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The College of Business and Economics

Effective Planning and Forecasting: Supply Chain Management

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Planning is a critical process in every company. More importantly planning is the driver of many of the processes that happens within the firm and within the supply chain. Without effective demand and inventory planning, companies will constantly be reacting to changing market trends leading to operational uncertainty, poor customer service and ultimately poor financial results.

The purpose of this two-day program is to provide you with the tools, and methods necessary to define, develop, and manage the planning process. This course will begin with the fundamentals of demand management, different forecast techniques, inventory management tools and move onto explaining best practices that companies are using today so you can identify the gaps in your business processes, people capabilities and tools and what to do about that when you get back to your desk. There will be plenty of discussion and idea sharing among the participants as well as hands on practice with business cases.


  • Participate in a supply chain game to build a foundation for SC improvement initiatives and gain an understanding of solutions to manage uncertainty and risk
  • Discover best practices in demand planning and forecasting methods and how to drastically reduce forecast uncertainty
  • Understand key supply chain system trade-offs between capacity, lead times, inventory and customer service
  • Establish optimal lot size, safety stock and reorder point parameters
  • Optimize inventories across a multi-tier supply network

Who should attend

This program is designed for business leaders and managers who want a broad foundation in how to think about a business as a system and planning organizations that want to learn industry best practices. This program provides novel approaches to solving pressing supply chain issues leading to improved customer service and long term competitive advantage.


Phillip Coles has an undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University, an MBA in Supply Chain Management from Lehigh University and an MS in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University. In addition to his formal education, he also studied lean and continuous improvement a...
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