As General Manager of Zebra Analytics, Guy is responsible for the growth, leadership strategy and customer success of the business unit.
It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly altered life and business as we know it. In our current reality, the only constant now is change, and regardless of your industry, successfully navigating an increasingly volatile environment cannot be accomplished with an eye for old practices.
Let’s take forecasting, for example. Forecasting has long been a go-to planning tool, using historical data and other indexes to predict future inventory, supply chain and labor needs. However, accurate forecasting based on historical data is much less effective due to the new realities of Covid-19.
For retailers and CPG companies, the pandemic has skewed forecasting’s value through massive demand swings, localized panic buying and supply shortages forcing extensive substitutions. No mathematical model can forecast with reasonable accuracy amid those erratic trends. Forecasts were always wrong anyway since they are predictions of the future — the important thing is how wrong they are. If their degree of inaccuracy (expressed as a percentage) is consistent over time, then companies can use them to measure the safety stock and model stock. The practicality of this has changed drastically in the “new normal” and made forecasting a major challenge.
It’s essential that organizations align with the times through a proactive response plan that incorporates advanced technology, automated intelligence, machine learning and resiliency in the supply chain. And it doesn’t stop there — while developing a sound plan is all well and good, organizations must actually be able to execute on it in order to navigate the current challenging environment.
What The Winners Are Doing
The ripple effects of Covid-19 have taken a drastic toll on a variety of industries. However, despite these arduous