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Intermittent demand: Linking forecasting to inventory obsolescence

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  • Teunter, Ruud H.
  • Syntetos, Aris A.
  • Zied Babai, M.

Abstract

The standard method to forecast intermittent demand is that by Croston. This method is available in ERP-type solutions such as SAP and specialised forecasting software packages (e.g. Forecast Pro), and often applied in practice. It uses exponential smoothing to separately update the estimated demand size and demand interval whenever a positive demand occurs, and their ratio provides the forecast of demand per period. The Croston method has two important disadvantages. First and foremost, not updating after (many) periods with zero demand renders the method unsuitable for dealing with obsolescence issues. Second, the method is positively biased and this is true for all points in time (i.e. considering the forecasts made at an arbitrary time period) and issue points only (i.e. considering the forecasts following a positive demand occurrence only). The second issue has been addressed in the literature by the proposal of an estimator (Syntetos-Boylan Approximation, SBA) that is approximately unbiased. In this paper, we propose a new method that overcomes both these shortcomings while not adding complexity. Different from the Croston method, the new method is unbiased (for all points in time) and it updates the demand probability instead of the demand interval, doing so in every period. The comparative merits of the new estimator are assessed by means of an extensive simulation experiment. The results indicate its superior performance and enable insights to be gained into the linkage between demand forecasting and obsolescence.

Suggested Citation

  • Teunter, Ruud H. & Syntetos, Aris A. & Zied Babai, M., 2011. "Intermittent demand: Linking forecasting to inventory obsolescence," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(3), pages 606-615, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:214:y:2011:i:3:p:606-615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Petropoulos, Fotios & Makridakis, Spyros & Assimakopoulos, Vassilios & Nikolopoulos, Konstantinos, 2014. "‘Horses for Courses’ in demand forecasting," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 237(1), pages 152-163.
    2. Prestwich, S.D. & Tarim, S.A. & Rossi, R. & Hnich, B., 2014. "Forecasting intermittent demand by hyperbolic-exponential smoothing," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 928-933.
    3. Syntetos, Aris A. & Zied Babai, M. & Gardner, Everette S., 2015. "Forecasting intermittent inventory demands: simple parametric methods vs. bootstrapping," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1746-1752.
    4. Lolli, F. & Gamberini, R. & Regattieri, A. & Balugani, E. & Gatos, T. & Gucci, S., 2017. "Single-hidden layer neural networks for forecasting intermittent demand," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PA), pages 116-128.
    5. Romeijnders, Ward & Teunter, Ruud & van Jaarsveld, Willem, 2012. "A two-step method for forecasting spare parts demand using information on component repairs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 220(2), pages 386-393.
    6. repec:eee:ejores:v:266:y:2018:i:2:p:395-414 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Zhu, Sha & Dekker, Rommert & van Jaarsveld, Willem & Renjie, Rex Wang & Koning, Alex J., 2017. "An improved method for forecasting spare parts demand using extreme value theory," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 261(1), pages 169-181.
    8. Ralph Snyder & Adrian Beaumont & J. Keith Ord, 2012. "Intermittent demand forecasting for inventory control: A multi-series approach," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 15/12, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    9. Syntetos, Aris A. & Kholidasari, Inna & Naim, Mohamed M., 2016. "The effects of integrating management judgement into OUT levels: In or out of context?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 853-863.
    10. Pennings, Clint L.P. & van Dalen, Jan & van der Laan, Erwin A., 2017. "Exploiting elapsed time for managing intermittent demand for spare parts," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(3), pages 958-969.
    11. Svetunkov, Ivan & Boylan, John Edward, 2017. "Multiplicative state-space models for intermittent time series," MPRA Paper 82487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Kim, T.Y. & Dekker, R. & Heij, C., 2016. "Spare part demand forecasting for consumer goods using installed base information," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI2016-11, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    13. Fildes, Robert & Ma, Shaohui & Kolassa, Stephan, 2019. "Retail forecasting: research and practice," MPRA Paper 89356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:eee:ejores:v:269:y:2018:i:3:p:860-869 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Zied Babai, Mohamed & Syntetos, Aris & Teunter, Ruud, 2014. "Intermittent demand forecasting: An empirical study on accuracy and the risk of obsolescence," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 212-219.
    16. Nikolopoulos, Konstantinos I. & Babai, M. Zied & Bozos, Konstantinos, 2016. "Forecasting supply chain sporadic demand with nearest neighbor approaches," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 139-148.

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