Read through the Case Study entitled â€œM&L Manufacturingâ€ in Chapter 3 of your textbook. Examine the historical trend this company has experienced for the two products discussed. Prepare weekly forecasts for the next four weeks for both products, describe the forecasting method you chose and explain why that forecasting method is best suited to the scenario. Explain why you did, or did not, choose the same forecasting method for each product. What are the benefits of using a formalized approach to forecasting these products?
Be sure to use at least two current, scholarly references beyond any required course readings. Current sources are those published within the most recent five-year period, and scholarly sources are those from peer-reviewed journals.
Make certain for each listed reference that you have at least one supporting citation in the body of your content. Your reference page is always the last page of the submission where all individual references get listed. The Saudi Digital Library is a good resource to search for these references. Submit your presentation into the Assignment Dropbox.
M&L Manufacturing makes various components for printers and copiers.
In addition to supplying these items to a major manufacturer, the
company distributes these and similar items to office supply stores and
computer stores as replacement parts for printers and desktop copiers.
In all, the company makes about 20 different items. The two markets
(the major manufacturer and the replacement market) require somewhat
different handling. For example, replacement products must be packaged
individually whereas products are shipped in bulk to the major
The company does not use forecasts for production planning. Instead,
the operations manager decides which items to produce and the batch
size, based on orders and the amounts in inventory. The products that
have the fewest amounts in inventory get the highest priority. Demand is
uneven, and the company has experienced being overstocked on some
items and out of others. Being understocked has occasionally created
tensions with the managers of retail outlets. Another problem is that
prices of raw materials have been creeping up, although the operations
manager thinks that this might be a temporary condition.
Because of competitive pressures and falling profits, the manager
has decided to undertake a number of changes. One change is to introduce
more formal forecasting procedures in order to improve production
planning and inventory management.
With that in mind, the manager wants to begin forecasting for two
products. These products are important for several reasons. First, they
account for a disproportionately large share of the companyâ€™s profits.
Second, the manager believes that one of these products will become
increasingly important to future growth plans; and third, the other product
has experienced periodic out-of-stock instances.
The manager has compiled data on product
demand for the two products from order records
for the previous 14 weeks. These are shown in the following table.
Week Product 1 Product 2
1 50 40
2 54 38
3 57 41
4 60 46
5 64 42
6 67 41
7 90 * 41
8 76 47
9 79 42
10 82 43
11 85 42
12 87 49
13 92 43
14 96 44
*Unusual order due to flooding of customerâ€™s warehouse.
1. What are some of the potential benefits of a more formalized
approach to forecasting?
2. Prepare a weekly forecast for the next four weeks for each product.
Briefly explain why you chose the methods you used. ( Hint: For
product 2, a simple approach, possibly some sort of naive/intuitive
approach, would be preferable to a technical approach in view of the
managerâ€™s disdain of more technical methods.)