UK executives struggle with demand forecasting

6 January 2005
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06 January 2005 | Cara Whitehouse

Almost half of UK decision-makers have problems with accurately forecasting demand, according to a recent survey.

The latest annual UPS Europe Business Monitor, which polls 1,500 director-level executives across Europe, found that 47 per cent of UK respondents faced problems in predicting demand.

This compared with an average of 41 per cent of executives across the seven western European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

The Netherlands appeared to have the most accurate forecasting, with only 25 per cent of those polled admitting there were difficulties.

But the result may indicate that British and French supply chain executives are actually more aware of the forecasting problems and can therefore take action to correct them, according to Tony Dawson, UPS's UK supply chain solutions sales manager.

He told SM: "The results are likely to suggest more awareness in the UK. We are a huge importer so management of inventories and supply chains is crucial to business."

The UK recorded the second-lowest figure for problem-free supply chains, with only 23 per cent of those polled stating they had no issues. The average was 31 per cent.

It is the first time UPS has included supply chain questions in the survey, which polls business leaders for their opinions on the economy, business performance and outlook on the year ahead.

Dawson said its inclusion reflected the recognition by businesses that the supply chain could have a significant effect on the success of a company.

The survey also revealed that the most frustrating technological aspect for managers was receiving too many e-mails.

This was followed by spam e-mails, crashed computers and slow Internet access.

The second part of the survey will include opinions on outsourcing. Its results will be published later this month.

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