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Forecasting demand, improving inventories

2 July 2021

Predicting global demand for goods is the ultimate goal for international logistics.

Whilst some product sales follow predictable patterns, others are much harder to calculate.

Making and shipping products that do not sell adds to waste and puts pressure on global supply chains.

Now a new book by two leading UK academic experts aims to help practitioners better understand demand forecasting and inventory management, bringing leaner, greener benefits to global logistics.

Intermittent Demand Forecasting, by Professor John Boylan, Lancaster University, and Professor Aris Syntetos, Cardiff University, is the first ever text to focus on the methods and approaches of intermittent, rather than fast, demand forecasting.

John and Aris have worked closely with supply chain and software companies to improve demand forecasting and inventory management.

Published by Wiley, Intermittent Demand Forecasting discusses how success should be measured in the context of managing inventories and supply chains and explains key forecasting methods through worked examples and illustrations.

John Boylan, Professor of Business Analytics at Lancaster University, said: “Intermittent Demand Forecasting is for anyone who is interested in improving forecasts of intermittent demand products, and enhancing the management of inventories. Whether you are a practitioner, at the sharp end of demand planning, a software designer, a student, an academic teaching operational research or operations management courses, or a researcher in this field, we hope that the book will inspire you to rethink demand forecasting.”

Aris Syntetos, Cardiff Business School Professor of Operational Research and Operations Management, said: “No prior knowledge of intermittent demand forecasting or inventory management is assumed in our book. The key formulae are accompanied by worked examples to show how they can be implemented in practice. For those wishing to understand the theory in more depth, technical notes are provided at the end of each chapter, as well as an extensive and up-to-date collection of references for further study. We hope this volume can play its part in improving global supply chain efficiencies and reducing product obsolescence, waste and landfill.”

Professor Aris A. Syntetos

Welcoming the new volume, Spyros Makridakis, Professor, University of Nicosia, and Director, Institute for the Future and the Makridakis Open Forecasting Center (MOFC), said: “Intermittent demand forecasting may seem like a specialized area but actually is at the centre of sustainability efforts to consume less and to waste less. Boylan and Syntetos have done a superb job in showing how improvements in inventory management are pivotal in achieving this. Their book covers both the theory and practice of intermittent demand forecasting and my prediction is that it will fast become the bible of the field.”

Thomas R. Willemain, Professor Emeritus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, added: “Boylan and Syntetos have long been leaders in extending forecasting and inventory methods to accommodate this new reality. Their book gathers and clarifies decades of research in this area, and explains how practitioners can exploit this knowledge to make their operations more efficient and effective.”

Intermittent Demand Forecasting by John E. Boylan and Aris A. Syntetos is available from Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-13530-2 June 2021 400 Pages

A short animation explaining the core themes in the book

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