Introduction to Forecasting and Demand Planning. Ayman Elrafie, CPIM, CSCP Hair & Skin Care Demand Planning Manager Unilever Gulf

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1 Introduction to Forecasting and Demand Planning Ayman Elrafie, CPIM, CSCP Hair & Skin Care Demand Planning Manager Unilever Gulf

2 Agenda Forecasting basics. The management process. The planning cycle. Maintaining a high quality forecast. The show stoppers.

3 Agenda Forecasting basics. The need for a forecast. The forecast dilemma. The principles, components, aggregation, sources of data and KPIs of a forecast. The management process. The planning cycle. Maintaining a high quality forecast. The show stoppers.

4 The Need for a Forecast Forecasting in FMCGs is of a great importance to the business: 1. It gives the organization the needed visibility to future and requirements, hence capacities, budgets and utilizations can be planned. 2. Forecast is used to ensure products availability OTIF. 3. Used to estimate the financial forecast. 4. Used by business partners in both the upstream and downstream to better plan their resources ahead.

5 The Vicious Circle Poor Forecasts Do not see real gap early on Fail to deliver forecast Senior Management disbelief forecasts Lack of Empowerment Micro-Management Short term focus Lack of Team work TO, Margin gaps increase Working capital increases & SLOBs are generated Forced to do ad-hoc activities Forced to sell unforecasted bread & butter SKUs Trade stock > norms Margins suffer as Supply Chain expedites P&L suffers Margins suffer as Supply Chain expedites Forecast Bias Stock Availability suffers

6 The Forecast Dilemma Different functions have different views of the forecast & expectations as well!! Key stakeholders are: Marketing Sales Finance Supply Chain & Operations Top Management

7 The Forecast Dilemma Marketing: High growth rates and sometimes exponential especially in the long term. Intensive promos & innovations. High budget to make it happen. Try to maximize the product mix to meet all consumers needs. I have many great ideas that consumer will love!

8 The Forecast Dilemma Sales: Little bit conservative, and sometimes pessimistic too. Probably knows the markets the best. Always pointing out to stock availability issues and its effect on sales. Always playing it as safe as possible. Wishing to have the biggest product mix to fulfill all customers needs. This month will be a very tough one!

9 The Forecast Dilemma Finance: Looking for a stable growth for the P&L. Willing to give the least possible budget as much as possible to promote Trying to rationalize the product mix to minimize SLOBs. Hoping to release the minimal possible budget for promotions. We re about to consume our budget!

10 The Forecast Dilemma Supply Chain & Operations: Looking for a & growth to gain economies of scale. Looking for stability to better utilize assets. Trying to rationalize the product mix to the minimize the changeovers. Always emphasizing on lead times. This is not abiding with our lead times!

11 The Forecast Dilemma Top management: Looking for achieving the organization s targets, which are usually very stretched. Have we achieved our target?! Target

12 The Forecast Dilemma The best forecast is the one which takes into considerations all the different functions views, concerns and assumptions. And here comes the role of the. Demand Planning Let s develop it together guys!! Target

13 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecasts are (almost) always wrong. 2. Forecasts should include an estimate of error. 3. Forecasts are more accurate for groups than for single items. 4. Forecasts of near-term are more accurate than long-term forecasts.

14 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target.

15 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target. 2. Forecast is not only used to secure stocks. To increase the customer service level: 1. Review the stock model: Increase coverage Increase safety stocks Increase safety lead-times 2. Increase supply responsiveness. 3. Insure availability of contingency plans to cover any delays. 4. Revise your forecast.

16 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target. 2. Forecast is not only used to secure stocks. 3. Forecasts must be timely bounded, with specific time buckets. Usually a forecast is covering a long period of time. This is primarily used for tactical -strategic decision making purposes. Time buckets will vary based on the product and the company s requirements, however commonly used time buckets are: Weeks Months

17 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target. 2. Forecast is not only used to secure stocks. 3. Forecasts must be timely bounded, with specific time buckets. 4. Forecast must have a clear ownership. Developing forecast is a cross-functional responsibility, all participants need to agree on the forecast and reach consensus. Ideally, the S&OP process insures the consensus and company-wide ownership of the forecast, however some companies holds functions different functions accountable on different forecast horizons as follow: Short term: Sales Medium to long term: Demand planning Promotions and advertising: Marketing

18 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target. 2. Forecast is not only used to secure stocks. 3. Forecasts must be timely bounded, with specific time buckets. 4. Forecast must have a clear ownership. 5. Forecast is based on robust and fact-based assumptions. Predicting the future is something that we cannot do using quantitative inputs only due to ambiguity, hence forecast consists of qualitative inputs based on the best of our knowledge Documenting the assumptions and doing our best to quantify them is an integral part of any forecast.

