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FIN3107 Supply Chain Planning and Forecasting

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Supply Chain Plan & Forecast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Commerce
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010103 - Statistics
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Dom Pensiero


All organisations and business managers operate in a climate of uncertainty. Forecasting is an integral part of managerial decision making and seeks to reduce the level of uncertainty through a series of quantitative and qualitative forecasting techniques. In the area of supply chains, good supplier relations means ensuring that there are advantages in product innovation, cost, and speed to market. In contemporary supply chains which are networked differently to traditional ones, accurate forecasting techniques are now mandatory. Organisational goal setting in the past has been fairly subjective and traditional logistics and supply chains did not always result in efficient outcomes. Hence, in contemporary planning, forecasting techniques now becomes more critical. For instance, a supplier or manufacturer in the middle of the chain will need to minimise high inventory costs, storage and delivery costs from other suppliers in the chain. The ability to forecast in advance what the total inventory costs will be and how much stock to carry will become critical. Indeed, given that contemporary organisations often want ‘just-in-time’ delivery to other end users, supply chain planning and forecasting techniques will help producers manage others in the chain. This is because forecasting techniques help to predict different supply chain factors, such as inventory costs and supplier/customer demands, in such a way that planning outcomes lead to success or failure.


This course concentrates predominantly on short-term, quantitative forecasting techniques which seek to identify patterns from historical data and to extrapolate those patterns into the future. Causal methods of forecasting through an analysis of simple regression analysis will be explored, as will the many qualitative techniques available to the forecaster. Importantly, the student will acquire a range of forecasting skills related to different scenarios, everything from inventory and stock forecasts to other end-user demands in the chain. While often students learn about different planning techniques in supply chains, these are often deficient as they are not grounded in sound analytical data related to both quantitative and qualitative forecasting. Hence, students will learn critical skills of forecasting by analysing different cases for which planning and forecasting becomes critical. Accordingly, this course aims to equip students with a wide variety of forecasting methodologies which they can apply in real-life case scenarios.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. describe the methodology and different forecasting techniques and their application in the supply chain
  2. calculate and apply moving and centred averaging and exponential forecasting methods and to apply them in relevant situations
  3. determine differing types of forecast accuracy, trend analysis and simple regression to trend analysis and whether such data is appropriate
  4. explore statistical inferencing and make appropriate forecasts, with confidence intervals
  5. determine the factors underlying long term forecasting techniques and distinguish between statistical and judgmental forecasting methods using various forecasting assessment criteria
  6. select the forecasting tools applicable to a given situation, choose the most relevant, apply, and then assess the validity and limitations of the outcomes through a combination of problem-solving skills, academic and professional literacy and ethical issues.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to methodology of forecasting as applicable to supply chain 5.00
2. Introduction to time series techniques and applications 10.00
3. Measures of forecast accuracy 10.00
4. Trend analysis using simple regression 20.00
5. Decomposition 15.00
6. Long term and judgemental forecasting techniques 20.00
7. Applications of forecasting in the supply chain. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

The eBook 'Logistics and supply chains' is available for students to purchase at

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Hanke, J, & Wichern, D 2014, Business Forecasting: Pearson New International Edition, 9th edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, United Kingdom.
(eBook is available at
Heizer, J, Render, B 2016, Operations Management: Sustainability and Supply Chain, 12th edn, Pearson Education, Boston, Massachusetts.
(Chapter 4: forecasting demand (p137-171) set as a recommended reading.)
Levine, D, Stephan, D, & Szabat, K 2017, Statistics for managers using Microsoft Excel, 8th edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Directed Study 56.00
Private Study 89.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE QUIZ 10 10 03 Apr 2019 (see note 1)
PROJECT 30 30 29 May 2019
EXAMINATION 60 60 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. Students can access Quiz 1 from the first week of the teaching semester. Students can download the Quiz assessment as many times as they wish as each Quiz is uniquely linked to your student ID. However, students can only submit their Quiz assessment once (on or before the due date). See detailed instructions in your study material.
  2. This is a restricted examination. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are:
    1. writing materials. These must be non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination.
    2. a calculator which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at