Forecasting Research Centre

Companies are under continuing pressure to strive year-over-year for increased results. The accuracy of forecasting is of crucial importance in this respect, since it can be translated in an efficient supply chain. Forecasting models are often seen as black boxes. People have the inclination to adapt the results of these models, even though this is not always necessary. On the other hand, forecasting models do not easily include exceptional events. The intuition of the experts is hence complementary to the process, improving the forecasts accuracy. That’s why the challenge is to combine data driven decision making with human judgement. 

The Vlerick Forecasting Research Centre wishes to dig deep into how ‘human judgment’ can be optimally combined with forecasting models in order to improve the decision-making and to boost the financial benefits of accurate forecasting for companies. To understand this complex matter, we bring together theory and practice. We enrich academic research with practical insights from member companies and vice versa in order to grow a business relevant body of knowledge.

One fundamental element of a good forecasting process is not to fall in the trap of functional silo thinking. This is also reflected in the way we conduct the research as it is performed on the crossroads of different research fields. Our Vlerick faculty Ann Vereecke (operations & supply chain), Philippe Baecke (sales & marketing) and Karlien Vanderheyden (organizational behavior) join forces for the centre, supported by doctoral research on the topic from Shari De Baets.

News update: Interested in the context of the centre and the viewpont of the Vlerick faculty? Click here.


The research agenda is co-determined by the member companies to ensure business relevance. The results are shared and discussed during three highly interactive workshops per year, during which we provide the participating companies with relevant, hands-on and research-based insights. The member companies complement by thorough discussion on the results, by giving insights in their own forecasting processes and by sharing best practices. In this way members ultimately learn from theory and practice in an open, non-competitive setting.

In a first phase, we give insights in how forecasting is dealt with in other companies and sectors. We develop a forecast maturity assessment model and will benchmark your company against this model. By mapping your forecasting processes, we can identify and discuss areas of strengths and improvement. We also provide you with best practices in techniques and tools, and share research findings on the interplay of human judgement and statistical models.

In 2015 and 2016, specific cases are studied within the member companies to turn the insights of the first year into practice. Workshops will focus on the sharing of best practices through the cases at hand. We will use and work on real company data, if the member company is willing to share.

News update: Interested in the first observations of the maturity assessment? Click here.

Participate yourself! How mature is your company's demand forecasting process? Participate yourself!
By participating, you agree that we use your answers for benchmarking purposes. Your data will remain confidential and treated anonymous at all times. Personal data will only be used to draft your company report.

Research Members

A selected group of companies from various sectors is invited to join the research centre to stimulate learning across industries and organisations. The main condition is non competitiveness, so that members can share their knowledge freely. Members can even be customers and/or supplier of one another, if both parties agree upon it.

Our current members are:








Our Partner

SAS is Prime Foundation Partner of Vlerick Business School and is supporting this research centre.

Forecasting Research Centre

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times