Inventory Management, Supply Contracts and Risk Pooling

Phil Kaminsky kaminsky@ieor.berkeley.edu

Issues
• Inventory Management • The Effect of Demand Uncertainty
– – – – (s,S) Policy Periodic Review Policy Supply Contracts Risk Pooling

• Centralized vs. Decentralized Systems • Practical Issues in Inventory Management

Sources: plants vendors ports

Field Regional Warehouses: Warehouses: stocking stocking points points

Customers, demand centers sinks

Supply

Inventory & warehousing costs Production/ Transportati Transportati purchase on on costs costs Inventory & costs warehousing costs

Inventory
• Where do we hold inventory?
– Suppliers and manufacturers – warehouses and distribution centers – retailers

• Types of Inventory
– WIP – raw materials – finished goods

• Why do we hold inventory?
– Economies of scale – Uncertainty in supply and demand – Lead Time, Capacity limitations

Goals: Reduce Cost, Improve Service
• By effectively managing inventory:
– Xerox eliminated $700 million inventory from its supply chain – Wal-Mart became the largest retail company utilizing efficient inventory management – GM has reduced parts inventory and transportation costs by 26% annually

Goals: Reduce Cost, Improve Service
• By not managing inventory successfully
– In 1994, “IBM continues to struggle with shortages in their ThinkPad line” (WSJ, Oct 7, 1994) – In 1993, “Liz Claiborne said its unexpected earning decline is the consequence of higher than anticipated excess inventory” (WSJ, July 15, 1993) – In 1993, “Dell Computers predicts a loss; Stock plunges. Dell acknowledged that the company was sharply off in its forecast of demand, resulting in inventory write downs” (WSJ, August 1993)

Understanding Inventory
• The inventory policy is affected by:
– Demand Characteristics – Lead Time – Number of Products – Objectives
• Service level • Minimize costs

– Cost Structure

Cost Structure
• Order costs
– Fixed – Variable

• Holding Costs
– Insurance – Maintenance and Handling – Taxes – Opportunity Costs – Obsolescence

EOQ: A Simple Model*
• Book Store Mug Sales
– Demand is constant, at 20 units a week – Fixed order cost of $12.00, no lead time – Holding cost of 25% of inventory value annually – Mugs cost $1.00, sell for $5.00

• Question
– How many, when to order?

EOQ: A View of Inventory*
Note: • No Stockouts • Order when no inventory • Order Size determines policy

Inventory Order Size

Avg. Inven Time

EOQ: Calculating Total Cost*
• Purchase Cost Constant • Holding Cost: (Avg. Inven) * (Holding Cost) • Ordering (Setup Cost): Number of Orders * Order Cost • Goal: Find the Order Quantity that Minimizes These Costs:

EOQ:Total Cost*
10 6 10 4 10 2 Cost 10 0 8 0 6 0 4 0 2 0 0 0 50 0 O e Q a tity rd r u n 10 00 10 50

Total Cost Holding Cost Order Cost

EOQ: Optimal Order Quantity*
• Optimal Quantity = (2*Demand*Setup Cost)/holding cost • So for our problem, the optimal quantity is 316

EOQ: Important Observations*
• Tradeoff between set-up costs and holding costs when determining order quantity. In fact, we order so that these costs are equal per unit time • Total Cost is not particularly sensitive to the optimal order quantity
Order Quantity 50% Cost Increase 80% 90% 100% 110% 120% 150% 200% 125% 103% 101% 100% 101% 102% 108% 125%

The Effect of Demand Uncertainty
• Most companies treat the world as if it were predictable:
– Production and inventory planning are based on forecasts of demand made far in advance of the selling season – Companies are aware of demand uncertainty when they create a forecast, but they design their planning process as if the forecast truly represents reality

• Recent technological advances have increased the level of demand uncertainty:
– Short product life cycles – Increasing product variety

Demand Forecast
• The three principles of all forecasting techniques:
– Forecasting is always wrong – The longer the forecast horizon the worst is the forecast – Aggregate forecasts are more accurate

SnowTime Sporting Goods
• Fashion items have short life cycles, high variety of competitors • SnowTime Sporting Goods
– New designs are completed – One production opportunity – Based on past sales, knowledge of the industry, and economic conditions, the marketing department has a probabilistic forecast – The forecast averages about 13,000, but there is a chance that demand will be greater or less than this.

