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‘Good enough forecasts’: the limit of our ambition?

‘…of course it is not possible to have zero forecast errors’

‘Why not?’

So went a conversation with a potential client some years ago. As usual when somebody says something that, from your world view, is so obviously wrong that you have never thought of what you might say to counter it, I was left open mouthed and speechless. 

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Is it possible to measure the quality of Intermittent Demand forecasts?

Forecasting products where demand is intermittent (ID) has long been a problem for forecasters.

The reason for this is that, where the historic record contains many periods with zero demand, it is difficult for forecasting algorithms to pick up the correct demand signal to drive the forecast. And this is a non-trivial problem.  

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The folly of chasing errors

‘Every month we ask each demand manager to identify their ‘top three’ forecast errors and explain what they are doing to prevent their recurrence’ .  

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