand planning.… READ MORE

2014 Business Forecasting & Planning Recognition Award Recipients

By Tom Savage Award header 2014 Business Forecasting & Planning Recognition Award Recipients

The Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning, IBF, would like to proudly acknowledge and congratulate our 2014 Business Forecasting & Planning Recognition Award Recipients.  The IBF’s Business Forecasting & Planning Recognition Awards are presented annually in October to those individuals who distinguish themselves as the most influential and innovative thought leaders, solution providers, and leaders in the field. The following individuals were honored at the IBF’s Business Planning and Forecasting Conference in Orlando on October 28, 2014.



Mark Covas (Center)
Group Director, Planning COE at the Coca Cola Company
has been honored as the IBF’s 2014 “Lifetime Achievement in Business Forecasting & Planning” recipient for his excellence, professional commitment, and dedication to advancing the field.… READ MORE