Top 10 Blunders #4 – Ignoring Forecasts

With the growth of technology in produce supply chains, there is a greater volume of data available and reports being generated.

While it is easy to get overwhelmed by the onslaught, ignoring forecasts is a particularly egregious blunder. This leaves the supply chain team to rely on its collective expertise and recollection of past demand history, weather patterns, and pricing trends.

While there is a need for expert input in evaluating important forecasting topics, it would be a major mistake to ignore the rapidly improving analytical tools that support planning and decision making.

Long-range weather forecasting is becoming more accurate and supply chain managers must use this information to their benefit.

Analyzing these forecasts and working with suppliers in different regions and countries will help produce companies assess vulnerabilities, shift volume as needed, and negotiate pricing to avoid inventory shortages.

Likewise, quantitative demand forecasting tools help managers evaluate customer buying patterns and detect marketplace changes that produce industry expertise alone would not reveal.

This focus on forecasting will help improve in-stock positions of product without holding excess inventory at risk of expiration.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.

Dr. Brian Gibson is executive director of Auburn University’s Center for Supply Chain Innovation and a former logistics manager. He is coauthor of Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective (10th ed.) and active in supply chain executive education, research, and consulting.