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Forecasting and Planning



Forecasting and Planning


World leader in bearings and associated mechanical components engaged The Highland Group to help improve product availability.


  • Deliver a 5% improvement in Group Product Availability by implementing demand planning and collaborative supplier capacity planning for strategic commodities.


  • Deployed a sales forecasting process and tool enabling group-wide information review.
  • Achieved a 20% improvement to forecast.
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Case Study

Optimize Planning to Improve Product Availability


A world leader in bearings and associated mechanical components engaged The Highland Group to improve product availability.

Highland Approach

The Highland Group’s analytical professionals conducted a Discovery and Design process which identified key opportunities in Demand Planning, Supplier Capacity Planning and Sales & Operations Planning. The team developed a targeted action plan to address the issues and achieve the organization’s Driver Goal.

Actions Taken

Demand Planning:

  • Designed and validated collaborative Sales Forecasting process requirements.
  • Installed and configured the software solution and implemented user-connectivity.
  • Defined and validated a global sales history data structure.
  • Defined and validated business rules and software views/parameters for all three divisions.

Supplier Capacity Planning:

  • Designed and validated a collaborative Capacity Planning process.
  • Mobilized strategic suppliers through kick-off and training workshops.
  • Defined rollout map for Strategic Supplier segment.
  • Defined functional and data specifications for Proof of Concept.
  • Completed pilot of three cycles, involving 30+ factories, using an interim Excel tool.

Collaborative S&OP:

  • Designed and validated a collaborative Product Line Production/Inventory Planning process.
  • Reviewed and adopted a software module supporting the generation of a Product Line Production, Inventory and Sales Plan.
  • Defined and validated functional specifications for users; installed and configured the software solution on the corporate server.
  • Mobilized collaborative teams and defined data requirements.
  • Initiated an executive coaching program focused on the S&OP process, roles and reporting requirements.

Forecast improvement of


by implementing better demand planning and collaborative supplier management

Related Information

subject matter-based

Presenting Analyst

John is a Senior Executive and Presenting Analyst at The Highland Group with more than 30 years of leadership experience in management consulting. He has led hundreds of global consulting engagements that delivered an array of operational improvement solutions with total client benefits exceeding $1 billion dollars.

Head of Organizational Development

Don is an internationally recognized organizational change and development expert with 33 years of global experience in partnering with results-oriented clients to achieve sustainable behavioral change and targeted bottom-line results in productivity, quality and profitability. He is recognized for fostering high levels of enterprise-wide sustainable performance improvement ownership. Don’s key strengths include his ability to engage stakeholders at all levels, create collaborative environments and work within the culture to achieve leadership, management and employee breakthrough results.

Senior Consultant

Supply Chain

Laurence has more than twenty years of industry and consulting experience in all areas of supply chain management – including inventory management and procurement – and in Total Working Capital management.