19 Forecasting Basics Principles 1. Forecast Target. 2. Forecast is not only used to secure stocks. 3. Forecasts must be timely bounded, with specific time buckets. 4. Forecast must have a clear ownership. 5. Forecast is based on robust and fact-based assumptions. 6. Forecast must be an unbiased Forecast should always be a mid-point; where the chances of selling more are equal to the chances of selling less. A conservative forecast can result in out-ofstocks and missing sales opportunities, while an optimistic forecast can result in higher stocks level and SLOBs

20 Forecasting Basics Components All forecast consists of four components that shape it: 1. The basic value: Which controls the vertical placement of the forecast.

21 Forecasting Basics Components All forecast consists of four components that shape it: 1. The basic value. 2. The seasonality: Which reflect the seasonality of the. Seasonality doesn't only mean weather seasonality, but any event affecting the seasonality in general. It usually repeats itself year on year. Examples include: The back to school season. The Dubai shopping festival season. Christmas

22 Forecasting Basics Components All forecast consists of four components that shape it: 1. The basic value. 2. The seasonality. 3. The trend: It controls the growth of the and usually governed by the market growth rates and the organization s market share growth rates.

23 Forecasting Basics Components All forecast consists of four components that shape it: 1. The basic value. 2. The seasonality. 3. The trend. 4. The business cycle: Cycle are usually long term, and are generally very hard to predict and are macro trends.

24 Forecasting Basics - Aggregation Aggregation of forecast is very important especially since the forecasted units are usually too many. Aggregated products should share the common characteristics and patterns. Aggregation will not only provide more accurate forecast, but it will save lots of time too.

25 Forecasting Basics Sources of Data Obtaining data is an integral part in building a quality forecast. Using fact-based assumptions helps in validating qualitative inputs and quantifying. Documenting assumptions is an important task that DP must apply. Forecasting is a mix of science & art, where underling assumptions resemble the foundation

26 Forecasting Basics KPIs Forecast bias Forecast accuracy Month-on-month forecast changes

27 Agenda Forecasting basics. The management process: The four components of management. The S&OP cycle. Case study: Managing & Prioritizing. The planning cycle. Maintaining a high quality forecast. The show stoppers.

28 The Demand Management Process The Demand Management Process is a process that weighs both customer and a firm s output capabilities, and tries to balance the two. So basically, it is a process to match & supply! Managing & prioritizing Planning Communicating Influencing

29 The Demand Management Process Planning Demand: Planning is not only about forecasting, but that is just the start. It is a plan for action based on consensus over the Demand Plan including assumptions, promotion plans, New Product Introduction plans and pricing plans. A typical planning horizon is 24 rolling months, which is regularly reviewed on a monthly basis. Managing & prioritizing Planning Communicating Influencing

30 The Demand Management Process Communicating Demand: Communication must be as early as soon as possible to minimize surprises. Structure communication to ensure that they occur. Focus communication to fit audience. Managing & prioritizing Planning Communicating Influencing

31 The Demand Management Process Influencing : Influencing describes the activities of the marketing and sales to convince customers to purchase the organization's products. The purpose of -influencing activities is to support the organization s business objective. Examples of -influencing activities: Settling on the most profitable product mix. Strategic pricing. Product distribution. Promoting the product. Managing & prioritizing 4 Ps Planning Influencing Communicating

32 The Demand Management Process Managing and prioritizing : It is optimizing across the system as measured by optimum organizational profit, volumes, sales revenue and customer service (including customer retention). Managing and prioritizing must be restricted to appropriate management levels. Examples of managing and prioritizing are: Rationing supply to warehouses or retailers in case of shortage so that each receive a portion of their full. Prioritizing and changing production schedule to cater for shortage in A class items. Fulfilling a large, one-time order that would impact regular orders. Managing & prioritizing Planning Influencing Communicating

33 Sales & Operations Planning Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) is a decision-making process involving the business leaders and a number of middle managers and specialties. S&OP Mission is to: Balancing supply & at an aggregate level. Aligning operational planning with financial planning. Linking strategic planning with day-today sales and operational activities Product Review Meeting: Attendees: R&D & Marketing. Demand Planning Meeting Attendees: DP, Marketing & Sales. Supply Planning Meeting Attendees: SP & Operations Financial Review Meeting Attendees: Finance Reconciliation Meeting Attendees: All Executive Meeting Attendees: Board & All.