Supply Chain Time Lines
Jan 00 Design Jan 01 Production Sep 00 Feb 01 Sep 01 Jan 02 Retailing

Production

Feb 00

SnowTime Demand Scenarios
Probability

D mn Se a s e a d c n rio
3% 0 2% 5 2% 0 1% 5 1% 0 5 % 0 %

0

0

0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0

0

4

0

2

8

1

1

1

1

6

S le a s

1

8

0 0

0 0

0

SnowTime Costs
• • • • • Production cost per unit (C): $80 Selling price per unit (S): $125 Salvage value per unit (V): $20 Fixed production cost (F): $100,000 Q is production quantity, D demand

• Profit = Revenue - Variable Cost - Fixed Cost + Salvage

SnowTime Scenarios
• Scenario One:
– Suppose you make 12,000 jackets and demand ends up being 13,000 jackets. – Profit = 125(12,000) - 80(12,000) - 100,000 = $440,000

• Scenario Two:
– Suppose you make 12,000 jackets and demand ends up being 11,000 jackets. – Profit = 125(11,000) - 80(12,000) - 100,000 + 20(1000) = $ 335,000

SnowTime Best Solution
• Find order quantity that maximizes weighted average profit. • Question: Will this quantity be less than, equal to, or greater than average demand?

What to Make?
• Question: Will this quantity be less than, equal to, or greater than average demand? • Average demand is 13,100 • Look at marginal cost Vs. marginal profit
– if extra jacket sold, profit is 125-80 = 45 – if not sold, cost is 80-20 = 60

• So we will make less than average

SnowTime Expected Profit
Expected Profit
$400,000 $300,000 Profit $200,000 $100,000 $0 8000

12000

16000

20000

Order Quantity

SnowTime Expected Profit
Expected Profit
$400,000 $300,000 Profit $200,000 $100,000 $0 8000

12000

16000

20000

Order Quantity

SnowTime: Important Observations
• Tradeoff between ordering enough to meet demand and ordering too much • Several quantities have the same average profit • Average profit does not tell the whole story • Question: 9000 and 16000 units lead to about the same average profit, so which do we prefer?

SnowTime Expected Profit
Expected Profit
$400,000 $300,000 Profit $200,000 $100,000 $0 8000

12000

16000

20000

Order Quantity

Probability of Outcomes
100% 80%
Probability

60% 40% 20% 0%
-3 00 00 -1 0 00 00 0 10 00 00 30 00 00 50 00 00

Q=9000 Q=16000

Revenue

Key Insights from this Model
• The optimal order quantity is not necessarily equal to average forecast demand • The optimal quantity depends on the relationship between marginal profit and marginal cost • As order quantity increases, average profit first increases and then decreases • As production quantity increases, risk increases. In other words, the probability of large gains and of large losses increases

SnowTime Costs: Initial Inventory
• • • • • Production cost per unit (C): $80 Selling price per unit (S): $125 Salvage value per unit (V): $20 Fixed production cost (F): $100,000 Q is production quantity, D demand

• Profit =
Revenue - Variable Cost - Fixed Cost + Salvage

SnowTime Expected Profit
Expected Profit
$400,000 $300,000 Profit $200,000 $100,000 $0 8000

12000

16000

20000

Order Quantity

Initial Inventory
• Suppose that one of the jacket designs is a model produced last year. • Some inventory is left from last year • Assume the same demand pattern as before • If only old inventory is sold, no setup cost • Question: If there are 7000 units remaining, what should SnowTime do? What should they do if there are 10,000 remaining?

