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Integrated POS Forecasting: Who Wins, You or the Consultant?

E. Powell Robinson, Jr., Professor of Supply Chain Management, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

It is estimated that retailers loose about eight percent of their potential demand due to out of stock situations on the retailer shelf.  A significant portion of these stock outs is caused by ineffective forecasting and inventory control at upstream distribution centers and suppliers.  They proposed industry remedy is the application of advanced IT systems using integrated POS data sharing and forecasting at each facility echelon.  But implementation of such systems require significant investment in software, data cleansing, trained staff, and dedication to data integrity.  This presentation discusses on-going research with a major consumer product retailer that evaluates the effectiveness of using integrated POS forecasting in lieu of integrated sell-through data forecasting or traditional order based forecasting.  We address the impact on both supply chain planning and order fulfillment operations using actual data obtained from the focal retail supply chain.


Dr. Robinson is a Professor and Coordinator of the Supply Chain Management Programs at the Bauer College of Business.  He earned a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the University of Houston, he was on the faculty at Indiana University and later at Texas A&M University where he served as Head of the Information and Operations Management Department. Dr. Robinson is past President and Executive Director of the Decision Sciences Institute.  His research interests include supply chain strategy, facility network design, inventory management, and energy supply chains among others.