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Forecasting and Data Analytics – How AI is (not) changing demand planning

June 23 @ 9:40 am 10:10 am

Speaker:  Sven Crone, Lancaster University Management School

Convenors: Erik Holzinger, groupH and Fritz Meyer, Boehringer Ingelheim

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) reign high on the Gartner hype cycle, promising new business models, and capturing the imagination of many Pharma executives well outside the digital industries of Facebook, Google and Uber. However, despite dozens of Proof-of-Concept studies in demand planning, AI/ML is struggling to prove significant increases in planning accuracy. One limiting factor, we will argue, is that the underlying data is fundamentally different.

After a very brief introduction into AI/ML we will explore the fundamental difference in data between image/voice/video recognition and typical pharmaceutical demand planning, where we data size and data labels are often very sparse. As this limits the benefit of the AI/ML algorithms of Google & co, we will show a case study where we have enhanced datasets in demand panning and thus showed promise in using AI/ML for Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company).

This is a member only event and is free to attend for members.

Sven Crone

Sven Crone

Lancaster University Management School

Sven is a researcher, keynote speaker, technology advisor and entrepreneur in forecasting with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML). As an Assistant Professor in Management Science at Lancaster University, UK, his research on new forecasting algorithms and applications of AI/ML ranks him in the top 30 in Europe (citations by Google Scholar).

Sven frequently provides in-house training courses in forecasting and analytics for companies, and is a regular conference chair and keynote speaker at international conferences in forecasting, analytics, and S&OP/IBP. He is also CEO and founder of, a university spin-off pioneering intelligent forecasting software solutions that work as an add-on to the dated forecasting engines of SAP APO/SCM, IBP, ERP and many other systems. Sven has been a technology advisor to many companies in advancing forecasting practice, from forecasting beer demand with price, promotions and weather for ABInBev, global container shipments with moving calendar events for Hapag-Lloyd, erratic pharmaceutical demand with out-of-stock info for Janssen, or FMCG for manufacturer Beiersdorf, to new product forecasting of pharmaceuticals using time series clustering