A collaborative demand forecasting process with event-based fuzzy judgements
Mathematical forecasting approaches can lead to reliable demand forecast in some environments by extrapolating regular patterns in time-series. However, unpredictable events that do not appear in historical data can reduce the usefulness of mathematical forecasts for demand planning purposes. Since forecasters have partial knowledge of the context and of future events, grouping and structuring the fragmented implicit knowledge, in order to be easily and fully integrated in final demand forecasts is the objective of this work. This paper presents a judgemental collaborative approach for demand forecasting in which the mathematical forecasts, considered as the basis, are adjusted by the structured and combined knowledge from different forecasters. The approach is based on the identification and classification of four types of particular events. Factors corresponding to these events are evaluated through a fuzzy inference system to ensure the coherence of the results. To validate the approach, two case studies were developed with forecasters from a plastic bag manufacturer and a distributor belonging to the food retailing industry. The results show that by structuring and combining the judgements of different forecasters to identify and assess future events, companies can experience a high improvement in demand forecast accuracy.