34 Plans Information Flow Demand Plan Sales plan Production Plan Gap closure plan Constrained supply plan

35 S&OP Plans 1 Product Review Meeting: Attendees: R&D & Marketing. S&OP is a robust process, however its success is mainly dependant on having the right behaviours Demand Planning Meeting Attendees: DP, Marketing & Sales. Supply Planning Meeting Attendees: SP & Operations Financial Review Meeting Attendees: Finance Reconciliation Meeting Attendees: All Executive Meeting Attendees: Board & All. Demand Plan Constrained Plan Gap closure plan Final Sales plan

36 Case Study Managing & Prioritizing Demand The outlook: Home care business in Africa Rapid Market growth. Capacity is constraining the. - We can actually sell everything we make, but we are constrained by the factory capacity. - Whenever we push sales we always have customer service problems Lack of team work and a blame game!! - Margins are too low to invest in further capacity in the region. - Allocated budgets for promotions are not used efficiently due to supply shortage & constraints. Marketing & Sales - We keep changing the production plan which affects our reliability. - We are always chasing our tails to meet - They keep cancelling our maintenance plans which affects our machines efficiency. Operations Finance - We are losing shares and we are not meeting our financial targets Target Top Management

37 Case Study Managing & Prioritizing Demand The action plan: Form a cross-functional team, who are empowered to take tough decisions. Meet every week to make sure that everyone is aligned on the updates. Constrain the to demonstrated capacity Increase the price since is constrained. Priority was given to key customers. Reduce the promotions drastically, and increase the lead time for approving them. Exceptions and late changes are no more accepted. Put the factory s maintenance plan back in place. Look for an opportunity to source from different business unit. The results: Margins Demonstrated Capacity Fire-fighting mode Sales (value) Customer service level

38 Agenda Forecasting basics. The management process. The planning cycle: The eight steps process. The Bulls-Eye, baseline and building blocks. The variability sources. Maintaining a high quality forecast. The show stoppers.

39 The Demand Planning Cycle The planning cycle is an eight-steps approach. In this process, forecast is developed by using the baseline forecasting and the forecast building blocks. The planner is also responsible to communicate the company-wide agreed sales plan. Constraint Communicate sales plan Analyze sales data Clean sales data Generate baseline Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

40 The Demand Planning Cycle Analyze sales data Communicate sales plan Clean sales data Constraint Generate baseline If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe - Abraham Lincoln Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

41 The Demand Planning Cycle This is the step where you are should sharpen your axe, by interpreting the sales history carefully. Analyze sales data Compare actual sales data with the old forecast along with its underling assumptions to identifying what went wrong and what went well. Communicate sales plan Clean sales data Analyze year VS year, month VS month, and channel by channel. Constraint Generate baseline Understand the factors that supported sales, and make sure to update your assumptions accordingly. Look for up-normal patterns, and try to understand the root cause jointly with the team. Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

42 The Bulls-Eye Concept Outliers, such as out of stocks or stock-ups due to price changes Big events, unlikely to be repeated exactly the same way and worth planning Normal or routine promo events, likely to be repeated, but not always worth planning Pure baseline sales excluding all activities

43 The Bulls-Eye

44 The Bulls-Eye Baseline is the amount of sales with minimal or almost no support

45 The Bulls-Eye Examples can be: - All-year-round promotions - All-year-round TV ads - All-year-round in-store visibility

46 The Bulls-Eye These events must be execluded since they dont happen all-year, and when they happen supporting assumptions change

47 The Bulls-Eye Including such events will lead to a wrong forecast, since these data points are outliers

48 The Demand Planning Cycle This is the part where correcting the history takes place. From analyzing sales data, outliers and events uplifts are identified. The most common way to identify outliers is using upper and lower limits (±25% of average sales), or by using standard deviation (σ) Common root causes of outliers can be: Out of stocks Competitors out of stocks Sales prior to price increase rumors Channel stuffing Correct the previous data jointly with the team. Constraint Communicate sales plan Communicate Analyze sales data Reach consensus Clean sales data Develop forecast Generate baseline

49 Sources of Demand Variability Competition Distance Seasonal effects Disasters Demand Variability Economic and other external trends Promotions Bullwhip effect PLC trends and customers expectations

50 The Demand Planning Cycle Baseline generation is usually done using statistical forecasting. Analyze sales data Most common statistical modes used to generate baselines are: Moving average & weighted moving average Seasonal liner regression Exponential smoothing Holt-winter exponential model Constraint Communicate sales plan Clean sales data Generate baseline Validate your baseline with the updated assumptions. Take into account the seasonality patterns. Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

51 The Demand Planning Cycle After the baseline is generated, events and forecast building blocks should be included. Each event should have an uplift (or a downlift) that affects the forecast. The challenging part is to determine the incremental volume. Constraint Communicate sales plan Analyze sales data Clean sales data Generate baseline Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

52 Demand Building Blocks Baseline Event Event Event Total Forecast Events Distribution drives Customer promotions Consumer promotions Increased instore visibility New Product introduction Advertisement Price plans

