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Sales Forecasting and Demand Planning Workshop


Who should attend?

How will the company benefit?

What will I learn?

Course leaders







In today's turbulent times where key global decisions appear to end up with the unexpected happening, it might seem that Sales forecasting and Demand Planning are impossible. However, we would maintain it is more important than ever for businesses to make realistic forecasts, updated weekly or monthly, to include the latest changes in assumptions which go with major changes that relate to key variables like the political landscape, the price of oil, inflation, the fate of Europe. Even more, you need to buld scenarios that enable you to plan better.


Not only is the process of forecasting difficult because of the nature of the outside world, but companies make it even more difficult by having the wrong set of Performance Measures and responsibilities to drive their commercial and supply chain operations. We believe it is vital for Sales and Marketing to take ownership of the Sales Forecast, and be accountable for the accuracy. They should also be accountable for inventory.



A good Sales Forecasting and Demand Management process will deliver the growth and ambition that many companies seek to achieve. In the same way that operations should plan the work and then work the plan, so Sales and Marketing should "plan the sale" and then "sell the plan". It is not about trying to guess the future. Demand Planning is about recognising the demand for your products, and then putting in place a plan for capturing customer demand. But in so doing it is vital to communicate to supply chain what they need to provide, and to finance what cash you expect to need to support your customers' and consumers demand


The need for a Sales Forecast

We show why a forecast is needed, in order to communicate to Operations, Finance and Technical the requiremetns for cash, people and equipment. HR also needs to know the needs for skills now and in the future. We illustrate the need to develop this forecast based on volumes at a SKU and Family level and in Financial Terms.


Structuring the Sales Forecasting process

We share with you and your delegates the structure of a best practise process, which goes from creating a statistical forecast, through to including all commercial information [promotions, advertising, new products, competitive activity] into the forecasting. We show how to measure forecast accuracy and bias, and more importantly how to use the data to improve the forecasting process. We also show how to use scenarios to deal wit major uncertainties. Above all we help you create an "Assumptions map" to make sure the basis of the forecast is explicity recorded.


Sales Forecasting process and performance measures

Many companies destroy the quality of their forecast data by having the wrong performance measures. For instance Sales are rewarded on beating the forecast; hence they will forecast low to sell high, and get a pat on the back. Hence we show how to measure forecast accuracy [or error] and how to measure forecast bias. Using "Fishbone" and DMAIC analytical techniques, we can show how the forecasting process can be improved.


Demand Management

Forecasts will inevitably wrong. However, we see companies fail to have an effective process for identifying abnormal demand at point of customer order entry, and programme their computers correctly to consume the forecast and calcualte "Available to Promise". So we show how to identify abnormla demand, and how to establish a policy for the management of abnormal demand.


Implementation and avoiding pitfalls

We have a formal process for the implementation of a good Sales Forecasting process, normally carried out as part of an ERP implementation or an "integrated business planning" process. We will show how to structure the implementation, and give tips and tricks on the Task force activities required. Implementation of a good forecasting process requires a fundamental change in culture, and we will share how education must be at the cornerstone of the implementation. We will illustrate how to set up an education programme.



Who should attend?

CEOs, Managing Directors, Sales and Marketing Directors, Operations Directors, Supply Chain Directors, senior managers, project leaders and team members who are wanting to transform the performance of their Sales Forecasting process



How will the company benefit?

Development of the process leads to improved visibility, improved communication and a more formal way of handling the demand planning process. The ambition to grow sales and profit will be better achieved.


As a result the company will gain a real improvement in customer service, which will lead to increased sales – normally around 2%. In addition clients typically achieve 15 - 30% less inventory,


What will I learn?

  • Why your business needs a good Sales Forecasting process
  • The steps required to set up a process that delivers and consensus demand plan based on one set of numbers
  • How to measure forecast accuracy and bias, and what to do with it.
  • How to ensure that Sales and Marketing are accountable for the quality and content of the Sales forecast
  • How to make sure you establish the right level of flexibility for the supply chain to respond to changing customer demands.
  • How to establish the Sales Forecasting and Demand Management process and make it work
  • Avoiding the pitfalls that prevent the acceptance of new ideas


In-company training

This course can also be delivered exclusively for your team. In-company training ensures everyone is up to best practice standard and you'll benefit from a more open environment to discuss your most pressing issues.


We can deliver this course cost-effectively in-house. Get in touch with our Development team at or 017890450568 to find out more.


Course leaders


Richard Watkins

Managing Director, The Delos Partnership


Richard Watkins has specialised in helping with the understanding and implementation of Integrated Business Leadership since 1991.


Richard was part of a team in ICI Agrochemicals (now Syngenta), which implemented what was then called ‘MRP II’, and achieved Class ‘A’. The team improved Customer Service to >98% and reduced inventory by 27%. They implemented the first Global Sales and Operations Planning process. Syngenta still operate the same process today.


Since then he has worked with a large number of companies, in diverse industries from Engineering, through Chemicals to fast moving consumer goods, and from very large £ multibillion to very small. All look to get away from firefighting to integrated business systems, processes and above all people, resulting in a far more competitive and profitable organisation. All clients have seen significant business benefits in improved customer service, inventory and profitability.


David Manning

Senior Partner, The Delos Partnership




Dave's experience in developing and implementing business systems started with British Steel, where he was part of the company's manufacturing systems development team. He later joined the management team of Rolls Royce Motor Cars, where he achieved Class ‘A’ in one of the most successful MRP II implementations.

Dave has worked for the last 18 years as an Oliver Wight Associate, focussing on the implementation of change through the strategic alignment of the integrated business planning process, and has particular expertise in extended supply chain management and global sales and operations planning.

His clients have included global pharmaceutical companies, FMCG companies, chemical companies, and engineering companies.

He brings an inspirational approach to helping clients get their people to bring about major transformation through education






For further information please contact Hellie Dullehan on 01789 450568 or via email on



"I think your course is the best I have ever been to!!"
Regina Patroni - Demand Planner Maxxium UK.
"Thank you for the course! I can honestly say it’s one of the best of its type that I’ve ever attended!!"
Eric Dunn - Supply Chain Manager A. Nelson’s.




Two day practical workshop

20-21 February 2018


£1,395 per delegate [£100 discount if booked up to 4 weeks before] plus VAT