All organisations operate in a world of uncertainties and imperfect knowledge about the future, yet despite all this, decisions still have to be made. With the dynamic environments in which most businesses operate, staying ahead of the competition is vital. This requires the ability to predict market trends, product innovations, regulatory changes and the responses of competitors to the changing landscape. Such forecasting ability is vital if one needs to reduce the probability of making incorrect decisions, some of which are often irreversible. Without the benefits of training, forecasting may become a daunting task. A strong grounding in forecasting fundamentals and models, that ensure both timeliness and accuracy of forecasts at reasonable costs, is a must if one needs to stay ahead of the competition. AIFFA is the leading platform in Africa to acquire such skills through its premier courses in demand and business forecasting. Those who will benefit from these courses include demand planners, forecasters and analysts; product or brand managers; operations managers; inventory and logistics professionals; sales or marketing managers, executives and directors; market analysts; strategic planners; business development managers; statisticians; engineers; financial analysts; researchers; economists; and many other related professions.
377382 – Fundamentals of Business Forecasting
For any business to successfully stay ahead of the competition, the ability to intelligently predict future business dynamics in the economy and in all its functional areas from strategic management, finance, marketing, production, operation, and supply chain, among others, is very important. Without forecasting it will be difficult for a business to properly plan for any unforeseen events that are likely to affect its operations and to ensure retention of customers and skilled employees, increase or maintain market share, and boost profitability. Therefore, the necessity of forecasting in an organisation is not debatable since the inescapable conclusion is that future estimates are required upon which to build a plan, irrespective of business type or functional area. Thus, it is vital for every business to have at least one person in charge of the forecasting process with expertise or a basic working knowledge of business forecasting. The aim of AIFFA’s Fundamentals of Business Forecasting (FBF) course is to equip such persons with the right methods, tools, techniques and models to competently perform their roles and responsibilities. These range from qualitative methods, such as judgemental forecasting and the Delphi method, to quantitative models, ranging from the naïve method, time series decomposition, moving averages, exponential smoothing methods, and causal methods such as regression models. Delegates will also learn how to select and use the most appropriate methods and models for any given situation, use forecasting software, and measure, minimise, and track forecasting errors for optimal decision-making.
336720 – Fundamentals of Demand Forecasting
Estimating future demand remains the most frustratingly difficult and challenging aspect in any organisation’s supply chain, yet the fact that it is the most fundamentally valuable cannot be over-emphasised. Proper forecasting helps a business ensure that it has enough supply on hand to satisfy demand. The ramifications of inaccurate forecasts can be felt throughout the entire supply chain. Failure to accurately forecast and thus synchronise supply and demand will negatively impact on a company's performance, more so with regards to inventory management. An overestimation of demand will lead to bloated inventories and thus loss of income due to high inventory costs, storage or warehousing costs, transhipments, obsolescence of products, and damage or spoilage of perishable goods. On the other hand, underestimating demand and suddenly getting inundated with large orders will lead to a shortage of inventories and stock-outs. This would adversely impact on customer relations as many valued customers may become disgruntled. Some of the disgruntled customers might take their business elsewhere leading to a loss of market share to competitors. Last-minute rush orders to restock is usually costly, putting a dent on profit margins and net income. AIFFA’s Fundamentals of Demand Forecasting (FDF) course builds on the forecasting methods, tools, techniques and models learnt from the FBF course to introduce the learner to the best practice, methodology and process in forecasting demand – from data sourcing and structuring, analysis and interpretation, and the creation of the final forecast for Sales & Operations Planning. Delegate will learn how to select appropriate forecasting techniques to improve their forecasts and to treat the forecasting process as an integrated and collaborative exercise in which everyone in the supply chain should participate. The need to effectively incorporate sales and marketing intelligence and to align marketing, promotions, discounts and other logistics decisions in creating demand visibility across the supply chain will also be discussed.
12892 – Fundamentals of Economic Forecasting
No one can claim to have the crystal ball, especially when it comes to predicting the future state of the economy. This is because forecasts are only probabilistic, more so for economic systems given their great complexity, and their dynamic and stochastic nature. This does not mean we should wade in life as if it is a completely unpredictable random walk because, although not an exact science, economic forecasting is a crucial element of our existence with regards to how we conduct our economic affairs. It is an intelligent guesswork of immense importance in the financial world and a vital decision-making tool for businesses and governments as they formulate financial policy and strategy. Through it, we can understand the potential impacts of certain economic and market events and thus appropriately position ourselves for potential risks and rewards that might arise. Economic forecasting is even more important for effective monetary and fiscal policy formulation, enabling countries to properly plan their resources and avert a bleak future for their people. Good, high probability forecasts are rooted in empirics rather than politics for governments to take the right policy discourse and make good decisions for the benefit of the masses. AIFFA’s Fundamentals of Economic Forecasting (FEF) course equips the learner with the statistical and econometric models that are used in economic forecasting. The different economic systems, key indicators of economic performance, major players in the economy, international and domestic influences impacting financial markets, and financial market instruments are also discussed in detail. All data manipulation will be done in Excel and the modelling will be done using the instructor’s preferred software package..