53 The Big Picture - Cannibalization A promotion or innovation success standalone can make a perfect sense, however there are many external factors that will affect the success of that and an internal one; which is cannibalization. An innovation and promotional grid must be always in place to insure that the big picture is there, and in order to be able to asses cannibalization effect properly. =

54 The Demand Planning Cycle Forecast is a cross-functional responsibility, hence final plans must be aligned with the team. Demand consensus is an integral part for a successful S&OP process. Communicate sales plan Analyze sales data Clean sales data Constraint Generate baseline Communicate Develop forecast Reach consensus

55 The Demand Planning Cycle Communicate the to the supply side of the organization as an unconstrained plan. Communicate sales plan Analyze sales data Clean sales data Demand Plan Constraint Generate baseline Constrained Plan Gap closure plan Final Sales plan Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

56 The Demand Planning Cycle Include the supply constraints to reflect reality to your Constrained plan Communicate sales plan Analyze sales data Clean sales data Demand Plan Constrained Plan Gap closure plan Final Sales plan Constraint Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast Generate baseline

57 The Demand Planning Cycle Now as the plans are agreed, communicate to the sales team the company s agreed plan Analyze sales data Communicate sales plan Clean sales data Demand Plan Constraint Generate baseline Constrained Plan Gap closure plan Final Sales plan Communicate Reach consensus Develop forecast

58 Agenda Forecasting basics. The management process. The planning cycle. Maintaining a high quality forecast: 10 steps for improved bias & accuracy Classification of the losses The show stoppers.

59 Maintaining a Quality Forecast Maintaining a quality forecast is an endless journey: Validate your baselines statistical model using historical data. Validate the assumptions related to your events building blocks. Validate the assumptions related to market & economic insights. Regularly update and correct your forecast. Work on improving your FA & FB.

60 How to Minimize Bias? Start by analyzing your data along with the assumptions. 1. Investigate top-down VS bottom-up. 2. Investigate VS previous periods and growth rates. 3. Insure sustainable supply for products with bad stock-out history. Common sources of forecast bias Regulars Promotions Innovations Wrong assumptions Stock outs and supply issues Growth rates

61 How to Minimize Forecast Error? 1. Eliminate sources of bias. win 2. Start a housekeeping cleaning activity. Quick 3. Investigate at a brand level looking for cross-cannibalization. 4. Review your products proportional factors. Quick 5. Analyze your time buckets sales. win 6. Post analyze your promotions and innovations. 7. Rationalize your product mix portfolio.

62 Classify the Losses Forecasting is a journey and forecasting quality improvement is a continuous improvement process. Hence prioritizing your effort is so important, and this can be done through: Sales variation & forecast accuracy matrix ABC classification for FUs (by forecast error, volume, value, etc..) Ad-hoc requests The most sophisticated forecast & the one in its simplest form will both fail to reflect reality, if they are not updated and validated periodically

63 Classify the Losses - The Sales Variation & Forecast Accuracy Matrix Identify what is the average sales variation. Identify the coefficient of variation using sales variation divided by average sales of product. Plot a scatter diagram between the forecast accuracy & the coefficient of variation. Divide your graph to four zones

64 Classify the Losses - The Sales Variation & Forecast Accuracy Matrix Zone A: Well done! Keep up the good job. Zone B: Try different mathematical model. Zone C: Collaborate with sales and start digging further as there is a big room for improvements. Zone D: Try to minimize the sales variation. Zone A Zone B Quick win Zone D Zone C

65 Classify the Losses - ABC Work smart by classifying your forecast errors based on ABC classification, as the As will result in a significant improvement to the forecast quality Quick win On the average the A items represents 70% of the issues and are less than 20% of the total count

66 Classify the Losses Ad-hoc Requests FMCG business is a very dynamic business, where consumers, customers and competition are always changing the rules of the game. Examples of ad-hoc requests might be : Unplanned customer order Counter promotion Welcome plan for a competitor s launch Document assumptions & late change & exceptions

67 Agenda Forecasting basics. The management process. The planning cycle. Maintaining a high quality forecast. The show stoppers.

68 The Show Stoppers 1. Shortage of talent and high employee turnover. 2. Data quality & availability. 3. Complex portfolio. 4. Team discipline. 5. Too many meetings. 6. Corporate politics. 7. Inefficient use of the systems.

69 Summing-up DP is not only about SC.. It is somehow a position taking into account all different functions views and reflecting reality to the forecast. Forecast is crucial for success in the FMCG business. Always stick to the forecast basics and principles. Forecast is a mix of science and art, but always do your best to validate and quantify the assumptions Tailor you re the forecast quality KPIs to better fit your needs. Behaviors are the key of the success of the management and the S&OP processes. Show stoppers are always there, it is up to you to make it happen.

70 LinkedIn Profile: Ayman Elrafie

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