Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting Methods & Systems

Forecasting at Taylor Made Golf

Academic journal article The Journal of Business Forecasting Methods & Systems

Forecasting at Taylor Made Golf

Article excerpt

Carlsbad-based Taylor Made Golf company produces a full line of golf equipment and accessories. The overwhelming choice of professional, top amateur and serious golfers, Taylor Made Metalwood clubs are the best-selling line of premium wood-type clubs in the United Sates and continue to rank No. 1 on the PGA (Professional Golf Association), LPGA (Lady Professional Golf Association) and Senior Tours.

There are over 15,000 SKUs which make up more than 20 various product lines. The forecast at the SKU level is reviewed and updated monthly with the help of the Demand Solutions Forecasting software. Most products require a three month lead time. The review process involves both number analysis and field contact.

The Demand Solutions software provides a suggested baseline forecast for all products. The system holds 3-1/2 years of history at the SKU level and uses 20 different formulas to project the future. The detail is then aggregated and reviewed at a much higher level. Any adjustments that are necessary are usually made at the higher level and then prorated down. This is where the field contact becomes very important.

FIELD CONTACTS HELP FORECASTS

The person responsible for forecasting should be in the field with the sales reps six to eight times a year. It is important to pick a good cross section of the country and visit many different types of accounts (i.e., golf courses, public and private, and stores) in each location chosen. This provides an opportunities to get a feel for how accounts are thinking, how the products are perceived, what is hot in the industry, and what are the buying habits and patterns. Driving in a car for hours with a sales rep can tell a lot about his selling style: why some items may sell better in his territory than others, his overall perception of the market in his territory and many other useful things that can aid in improving the forecast.

PARTICIPATION OF DIFFERENT FUNCTIONAL HEADS IS MUST

With all of this in mind, the forecast is reviewed and updated as necessary. formal document is prepared detailing any changes made to the forecast and why. The next step in the process is a formal meeting including the President, VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, VP of Industrial, VP of Administration, Product Managers, Customer Service Manager, Purchasing Manager and Forecaster to discuss the proposed forecast and the changes made. …

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