Initial Inventory and Profit
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0
00 00 00 00 0 0 0 00 14 00 50 50 65 80 95 50 15 0

Profit

11

P roduc tion Qua ntity

12

Initial Inventory and Profit
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0
00 00 00 00 0 0 0 00 14 00 50 50 65 80 95 50 15 0

Profit

11

P roduc tion Qua ntity

12

Initial Inventory and Profit
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0
00 00 00 00 0 0 0 00 14 00 50 50 65 80 95 50 15 0

Profit

11

P roduc tion Qua ntity

12

Initial Inventory and Profit
500000 400000 Profit 300000 200000 100000 0 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 13000 14000 10000 11000 12000 15000 16000

P ro d u ctio n Qu an tity

Supply Contracts
Fixed Production Cost =$100,000 Variable Production Cost=$35

Wholesale Price =$80 Selling Price=$125 Salvage Value=$20
Manufacturer Manufacturer DC Retail DC

Stores

Demand Scenarios
Demand Scenarios
30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Probability

80 00 10 00 0 12 00 0 14 00 0 16 00 0 18 00 0

Sales

Distributor Expected Profit
Expected Profit
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 6000

8000

10000

12000

14000

16000

18000

20000

Order Quantity

Distributor Expected Profit
Expected Profit
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 6000

8000

10000

12000

14000

16000

18000

20000

Order Quantity

Supply Contracts (cont.)
• Distributor optimal order quantity is 12,000 units • Distributor expected profit is $470,000 • Manufacturer profit is $440,000 • Supply Chain Profit is $910,000
–Is there anything that the distributor and manufacturer can do to increase the profit of both?

Supply Contracts
Fixed Production Cost =$100,000 Variable Production Cost=$35

Wholesale Price =$80 Selling Price=$125 Salvage Value=$20
Manufacturer Manufacturer DC Retail DC

Stores

Retailer Profit (Buy Back=$55)
600,000 Retailer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

Order Quantity

Retailer Profit (Buy Back=$55)
600,000 Retailer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

$513,800

Order Quantity

Manufacturer Profit (Buy Back=$55)
600,000 Manufacturer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

Production Quantity

Manufacturer Profit (Buy Back=$55)
600,000 Manufacturer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

$471,900

Production Quantity

Supply Contracts
Fixed Production Cost =$100,000 Variable Production Cost=$35

Wholesale Price =$?? Selling Price=$125 Salvage Value=$20
Manufacturer Manufacturer DC Retail DC

Stores

Retailer Profit (Wholesale Price $70, RS 15%)
600,000 Retailer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

Order Quantity

Retailer Profit (Wholesale Price $70, RS 15%)
600,000 Retailer Profit 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

$504,325

Order Quantity

Manufacturer Profit (Wholesale Price $70, RS 15%)
700,000 Manufacturer Profit 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

Production Quantity

Manufacturer Profit (Wholesale Price $70, RS 15%)
700,000 Manufacturer Profit 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

$481,375

Production Quantity

Supply Contracts

Strategy Sequential Optimization Buyback Revenue Sharing

Retailer Manufacturer 470,700 440,000 513,800 471,900 504,325 481,375

Total 910,700 985,700 985,700

Supply Contracts
Fixed Production Cost =$100,000 Variable Production Cost=$35

Wholesale Price =$80 Selling Price=$125 Salvage Value=$20
Manufacturer Manufacturer DC Retail DC

Stores

Supply Chain Profit
1,200,000 Supply Chain Profit 1,000,000 800,000 600,000 400,000 200,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

Production Quantity

Supply Chain Profit
1,200,000 Supply Chain Profit 1,000,000 800,000 600,000 400,000 200,000 0
60 00 70 00 80 00 90 00 10 00 0 11 00 0 12 00 0 13 00 0 14 00 0 15 00 0 16 00 0 17 00 0 18 00 0

$1,014,500

Production Quantity

Supply Contracts
Strategy Sequential Optimization Buyback Revenue Sharing Global Optimization Retailer Manufacturer 470,700 440,000 513,800 471,900 504,325 481,375 Total 910,700 985,700 985,700 1,014,500

Supply Contracts: Key Insights
• Effective supply contracts allow supply chain partners to replace sequential optimization by global optimization • Buy Back and Revenue Sharing contracts achieve this objective through risk sharing

Contracts and Supply Chain Performance
• Contracts for Product Availability and Supply Chain Profits
– Buyback Contracts – Revenue-Sharing Contracts – Quantity Flexibility Contracts

