"Shaping and Forecasting Demand" focus of Enterprise Symposium

Demand forecasts – our best guess of what, when, and how much our customers will order in the future – drive key supply chain management decisions related to capacity, sourcing, production, inventories, and distribution. The price of inaccurate forecasts – lost sales and needless inventory investment – is high. 

The forecasting systems embedded in most Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems estimate future volumes from past sales. While sales history may be a good indicator of what the future holds, those past sales didn’t just happen.  Among other things, they were influenced by a series of managerial decisions about product mix, pricing, promotion, as well as the actions of our competitors.  In most cases, different choices would have resulted in a different sales history.

Demand management software is a class of products that are designed to help today’s managers keep their inventory in line with demand by improving the quality of demand forecasts and, in some cases, proactively shape and influence demand to improve revenue and profits.  Some vendors offer applications that facilitate collaboration among stakeholders to help reduce forecast uncertainty and the resulting waste.  Other vendors feature applications designed to reveal demand-price elasticities and help managers optimize revenues.  Still others offer tools to integrate revenue and capacity management decisions that have the potential to optimize demand and profits across product families, factories, and constrained production resources. 

On Feb 27, 2004, top experts from two of the leading demand management software firms—Demantr, and Manugistics— gathered in the Whitman School's Schoepflin Auditorium to offer their views on state-of-the-art demand management software:  what it is, what it isn’t, and how they see the category evolving. 

The symposium is available for download as streaming video, in the Whitman School’s Business Connections archive, http://whitman.syr.edu/connections.

About the participants ...

Neil Hooper
Group Vice President, Demand and Revenue Management Solutions
Neil Hooper leads Manugistic’s efforts to build its next- generation demand and revenue management business. Designed to help clients offer the right product to the right customer at the right price, these solutions are targeted at retail, CPG, travel, transportation and hospitality, high technology, industrial, and other highly competitive industries.

Hooper, with extensive expertise in business process strategy and the technology of supply chain management, has helped design, implement, and manage supply chains for companies that include Amazon.com, Eastman Kodak Co., Harley Davidson, Cisco Systems, Kraft Foods. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Queen's University, Canada, and an MBA from Boston University.

Jim Langabeer II
Executive Vice President, International Sales & Service

Following executive assignments with Demantra’s Consulting and R&D organizations, and more than a decade of senior supply chain management responsibilities (technology, logistics, operations, and planning) with Global Fortune 500 organizations, Jim Langabeer now focusses on Demantra's international markets. 

Langabeer is the co-author of Creating Demand Driven Supply Chains (Chandos Publishing, 2001), and his articles also appear regularly in scholarly journals such as Supply Chain Management Review and the Journal of Business Forecasting.  He holds a BBA from the University of Texas, an MBA from Baylor University, and a doctorate in strategy from the University of Houston. In addition to his responsibilities with Demantra,  Langabeer is on the administrative sciences faculty of Boston University.