‘Realistic Business Forecasting’ bridges the gap between the academic methodology of forecasting and the practical application of these techniques in any business. There are plenty of books which cover topics of business strategy, such as an assessment of political and legal influences on an industry (a PEST analysis) or an analysis of the market and competitors. Similarly, people wishing to find books on the topic of forecasting will find an abundance of books which go into detail on a wide array of techniques. What Adam felt was missing was a text which blended these two issues; for example, once a firm has determined that a country’s economy is likely to weaken and its currency is expected to decline, how can this information be quantified and incorporated into a practical business strategy?
In business, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is not an academic exercise, it is a means to build on a company’s strengths, relative to its competitors. It is conducted to eliminate (or at least mitigate) relative weaknesses and assess factors in the macro-environment which the firm can use to its advantage, or against which it can build defences. The missing link is how all these factors are related to forecasting and this book provides that link.
A critical part of any project is whether it is economically viable, but too many organisations leave the forecasting element as an afterthought. Adam Simmons has combined his commercial and academic experience to overcome this problem.
He has created a practical and accessible guide for any business large or small, in any sector, to help them build their strategies, in advance, based on ‘Realistic Business Forecasting’.
Review Quotes from Adam’s last book Business Planning in Transport
“An excellent addition to the library of managers and students”
“This book provides managers and students with a veritable toolkit for dealing with the issues posed in modern business planning.”
“Adam brings his experience to bear having gained this initially with British Rail and London Transport and more recently with Network Rail and the UK Department for Transport. In addition he has advised on transport projects in five continents and held academic positions with several UK Universities.”
“This book is a must read for any student of transport at degree or post graduate level.”
Table of Contents
Realistic Business Forecasting
Part 1: Introduction and Overview
Part 2: Essential Quantitative Techniques
Part 3: The Macro-environment
Part 4: Industry and Firm Specific Drivers
Part 5: Introduction to Forecasting Techniques
Part 6: Short-Term Forecasting
Part 7: Long-Term Forecasting
Part 8: After the Forecasts – What Next?
2 Acme Food Stores Plc
3 Are Forecasting Errors Inevitable?
4 Channel Tunnel– Case Study
6 Analysing Historical Data
7 Probability & Contingency Planning
8 Queuing & Simulation
9 Simulation: Modelling Major Incidents
10 Working with Constraints
14 Overview of Drivers Influencing Forecasting
15 Inflation & Exchange Rates
16 Quantifiable Macroeconomic Factors
17 Less Quantifiable Macroeconomic Factors
18 Industry Drivers
19 Internal Drivers
20 Market Positioning
21 Firm Structure & Control Mechanisms
22 Simple Regression
23 Multiple Regression
24 Dummy Variables
25 Regression – Miscellaneous Topics
26 Time Series – Introduction
27 Japan Air Traffic
28 Single Exponential Smoothing
29 Triple Exponential Smoothing
31 Acme Food Stores Plc – Time Series Model Comparison
32 Long Term Forecasting
33 Long Term Forecasts CTD ‘Science’
34 Long Term Forecasts CTD ‘Art’
35 Financial Forecasting
36 How Did It All Work Out?
37 General Index
An extract from the Full Contents’ list:
1 INTRODUCTION Why this book? / Why Bother with Forecasting? / Short-Term Long-term Forecasting / Focus on Food / The Missing Link / The Modelling Process / Objectives of a Model / Acceptability
2 ACME FOOD STORES PLC Introduction / The Food Store Sector in the UK / Overall Growth / Market Shares / Stores and Revenue per Outlet / Financial Performance in Detail / Employees / Additional Issues for Acme / In Store Operations – Self Scan / Online Sales / Suppliers
3 ARE FORECASTING ERRORS INEVITABLE? / Chapter Overview / Systemic Errors / Technical Errors / Robustness of Forecasts / Ranking Factors by Robustness / Labour Costs / Labour Costs per Unit Produced / Raw Materials / Sector Demand / Company Demand / Company Revenue
4 CHANNEL TUNNEL– CASE STUDY / Overview / Market Volume / Market Shares / Forecasts / General Observations / Market Size / Tunnel Market Share / Closing Remarks
5 SAMPLING / Why Sampling is Important / Mean and Standard Deviation / Normalisation / Sampling, Standard Error and T Distribution / Introducing Sampling / Sample Standard Deviation / Standard Error of the Mean (SEM) / Degrees of Freedom (DoF) / T-Distribution / Degree of confidence / Confidence Interval / German Stores / UK Stores / How Could These Results Change? / Sample Quality / Sampling: Endnotes / Annex on Standard Deviation and SEM / Introduction / The Problem / Method 1- Simulation / Method 2 – Direct Calculation / Back to the Owner’s Problem