North Carolina State University Institute for Advanced Analytics
November 15-16, 2017

Conference Presentations

Keynote Address: Recoupling the Forecasting and Inventory Management Processes
Aris Syntetos, Professor of Operational Research and Operations Management at Cardiff University, Business School

Demand forecasters often assume that forecasting is an end in itself. Conversely, inventory planners often assume no preceding stages of computation, i.e. that demand and its parameters are known. However, demand must be forecast and demand forecasts are inputs into a stock control model. The performance of the whole system must be judged by the resulting inventory investments and the service levels offered to our customers. In this presentation: (1) I’ll explain the need for improved understanding between forecasters and inventory controllers, (2) Illustrate common problems that arise when these functions are not properly integrated, and (3) Present an assessment of the unnecessary costs that are incurred when these functions are disconnected.

Strategies for Long Term Demand and Capacity Planning
Peter Alle, Principal, Oliver Wight Americas

Capturing a growth opportunity requires deliberate planning on both the demand and capacity side, often for time frames well beyond the scope of traditional S&OP or Integrated Business Planning processes. My talk will l address the challenges of longer term demand and capacity planning.

On the demand side: How the strategic planning process in place can be used to inform demand, How to apply market and competitor insights, Helpful assumptions for growth projections, Evaluation of economic conditions, and Ascertaining variability of future state demand.

On the supply side: Can capacity improvements be achieved through efficiency improvements, six sigma projects? Will the expanded capacity require new production lines? Will the new capacity require a new plant? What role can co-manufacturers play – is there external capacity available? Are inventory builds an option?

Global Forecasting Standards for Sales-forecast Integration, S&OP, and Safety Stock Management
Ellen Bonnell, Head of Global Statistical Forecasting, Hilti

Hilti is a $4 billion company that sells premier tools and equipment to the construction industry in almost every country on the planet. It is now bringing its statistical forecasting system to a global standard and global forecasting will become the foundation of sales forecast integration, S&OP, and global safety stock management. In this talk, I’ll share with you the importance to Hilti of and our journey to the global standard: the steps, challenges, software, controls, measurements and successes to date.

Visibility: A Key Ingredient to Inventory Optimization
Henry Canitz, Director, Product Marketing & Business Development, Logility Inc and Gian Leocata, Global Inventory Optimization Manager, Sensient Colors, LLC

Part of Sensient Technologies (SXT), Sensient Colors is a leading global manufacturer, providing natural and synthetic color solutions to trusted brands in different market segments such as food and beverage, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, specialty inks and industrial applications. It has customers in more than 150 countries and revenues surpassing $500 million. As customer needs and vendor lead times became more demanding, high inventory and safety stock levels became the standard way to address these complexities. In order to better forecast and optimize inventory, Sensient Colors is working with Logility Voyager Solutions™ to gain visibility across its supply chain network and identify points for improvement, monetize time and engage with customers in a different way.

Commitment, Culture, Communication and Trust: Prerequisites to Effective Demand & Inventory Planning
Philip Conlon, Keurig Green Mountain, Senior Director of Demand Planning

More than sophisticated systems and advanced tools are required for a successful journey to a holistic and effective demand and inventory planning environment. Little progress can be made without commitment from executive leadership and without a culture of collaboration, communication, continuous improvement and most of all trust. Change requires a strategy supported by executive leadership, organizational commitment to the process, education, and mentorship. A thorough understanding of the financial benefits of success and implications of failure in this area are needed to keep stakeholders engaged.

Readiness-Driven Supply Networks: Aligning Inventory to Mission-Based Forecasts for Military Operations
Greg Parlier, retired US Army Colonel, Deputy Commander for Transformation at US Army Aviation and Missile Command

The US Department of Defense (DoD) operates the most complex global supply chains in the world. However, effectively integrating production planning, maintenance operations, inventory systems, and distribution policies has been a strategic challenge. To address persistent supply problems, the US Army established the TASC project: Transform Army Supply Chains. Through TASC, numerous innovations have resulted including Mission-Based Forecasting (MBF). Employing predictive analytics, innovative forecasting methods, and condition-based maintenance (CBM) algorithms, MBF predicts the resource investments required to achieve mission objectives, thereby enabling the resources-to-readiness linkage.

A New Approach to Safety Stock and Service Levels
Shaun Snapp, Managing Editor of Brightwork Research and Analysis, an independent supply chain planning software analysis and educational site

Although safety stocks and service levels are the most discussed aspects of inventory management, companies struggle to find the right levels at which they should be set. In my experience, the common methods of setting safety stock—even supposedly advanced methods such as dynamic safety stock—do not take adequate consideration of the inventory that is available to be applied, Moreover, companies often make bold proclamations surrounding service level attainment without having good ways of quantitatively determining service levels.

Linking Demand Forecasts with Inventory, Capacity, & Financial Plans
Bill Tonetti, President and co-founder of Demand Works

Demand forecasts serve as inputs to a wide range of operational and planning decisions. In this talk I’ll examine how forecasts should be used for: (1) Determining safety stocks (2) Planning production/procurement (3) Linking sales with procurement and manufacturing (4) Finite capacity planning, and (5)connecting operational with financial forecasting.