The Business Forecasting Deal: Exposing Bad Practices, Providing Practical Solutions

  • 4h 9m
  • Michael Gilliland
  • John Wiley & Sons (US)
  • 2010

Business forecasting is the ultimate no-win game. You're almost always wrong—except on those rare, random occasions where actual sales come in exactly on forecast—and you get beat up routinely for your "lousy forecasts." Against this framework, The Business Forecasting Deal turns forecasting on its head. Instead of focusing solely on statistical modeling and forecast accuracy—accuracy being largely determined by the nature of the demand you are trying to forecast—Michael Gilliland turns your attention to forecasting process efficiency and effectiveness. His unique perspective, utilizing the emerging method of Forecast Value Added (FVA) analysis, shows how organizations can meaningfully improve their performance by eliminating the "worst practices" that now sabotage and confound their forecasting efforts.

While predicting the future is a very difficult thing, there is no shortage of articles, books, consultants, and even software vendors willing to tell you (or sell you) their version of forecasting best practices. However, many of these purported "best practices" do not work—they fail to make the forecast any better. Through FVA analysis—a method that has been employed at several major corporations including Intel, AstraZeneca, Cisco, and Yokohama Tire (Canada)—The Business Forecasting Deal shows how to identify the waste and inefficiencies in the typical forecasting process. By eliminating those (surprisingly common) practices that make the forecast worse, FVA analysis is helping companies get better forecasts with less effort and less cost.

Written in a nontechnical style, this book provides practical solutions to a wide variety of business forecasting problems. It illustrates a new way to think about business forecasting in the context of uncertainty, randomness, and process performance, all within the internal political arena in which real-life forecasting is conducted. While there is no magic formula to guarantee perfect forecasts, this book will change your perspective—and improve your success—in dealing with the problems of business forecasting.

About the Author

MICHAEL GILLILAND is Product Marketing Manager at SAS Institute and has worked in consumer products forecasting for more than twenty years. Prior to joining SAS in 2004, Mike held forecasting management positions in the food, electronics, and apparel industries and served as a consultant. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, has published articles in Supply Chain Management Review, Journal of Business Forecasting, Foresight, and APICS magazine, and was a columnist on "Worst Practices in Business Forecasting" for Supply Chain Forecasting Digest. Mike holds a BA in philosophy from Michigan State University, and master's degrees in philosophy and mathematical sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Follow his blog, The Business Forecasting Deal, at

In this Book

  • Foreword
  • Foreword
  • Prologue
  • Fundamental Issues in Business Forecasting
  • Worst Practices in Business Forecasting—Part 1
  • Worst Practices in Business Forecasting—Part 2
  • Forecast Value Added Analysis
  • Forecasting without History
  • Alternative Approaches to the Problems of Business Forecasting
  • Implementing a Forecasting Solution
  • Practical First Steps
  • What Management Must Know about Forecasting
  • Epilogue
  • Glossary