Executive Briefings

Long Tail, Short Notice: The Challenge of Forecasting

Companies used to be able to expend most of their forecasting efforts on the top 20 percent of their customers, which typically would account for 80 percent of revenues. That's not the case anymore. Nari Viswanathan, research director of supply chain management with Aberdeen Group, explains why companies today must pay attention to the needs of all their customers. He shows how the disruption of normal distribution patterns has created the "long-tail" effect, an outgrowth of globally distributed supply chains. Against that backdrop, it becomes vitally important for companies to improve their forecasting efforts, while paying equal attention to inventory management. Viswanathan lays out the right metrics for demand planners, and the practices of "best-in-class" companies in forecasting and demand planning. [Run Time (Min): 11:46]


Companies used to be able to expend most of their forecasting efforts on the top 20 percent of their customers, which typically would account for 80 percent of revenues. That's not the case anymore. Nari Viswanathan, research director of supply chain management with Aberdeen Group, explains why companies today must pay attention to the needs of all their customers. He shows how the disruption of normal distribution patterns has created the "long-tail" effect, an outgrowth of globally distributed supply chains. Against that backdrop, it becomes vitally important for companies to improve their forecasting efforts, while paying equal attention to inventory management. Viswanathan lays out the right metrics for demand planners, and the practices of "best-in-class" companies in forecasting and demand planning. [Run Time (Min): 11:46]