Continente Siete (C7) is not only a consulting firm, but also a partner for its clients, seeking high impact interventions (in quality and time duration) that would lead them to an upgraded level of performance.
Among all the projects and business areas where C7 has been working on, it can be mentioned the consulting service on S&OP process, Demand Planning and Forecasting. Based on the principle exposed before, the training and knowledge transferring to the client are part of the service given. This allows C7 develop methodologies and tools for specific use according to each particular case and the clients get not only the solutions but also the knowledge of how to obtain the best use from them.
The “Advanced Forecasting Course” developed for Unilever Brazil is a case of the relationship of knowledge sharing. The course had the aim of providing the participants with all the required know-how and techniques that would allow them to improve the demand planning and forecasting in Unilever. After two years of consulting relation with them, Continente Siete knew the opportunities and necessities that Unilever had, and the course was then designed to cover those gaps, also in alignment to the company’s objectives.
The course starts with some basic modules where issues regarding S&OP process and supply chain area are discussed, in order to let participants understand the context and impact of demand forecasting in business results. There are also modules regarding times series models where logics, strengths and weaknesses for each model are evaluated. Do you know when to use a weighted moving average model or the Holt’s method? Can you use the Winter’s method when the historical series shows a trend component?
The final modules include more advanced issues like: methodologies to include price impact on the forecasting process, the impact of investments in different (type of) events, innovation forecast, range forecasting, Montecarlo Simulation, alternatives for “history cleaning process”, regressions and cannibalization effects. During the training days, C7 also introduces other possible approaches, such as Data Mining, Neural Networks, System Dynamics, Simulation and Artificial Intelligence. The course is complemented with a forecasting contest where participants compete in making the best forecast based on the knowledge brought during the training course.
Finally, it is sought a real application for all those trained issues by the participants on their day-to-day activities. To do that, they carry out an application project during three months where they study, define, develop, evaluate and suggest changes in the processes.
During 2012, C7 started, together with Unilever, the 2nd “Advanced Forecasting” Training Course that finished last January with great success. All Demand Planners have gone through the training allowing them count with technical and business knowledge that led to a significant improvement of the forecasting accuracy results for the company. At the same time, the application projects showed a great level of advance in methodology to be implemented in the Forecasting process.
C7’s objective is to be the client’s partner and to generate high leverage interventions. And the Advanced Forecasting Course for Unilever is a success case in that sense.