• Contracts to Coordinate Supply Chain Costs • Contracts to Increase Agent Effort • Contracts to Induce Performance Improvement

Contracts for Product Availability and Supply Chain Profits
• Many shortcomings in supply chain performance occur because the buyer and supplier are separate organizations and each tries to optimize its own profit • Total supply chain profits might therefore be lower than if the supply chain coordinated actions to have a common objective of maximizing total supply chain profits • Double marginalization results in suboptimal order quantity • An approach to dealing with this problem is to design a contract that encourages a buyer to purchase more and increase the level of product availability • The supplier must share in some of the buyer’s demand uncertainty, however

Contracts for Product Availability and Supply Chain Profits: Buyback Contracts
• Allows a retailer to return unsold inventory up to a specified amount at an agreed upon price • Increases the optimal order quantity for the retailer, resulting in higher product availability and higher profits for both the retailer and the supplier • Most effective for products with low variable cost, such as music, software, books, magazines, and newspapers • Downside is that buyback contract results in surplus inventory that must be disposed of, which increases supply chain costs • Can also increase information distortion through the supply chain because the supply chain reacts to retail orders, not actual customer demand

Contracts for Product Availability and Supply Chain Profits: Revenue Sharing Contracts
• The buyer pays a minimal amount for each unit purchased from the supplier but shares a fraction of the revenue for each unit sold • Decreases the cost per unit charged to the retailer, which effectively decreases the cost of overstocking • Can result in supply chain information distortion, however, just as in the case of buyback contracts

Contracts for Product Availability and Supply Chain Profits: Quantity Flexibility Contracts
• Allows the buyer to modify the order (within limits) as demand visibility increases closer to the point of sale • Better matching of supply and demand • Increased overall supply chain profits if the supplier has flexible capacity • Lower levels of information distortion than either buyback contracts or revenue sharing contracts

Contracts to Coordinate Supply Chain Costs
• Differences in costs at the buyer and supplier can lead to decisions that increase total supply chain costs • Example: Replenishment order size placed by the buyer. The buyer’s EOQ does not take into account the supplier’s costs. • A quantity discount contract may encourage the buyer to purchase a larger quantity (which would be lower costs for the supplier), which would result in lower total supply chain costs • Quantity discounts lead to information distortion because of order batching

Contracts to Increase Agent Effort
• There are many instances in a supply chain where an agent acts on the behalf of a principal and the agent’s actions affect the reward for the principal • Example: A car dealer who sells the cars of a manufacturer, as well as those of other manufacturers • Examples of contracts to increase agent effort include twopart tariffs and threshold contracts • Threshold contracts increase information distortion, however

Contracts to Induce Performance Improvement
• A buyer may want performance improvement from a supplier who otherwise would have little incentive to do so • A shared savings contract provides the supplier with a fraction of the savings that result from the performance improvement • Particularly effective where the benefit from improvement accrues primarily to the buyer, but where the effort for the improvement comes primarily from the supplier

Supply Contracts: Case Study
• Example: Demand for a movie newly released video cassette typically starts high and decreases rapidly
– Peak demand last about 10 weeks

• Blockbuster purchases a copy from a studio for $65 and rent for $3
– Hence, retailer must rent the tape at least 22 times before earning profit

• Retailers cannot justify purchasing enough to cover the peak demand
– In 1998, 20% of surveyed customers reported that they could not rent the movie they wanted

Supply Contracts: Case Study
• Starting in 1998 Blockbuster entered a revenue sharing agreement with the major studios
– Studio charges $8 per copy – Blockbuster pays 30-45% of its rental income

• Even if Blockbuster keeps only half of the rental income, the breakeven point is 6 rental per copy • The impact of revenue sharing on Blockbuster was dramatic
– Rentals increased by 75% in test markets – Market share increased from 25% to 31% (The 2nd largest retailer, Hollywood Entertainment Corp has 5% market share)

(s, S) Policies
• For some starting inventory levels, it is better to not start production • If we start, we always produce to the same level • Thus, we use an (s,S) policy. If the inventory level is below s, we produce up to S. • s is the reorder point, and S is the order-up-to level • The difference between the two levels is driven by the fixed costs associated with ordering, transportation, or manufacturing

