Electronics Demand Forecasting Blind Side

It's becoming clear to me that regardless of how much digital “ink” we spill globally on supply-chain importance and tactics, we have a long way to go to optimize processes.

Bigger companies are, of course, more geared up to improve processes and invest in new technologies. But the majority of the bell curve (small to mid-sized companies) face a resource challenge.

Future Improver

Much of the industry is unsatisfied with the current  state of demand forecasting. That means opportunity.

Much of the industry is unsatisfied with the current
state of demand forecasting. That means opportunity.

That was evident in last week's EBN poll on forecasting. One in three respondents felt their company's demand forecasting was poor, or just outright bad.

A nearly like amount, on the other hand, felt forecasting processes were good or very good. The rest bunched up in the middle.

This is a huge opportunity for consultants and tools vendors. Ken Bradley, president of Lytica, is one such resource. He writes about ways to improve your supply chain and procurement insight, and his company offers procurement professionals the ability to benchmark their costs and get cost estimates for potential component purchases.

But there are others out there, from SiliconExpert to to any number of third-party providers.

What's working for you? And if you're a provider, what should people be considering to optimize their demand forecasting capabilities?

7 comments on “Electronics Demand Forecasting Blind Side

    March 15, 2013

    I wish I could share some words of wisdom but we are just as poor at forecasting.  Every new forecast has the typical hockey stick improvement but it rarely materializes.  The best an organization can do is to be agile enough to react better than the competition.

  2. hash.era
    March 16, 2013

    Any item needs forecasting because with forecasting you can add some extra value to it. It was there at the beginning itself but the extra value was not that needed at that time but right now we need and that is why the importance of forecasting has risen. I think it's a good thing. 

  3. _hm
    March 16, 2013

    Is forecasting in EE industry quite dependent on world and US economy? And economy is very difficult to predict, e.g. recent encounter of 2008 economy turmoil without much prediction. If this is true, how one can truly predict and trust forecast data without associated risk?

  4. SP
    March 18, 2013

    sometimes its tricky to get the forecast of demands in electronics supply chain. Customers are not ready to commit on numbers and sometimes there is a suddend demand.

  5. Taimoor Zubar
    March 18, 2013

    Interesting post, Brian. How important do you think the role of technology is being played when it comes to forecasting in the electronic supply chain? Are we moving towards more accurate forecasting with the help of technology such as analytics and Big Data? Or are conventional ways of forecasting still continuing to be important?

  6. Taimoor Zubar
    March 18, 2013

    Customers are not ready to commit on numbers and sometimes there is a suddend demand.”

    @SP: I think the problem with most electronic manufacturers is that they are in the middle tier of the value chain where demand for electronics is directly driven by demand for consumer goods. And that's what makes the forecasting process trickier because consumer demand is highly volatile.

  7. SP
    March 19, 2013

    absolutely agree. Consumer demand pattern is hihly volatile. Sometimes if one friend buys samsung galaxy tab, the other person also plans to buy. Now a days I am seeing many young guys havin samsung phones. I think hardly the guys go and check what they want and what is avialble in the market and take what they really want.

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