18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, most forecasters and planners have likely come to realize that they’ve gotten minimal value from looking at historical demand patterns. Time series forecasting systems can no longer be relied upon. During the pandemic, as well as somewhat after it, they will need to rely on Life Cycle and Cause-Effect methods to forecast demand. This column discusses a simple Short Life Cycle (SLC) forecasting approach. It highlights those used by retailers for seasonal products with little to no prior history. It is recommended for use anytime forecasters find themselves forecasting under uncertainty as opposed to risk.

From Issue: The Forecaster’s Predicament: Communicating Uncertainty Effectively
(Fall 2021)

Short Lifecycle Forecasting for ‘Muddling-Through’ Uncertainties