Metsä Board, supply chain management

Foreseeing the future

​Forecasting is difficult, but essential for long-term planning. It’s also an important part of lean supply chain management, eliminating the parts of supply chain and logistics processes that bring no value to the customer.
​The quip “prediction is difficult, especially if it’s about the future” is so famous that a great number of people have claimed it as their own. Some say the Danish physicist Niels Bohr said it first. Others think it was the Hollywood magnate Samuel Goldwyn.

However, even though it is difficult to make forecasts, they are of utmost importance for the whole value chain. Without proper forecasts it is impossible to operate effectively.

Everything starts with the consumer. In the value chain we have to be able to predict market changes and consumers’ expectations and demands.

Matti Ketonen
Matti Ketonen

Forecasts are vital for business planning. But we also have to look at the past, try to discern a pattern, and make up our minds whether the trends we see are likely to continue.

Take the washing machine in your home. You cannot know the exact moment when it will need replacing, but you must be ready for that day. On the other hand, neither do you want to keep the money in your bank account waiting indefinitely. The better you have planned your expenditure, the better you are prepared to buy a new one. Better planning makes us all in the value chain more flexible and agile.

By working together with our customers and other players in the value chain, we gain a more dependable view of the future and can plan accordingly. We have proven skills in this, developed over time.

We have been working hard to make significant structural renewal in our supply chain, including a new technical solution. In creating it, our starting point was neither the IT nor the process itself, but the service we give our customers.

‘Exceeding expectations’ is another familiar quote, but one we would like to claim as our own for services!

Published previously in Metsä Board Magazine Issue 1/2015, on 8 May 2015

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