John Conner, marketing manager from Lawn King, looked over the beautiful countryside as he drove to the corporate headquarters in Moline, Illinois. John had asked his boss, Kathy Wayne, the general manager of Lawn King, to call a meeting in order to review the latest forecast figures of fiscal year 2002. 1 When he arrived at the plant, the meeting was ready to begin. Others in attendance at the meeting were James Fairday, plant manager; Joan Peterson, controller; and Harold Pinter, personnel officer. John started the meeting by reviewing the latest situation: “I’ve just returned from our annual sales meeting and I think we lost more sales last year than we thought, due to back-order conditions at the factory. We have also reviewed the forecast for next year and feel that sales will be 110, 000 units in fiscal year 2002. The marketing department feels this forecast is realistic and could be exceeded if all goes well.” At his point, James Fairday interrupted by saying, “John, you’ve got to be kidding. Just three months ago we all sat in this same room and you predicted sales of 98,000 units for fiscal ’02. Now you’ve raised the forecast by 12 percent. How can we do a reasonable job of production planning when we have a moving target to shoot at?” Kathy interjected, “Jim, I appreciate your concern, but we have to be responsive to changing market conditions. Here we are in September and we still haven’t got a firm plan for fiscal ’02, which has just stated. I want to use the new forecast and develop an aggregate plan for next year as soon as possible.” John added, “We’ve been talking to our best customers and they’re complaining about back orders during the peak selling season. A few have threatened to drop our product line if they don’t get better service next year. We have to produce not only enough product but also the right models to service the customer.”
Develop a forecast to use as a basis for aggregate production planning. 2.