Generating forecasts remains a thorny problem for many companies who often find the increased demand on the in-bound supply chain a challenge; this has been particularly obvious during the Covid-19 pandemic.
BioPhorum’s Forecasting and Demand Planning Toolkit has made great strides in helping biomanufacturers and their suppliers have healthy and open discussions around producing reliable forecasts. Yet, industry often finds this crucial area difficult to do and there are significant inconsistencies in how different companies calculate their forecasts. Adopting the BioPhorum toolkit should enable education and rigor around the forecast and demand of goods – within your company and with your suppliers. Sharing and discussing the process and the tools will help smooth out some of the issues currently being encountered.
To further support this area, BioPhorum has published the latest part of its Forecasting and demand planning toolkit – a Forecast Accuracy Calculator
The calculator discusses forecast horizons, how often to forecast, what to forecast, the impact of timing errors on forecast accuracy and the details of the forecast accuracy measurement. It also guides users through acceptable error limits, a forecast error calculator, error metrics definitions and tracking charts.
The comprehensive user instructions cover essential steps and two options for use (which can be used at the same time):
- Option 1 – tracks errors against forecast horizon
- Option 2 – tracks errors against product volume.
The purpose of the Forecast accuracy calculator is to build up a history that will enable more accurate forecasts and demands in the future. This should enable reduced variability and better communications within your company and with your suppliers.
Developed by the Forecast Demand Planning team, the calculator supplements the other parts of the toolkit:
- A Forecasting and Demand Planning Checklist, which is a best practice checklist to define the recommended minimum required steps to generate a helpful forecast
- A Forecasting Template, which defines the recommended minimum data required in a forecast. Used together, the checklist and template will improve industry-wide forecast and demand planning processes
- A Forecasting and Demand Planning Communications Pack, which explains the recommended forecast and demand planning cycle of events, i.e. when you should sit down and talk, what you should talk about, what should be in the discussions, etc.