A Multi-Period Inventory Model
• Often, there are multiple reorder opportunities • Consider a central distribution facility which orders from a manufacturer and delivers to retailers. The distributor periodically places orders to replenish its inventory

Reminder:

The Normal Distribution
Standard Deviation = 5 Standard Deviation = 10

0

10

20

Average =40 30 30

50

60

The DC holds inventory to:

• Satisfy demand during lead time • Protect against demand uncertainty • Balance fixed costs and holding costs

• Normally distributed random demand • Fixed order cost plus a cost proportional to amount ordered. • Inventory cost is charged per item per unit time • If an order arrives and there is no inventory, the order is lost • The distributor has a required service level. This is expressed as the the likelihood that the distributor will not stock out during lead time. • Intuitively, how will this effect our policy?

The Multi-Period Continuous Review Inventory Model

A View of (s, S) Policy
S Inventory Level

Inventory Position

Lead Time

s 0 Time

The (s,S) Policy
• (s, S) Policy: Whenever the inventory position drops below a certain level, s, we order to raise the inventory position to level S. • The reorder point is a function of:
– The Lead Time – Average demand – Demand variability – Service level

Notation
• • • • • • AVG = average daily demand STD = standard deviation of daily demand LT = replenishment lead time in days h = holding cost of one unit for one day K = fixed cost SL = service level (for example, 95%). This implies that the probability of stocking out is 100%-SL (for example, 5%) • Also, the Inventory Position at any time is the actual inventory plus items already ordered, but not yet delivered.

Analysis
• The reorder point (s) has two components:
– To account for average demand during lead time: LT× AVG – To account for deviations from average (we call this safety stock) z × STD × √LT where z is chosen from statistical tables to ensure that the probability of stockouts during leadtime is 100%-SL.

• Since there is a fixed cost, we order more than up to the reorder point: Q=√(2 × K × AVG)/h • The total order-up-to level is: S=Q+s

Example
• The distributor has historically observed weekly demand of: AVG = 44.6 STD = 32.1 Replenishment lead time is 2 weeks, and desired service level SL = 97% • Average demand during lead time is: 44.6 × 2 = 89.2 • Safety Stock is: 1.88 × 32.1 × √2 = 85.3 • Reorder point is thus 175, or about 3.9 = (175/44.6) weeks of supply at warehouse and in the pipeline

Example, Cont.
• Weekly inventory holding cost: 0.87= (0.18x250/52)
– Therefore, Q=679

• Order-up-to level thus equals:
– Reorder Point + Q = 176+679 = 855

Periodic Review
• Suppose the distributor places orders every month • What policy should the distributor use? • What about the fixed cost?

Base-Stock Policy
r L
Base-stock Level

r L Inventory Position L

Inventory Level

0 Time

Periodic Review Policy
• Each review echelon, inventory position is raised to the base-stock level. • The base-stock level includes two components:
– Average demand during r+L days (the time until the next order arrives): (r+L)*AVG – Safety stock during that time: z*STD* √r+L

Risk Pooling
• Consider these two systems:
Warehouse One Supplier Warehouse Two Market Two Market One Supplier Warehouse Market Two Market One

Risk Pooling
• For the same service level, which system will require more inventory? Why? • For the same total inventory level, which system will have better service? Why? • What are the factors that affect these answers?

Risk Pooling Example
• Compare the two systems:
– two products – maintain 97% service level – $60 order cost – $.27 weekly holding cost – $1.05 transportation cost per unit in decentralized system, $1.10 in centralized system – 1 week lead time

Risk Pooling Example
Week Prod A, Market 1 Prod A, Market 2 Prod B, Market 1 Product B, Market 2 1 33 46 0 2 2 45 35 2 4 3 37 41 3 0 4 38 40 0 0 5 55 26 0 3 6 30 48 1 1 7 18 18 3 0 8 58 55 0 0

Risk Pooling Example

Warehouse P Market 1

A

Risk Pooling Example
Warehouse Product AVG STD CV Market 1 Market 2 Market 1 Market 2 Cent. Cent A A B B A B 39.3 38.6 13.2 .34 12.0 .31 s 65 62 S 197 193 29 29 Avg. % Inven. Dec. 91 88 14 15 132 20 36% 43%

1.125 1.36 1.21 4 1.25 1.58 1.26 5 77.9 20.7 .27 2.375 1.9 .81

118 304 6 39

Risk Pooling: Important Observations
• Centralizing inventory control reduces both safety stock and average inventory level for the same service level. • This works best for
– High coefficient of variation, which increases required safety stock. – Negatively correlated demand. Why?

