Do you have a forecasting research project?

By Mike Gilliland Lancaster Centre 2 200x80 Do you have a forecasting research project?

The Lancaster Centre for Forecasting is seeking Master Student Projects in Forecasting, Data Mining, or Analytics for summer of 2015.

Projects normally run from mid-May to mid-August, with reports issued a few weeks after. These projects are a cost efficient way for a company to carry out analytical work by Master of Science candidates who are formally trained in forecasting. Many of the students have additional skills in areas like marketing analytics, logistics and supply chain, operations research and optimization, and simulation.… READ MORE

The Christmas Chair

When I was 12-years old, my mother and I worked together to build a chair out of parts from other chairs. It was our little mom-and-son project. We took the top of an old painted chair with legs and attached it to the swivel bottom from a different chair. My mother reupholstered the back and I refinished the wood and added new wheels.

We did not possess any of the skills necessary to make a new chair form old chairs, and the result showed.… READ MORE

“Big Data” Takes Center Stage at IBF Best Practices Conference and Leadership Forum

By Tom Savage logo “Big Data” Takes Center Stage at IBF Best Practices Conference and Leadership Forum

I recently attended the IBF Best Practices Conference and Leadership Forum in Orlando this past fall. Prior to my current role, I was a 15 year veteran practitioner and conference presenter in forecasting, S&OP, and planning. I’ve had the privilege of attending many presentations from experts all over the globe discussing S&OP, demand planning process development, metrics, etc… Without a doubt, the knowledge I’ve gained from the IBF has helped me not only advance my own body of knowledge in the field, but it has also provided me with a unique set of tools that could then be shared with colleagues and company leadership.… READ MORE

ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audits

By Mary McAtee old dog new tricks ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audits Old Dog, New Tricks

Last week was our annual ISO 9001:2008 surveillance Audit. Thousands of companies have depended on us for advice and support in achieving and maximizing the value of their registration efforts. It was to be expected that we would do well and we did. Lapses in compliance could not be blamed on ignorance of the requirements or not understanding what the auditor’s expectations would be. This was a particularly challenging year for IBS as a company.… READ MORE

Sony and the Hackers

A lot of film industry folks are upset that Sony caved to hacker threats, presumably from North Korea, and cancelled release of the new Seth Rogan movie The Interview. The problem, say the critics, is that caving to terrorists might embolden future hackers to do more of this sort of thing. Maybe someday it will be hard to get a movie made if it has any controversial elements.

Keep in mind that Sony execs have been deeply embarrassed by the release of emails and there are probably more gems that could be released.… READ MORE

Downside Protection

By Jeff Speakes

Tony Robbins has a terrific new book on winning the financial game (“Money: Master the Game”). The highlight of the book is a series of interviews with famous investors, in which Robbins extracts valuable insights into the strategies of the successful. The primary lesson is “don’t lose money” and the second “don’t forget lesson number 1.” The fundamental lesson of financial theory is that the best strategy for accomplishing this is to diversify your portfolio across asset classes and individual securities.… READ MORE

Give New Answers to Bridget

By Lora Cecere listen1 Give New Answers to Bridget

It was a stuffy, hot day, and I found myself sitting by Bridget. The supply chain team was attempting to explain their demand-driven project. They were asking for funding; and Bridget, the treasurer, was not buying the message. On my way back to the train, I struggled with what had just happened. I had worked hard to teach the team presenting the language of demand, but it was not understood at the board-room level.

Bridget, crossed her arms and asked why the project that they had just implemented on improving demand planning was not sufficient; and Lee across the table chimed in to say that the new processes of Integrated Business Planning (IBP) would do the trick.… READ MORE

Does Science Work?

Earlier this year I worked with Dr. Carmen Simon at Rexi Media to create a memorable SlideShare presentation of my latest book. Did Dr. Simon's double-doctorate and fancy brain science make any difference to the outcome?

Today I learned that out of millions of presentations on the SlideShare site, our work was picked as a Best of 2014.

Given that my book was not a best-seller or even close, one has to assume my sparkling content was not the reason for the achievement.… READ MORE

Boring Little Story About My Windows Computer

I wouldn't bother reading this if I were you. I'm just venting.

The story goes like this…

Bought a Gateway computer from Best Buy

It breaks, as electronics do when near me.

Independent computer repair guy replaces a bad board.

Windows thinks I have a new machine because it doesn't see the same hardware mix. I have learned that Windows checks the hardware for that reason.

Windows starts its “pesterware” process to bug me into buying a legal copy, which I already have.… READ MORE

Real Estate

By Bill Watkins Picture11 300x224 Real Estate

Previously published on December 12, 2014 on The California Economic Forecast

Real Estate National Markets

Since the recession began, we’ve said that residential real estate markets would not recover until the homeownership rate (the percentage of households owning the home they live in) fell to the 64 percent to 65 percent range.  We also said that residential markets would recover when the homeownership rate fell to that range.  We may have been wrong about the second part.

Before we get to the why we may have been wrong, we need to be clear on what a recovery looks like.  We consider a recovery to be when normalized housing starts are near normal.  That is, when housing starts per thousand population approach their long-run average.… READ MORE