Long-term forecasting and planning efforts might be worse than useless, according to a new report from Supply Chain Consultants. Entitled "Forecast Less and Get Better Results," the report says forecasting can lead to "less accurate results that require more work to obtain them." The arrival of Lean manufacturing and sales and operations planning (S&OP) have eliminated the need for detailed, long-term forecasts, according to co-author Tom Wallace. What companies need now is "an aggregate planning tool that only uses detailed analysis for a short-term plan." The result, he says, will be more valid results, better indicators of the future, and less work in coming to the desired conclusion. By restricting themselves to short-term planning, companies can focus more on "big-picture" issues such as economic indicators, competitors, changes in market share, new-product launches and end-of-life issues. "Executive S&OP, operating on a volume level and built on valid assumptions, facilitates decision-making, enables simulation and risk assessment, and makes possible a more responsive, proactive way of doing business," says Dominick Corigliano, vice president of sales and marketing with Supply Chain Consultants.
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