• What other kinds of risk pooling will we see?

To Centralize or not to Centralize
• What is the effect on:
– Safety stock? – Service level? – Overhead? – Lead time? – Transportation Costs?

Centralized Systems*
Supplier

Warehouse

Retailers

• Centralized Decision

Centralized Distribution Systems*
• Question: How much inventory should management keep at each location? • A good strategy: – The retailer raises inventory to level Sr each period – The supplier raises the sum of inventory in the retailer and supplier warehouses and in transit to Ss – If there is not enough inventory in the warehouse to meet all demands from retailers, it is allocated so that the service level at each of the retailers will be equal.

Inventory Management: Best Practice
• Periodic inventory reviews • Tight management of usage rates, lead times and safety stock • ABC approach • Reduced safety stock levels • Shift more inventory, or inventory ownership, to suppliers • Quantitative approaches

Changes In Inventory Turnover
• Inventory turnover ratio = annual sales/avg. inventory level • Inventory turns increased by 30% from 1995 to 1998 • Inventory turns increased by 27% from 1998 to 2000 • Overall the increase is from 8.0 turns per year to over 13 per year over a five year period ending in year 2000.

Inventory Turnover Ratio

Indus

Factors that Drive Reduction in Inventory
• Top management emphasis on inventory reduction (19%) • Reduce the Number of SKUs in the warehouse (10%) • Improved forecasting (7%) • Use of sophisticated inventory management software (6%) • Coordination among supply chain members (6%) • Others

Factors that Drive Inventory Turns Increase
• • • • • • • Better software for inventory management (16.2%) Reduced lead time (15%) Improved forecasting (10.7%) Application of SCM principals (9.6%) More attention to inventory management (6.6%) Reduction in SKU (5.1%) Others

Forecasting
• Recall the three rules • Nevertheless, forecast is critical • General Overview:
– Judgment methods – Market research methods – Time Series methods – Causal methods

Judgment Methods
• Assemble the opinion of experts • Sales-force composite combines salespeople’s estimates • Panels of experts – internal, external, both • Delphi method
– Each member surveyed – Opinions are compiled – Each member is given the opportunity to change his opinion

Market Research Methods
• Particularly valuable for developing forecasts of newly introduced products • Market testing
– Focus groups assembled. – Responses tested. – Extrapolations to rest of market made.

• Market surveys
– Data gathered from potential customers – Interviews, phone-surveys, written surveys, etc.

Time Series Methods
• Past data is used to estimate future data • Examples include
– Moving averages – average of some previous demand points. – Exponential Smoothing – more recent points receive more weight – Methods for data with trends:
• Regression analysis – fits line to data • Holt’s method – combines exponential smoothing concepts with the ability to follow a trend

– Methods for data with seasonality
• Seasonal decomposition methods (seasonal patterns removed) • Winter’s method: advanced approach based on exponential smoothing

– Complex methods (not clear that these work better)

Causal Methods
• Forecasts are generated based on data other than the data being predicted • Examples include:
– Inflation rates – GNP – Unemployment rates – Weather – Sales of other products

Selecting the Appropriate Approach:
• What is the purpose of the forecast?
– Gross or detailed estimates?

• What are the dynamics of the system being forecast?
– Is it sensitive to economic data? – Is it seasonal? Trending?

• How important is the past in estimating the future? • Different approaches may be appropriate for different stages of the product lifecycle:
– Testing and intro: market research methods, judgment methods – Rapid growth: time series methods – Mature: time series, causal methods (particularly for long-range planning)

• It is typically effective to combine approaches.

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