Doing what “is required”

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”

― Winston Churchill

I have been watching the Olympics with great interest; the achievements by so many athletes from so many countries have fulfilled every aspect of the Olympic dream.

In addition, it has been great to see so many different parts of London, a city I used to visit frequently in travelling back and forth to Dubai so there has been a certain nostalgia intertwined with the excitement of the competitions.

Which of course gets one thinking about the great characters of English history and as one is re-introduced to Winston Churchill, it becomes obvious that what he accomplished, and what he helped his country achieve, was dramatically more tremendous than even the recently concluded London Olympics.  And in reading through some of his quotes, the one I have included at the top of this blog really resonates with me.

In this time of elections in the US, in this time of businesses planning out their objectives for the next fiscal/calendar year, the quote above sets a standard that many of us need to incorporate into our daily lives and businesses and aspirations. Not that we face anything near to what Churchill faced, but in our own world, it often seems like a similarly daunting challenge.

Hence, Demand Foresight is rolling out a new, upgraded and overall better website – because it is required.

It is required for Demand Foresight because we want to clarify a misunderstanding we hear all too often from our clients —  the real importance of accurate forecasting to the success of manufacturers and distributors.  When we say forecasting, we are talking big picture – actively integrating short term sensing with on-going shaping activities (such as advertising and/or promotions and/or pricing) to objectively reach  the right forecast for the supply operations to fulfill in order to maximize the amount of money a company can make.  It is about improving business performance and so in this new web site, you will see that all the of the conversation focuses on businesses, our partners, and getting down to the specifics of how a business can improve through improved forecasting.

We also feel that this website is required for our business partners.  As this website kicks off and evolves, the intent is to become a vital hub of conversation and exchange and best practice.  There appears to be tremendous confusion about Sales and Operations Planning – what exactly is it?  How mature are you? How do you measure? And what role does forecasting play? We want to take an active role in facilitating lessons-learned and consensus.

Once you get to forecasting, confusion multiplies:  How do you measure forecast accuracy?  At what level of detail do you measure? What is the appropriate time frame for Forecasting?  Who should be involved in Forecasting?  Should we call it “Forecasting “ or “sensing” or “shaping” or guessing? Where and how specifically does Forecasting impact the supply chain and how do we measure the bottom impact? And so on and so on.

Our goal then is to dive in and have those conversations, challenge accepted thinking and see if we can clarify the proven, objective benefits achieved by businesses that focus on forecasting.  Because it is the one area that to-date is still severely underfunded and misunderstood within most manufacturers and distributors; yet ALL research points to the fact that improving forecasting is the quickest and most impactful is to improve pre-tax profitability – without question.

And fundamentally, we want to have the conversation with our partners  – if you could reduce your execution level forecast error by a minimum of 25% over your current performance and/or what our competition can offer, what would that mean to your bottom line?  For anyone with fiduciary responsibility within their companies – that is required.

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