BLOG: Keeping up with the youth in forecasting
Freek Aertsen | December 01, 2015 |
How do you stay ahead in a rapidly changing world? The younger Xbox generation gathers and processes information differently than other age groups. Their way of using digital devices is changing how we work, live and communicate today. In supply chain planning and forecasting, planners still use traditional software data systems and human knowledge methods to collect and record information. New tools will be needed, and we will have to adapt existing while developing more advanced working processes just to keep up with the youth.
Adding Xbox to planning and forecasting programming
Our planning methods will have to align with ‘Xbox generation’ thinking and communication. We have just started to explore this topic which has numerous ramifications for the future. This discussion kick-started during the European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF) held on 18 November 2015. I gave a presentation on the topic ‘Planner in the 21st century’. During this conference, we discussed how information is actually processed today. Our lively group discussion triggered questions such as: ‘Which capabilities are required in updating planning and forecasting?’ and ‘How are we going to bridge the mismatch between planning tools and the younger generation?’ Representatives from 20 major companies actively participated in this challenging conference.
Bridging the gap with education
The current way young people communicate and follow the world news including the tools they use to play games, is more intuitive, interactive and communication-driven when compared to number crunching methods we now work with in the planning community. Should gamers be hired for planning positions? How can gaming and online tools be applied within the supply chain industry? Educational institutions worldwide will have to revise their curricula to bridge this generational gap. As professor in Supply Chain Management at Tias Business School (a joint venture between Tilburg University and Eindhoven University of Technology), I’m also involved in improving the quality of our master programmes. Together with other universities and innovative parties in other industries and branches, we are investigating how young people process information and its impact on supply chain planning and forecasting in the future.