STEP 4: Forecast! And, run a reality check

...on the quantification and distribution strategy

The next step is to actually do the forecast. For guidance on how to build a forecasting model that is appropriate for the needs of the program, refer to the reference manuals and tools available in Section 7: Resources.

After the demand forecast is calculated, check assumptions and calculations and ensure that others are involved in reviewing the quantification. It is very important to build in a “reality check” into the process and ask if the forecast seems to be logical.

At this point, it is also critical to think through what will happen after the supply enters the country. Ask questions like how and where will it be stored; how will the supply reach SDPs; do people need to be trained on how to store/distribute the new product; and how will method use be reported, etc.? Will facilities be able to order the product? Specifically for countries that use maximum-minimum inventory control systems[1], how will facilities know how much of the NUM to order the first time because there is no maximum established? Also, how will facilities restock the NUM if it is not yet integrated into the ordering system? Utilize on-the-ground experts in supply chain management to assess if the distribution, reporting, and restocking plans seem realistic. 

[1] “A max-min inventory control system is designed to ensure that the quantities in stock fall within an established range. The max stock level is the level of stock above which inventory levels should not rise, under normal conditions.  The min stock level is the level of stock at which actions to replenish inventory should occur under normal conditions. Most successful inventory control systems used for managing health commodities are max-min systems of one type or another.” (USAID | DELIVER PROJECT 2011a)