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Assumptions: Good Questions Lead To Good Assumptions
Assumptions are central to demand planning, but not all assumptions are created equal. Some are vague and nonspecific. Others are clear, owned, and easily acted upon. Asking the right questions can help you to separate the “wheat from the chaff”, improving the clarity of assumptions, and thus the credibility of the demand plan.

In this session you will learn:

• The vital role assumptions play in reaching consensus on a demand plan
• How to improve the quality of assumptions with good questions
• Some questions to ask, and how to ask them


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Greg Spira
Principal @Oliver Wight Americas
Greg Spira, a principal with Oliver Wight, is an expert in Demand Management and Integrated Business Planning (IBP / S&OP). Greg works with companies to implement lasting change at all levels and across functions by building organizational capability and developing high-performing teams. Greg has written and co-authored many white papers on the subject of Demand Management and is an instructor of the Demand Management course. Greg has particularly deep experience in CPG having helped many large food companies improve their planning processes and has supported companies in a wide range of other industries including: packaging, chemicals, healthcare, and fashion. Some of his clients include: Kraft Heinz, Campbell’s, Diageo, Ascend Materials, Valent BioSciences, Hershey, TreeHouse Foods, WestRock, Becton Dickinson, Krispy Kreme, and Premier Nutrition. Greg received his MBA and CPA, CMA from McMaster University where he has since been a sessional lecturer.
Charity Lopez
Principal @Oliver Wight Americas
Charity Lopez, an Oliver Wight Principal, is an expert in Demand Management, Brand Management, and Integrated Business Planning. Utilizing her deep knowledge of forecasting, business planning, marketing, and mathematics, Charity helps companies strategize best practice implementations. Formerly with Turkey Hill, Charity was the Senior Brand Manager, overseeing the Beverage portfolio. There, she served as the end-to-end business leader tasked with P&L ownership and was a key champion for improving brand profitability. Before Turkey Hill, Charity worked with Mondelēz International, where she held the role of Brand Manager for RITZ. She was responsible for the in-year performance of the RITZ brand and for driving key initiatives. Charity earned her BS in Actuarial Science from Bob Jones University and her MS in Statistics and Financial Mathematics from Clemson University. Charity holds a certification in Forecasting from IBF and is a Certified ANA Marketing Professional.
Helen Atkinson
Senior Editor @SupplyChainBrain
Helen Atkinson is a reporter and writer with 30 years of experience in supply chain and logtech. Raised by academic scientist parents in Edinburgh, Scotland, she early on found a passion for explaining complex technical matters to a mainstream audience. After accidentally becoming a shipping journalist in London, she moved to New York City to join the staff of The Journal of Commerce. There, she began documenting and probing the ways in which the transportation and logistics industry is figuring out how the power of the internet and advanced computing can help untangle the everyday and strategic challenges of moving stuff all over the world with minimum cost and hassle. Helen has been working as a freelancer for 20 years, and lives with her husband and two cats in a crumbling Victorian mansion in upstate New York. She is also the executor of the literary estate of the writer Rebecca West.