Forecasting Product and Service Demand: Case Study


Optimizing innovative capacity for small enterprises is a vital ingredient for successful execution of strategy, especially in project management related models. Methods and systems of addressing operations-related optimization in the context of small business enterprise draw effectiveness by facilitating optimizing of innovative capacity. The small enterprise, as such, optimizes its value from the share of public and other markets. The operations overseen by a project manager depend on sets of polices and principles that are performed to shape the existing levels of the organization and its project with an aim of achieving the benchmarks (Conford 1-40).

In this paper, we address operations-related optimization problem in the context of small business enterprise. We draw facts from sets of operational goals and problems based on optimal values for innovative capacity supports. Our aim is to identify how small businesses thrive using less constrained project management concepts and simple technology to resolve arising business hurricanes. On the same level, we identify how project managers can increase innovative capacity and product economic value through product demand forecast and adopting technology to check management and strategy execution problems (Conford 1-40).

Project Management

Trade flows are identified and classified in three clusters namely; the product, the market, and the buyer. Project management is the science of managing a strategic plan, the objective being, and a measure of success. This measure of success is through a project manager’s ability to negotiate, well, with both upper levels and functional management in an organization. These levels draw functionality from resources set aside for the project objective.

The project manager may base his approach on a merchandising approach, a commonplace feature in small enterprises. This approach requires the manager to identify a market, measure the demand for the merchandise, maintain quality, and manage the process, the employees, and the continuous process of trade. Challenges in operations optimization need to be resolved, especially areas like forecasting demand for products the project manager hopes to sell in a new or emerging market.

Forecasting demand for products and services

The theory of demand proposes an open market situation in all forms of trade. The theory explains that, as far as merchandise is tradable, the products in this particular market can substitute the deficit created in the region of the merchandise origin. This contextualizes how demand for products exists due to dynamics of trade. Many small businesses have become models adaptable to mid-sized corporation’s structures and system. The flow of business after introduction of such a model and the business process itself is the single most important functionality element observed in small enterprises. This flow shows the proficiency of the manager in identifying the demand for what he sells.

How do small business managers forecast demand for their products and services? Using cumulative sum method continues to make corporate sense to many small enterprise mangers (Harrison, and Davies 325-333). The cumulative sum technique is invaluable since it has immense value in process control. According to Harrison, and Davies, many small enterprise managers apply the cumulative sum technique to sales forecasting systems to measure and forecast demand for their merchandise. What mid-sized firms project managers need to learn from this approach is that, cumulative sum technique is effective in forecasting demand for more than the following reasons;

  1. The project manager is able to detect the pattern of consumers demand and demand patterns changes. This facilitates insulation against downturns and other impeding business hurricanes.
  2. When the forecasting system is defunct, the project manager can continue to detect the consumer demand pattern. This allows the manger to continue identifying the strengths and the weaknesses of the market. He/she can improve on how he positions his products, his marketing strategies, and management approach (Harrison, and Davies 325-333).

Project managers have immense delegated power but lack the teeth to manage the business process they are creating. This draws out the difference in project management and functional management practices. The project manager is inclined to put efforts in scheduling, controlling and planning. His role is rather confined to execution of strategy rather than management of the process that oversees the creation, funding, and facilitation of this plan or project. Small enterprise managers use the former, which applies when demand is steady and change more frequent (Harrison, and Davies 325-333).

Other core factors that facilitate comprehensive undertakings in project management when tackling product demand forecasting involve the following benchmarks most of which are time based;

  • Long Term: The long term forecasts covers 5 years and more into the future. It mainly looks at the expansion of the business, which includes opening of new outlets and increase in the employee base.
  • Medium Term: The medium term forecast cover less than 2 years and in most cases its, between one and two years. The forecast usually concentrates on capacity planning and sales forecasts for the two years duration.
  • Short Term: The short term forecast ranges from one day, one year to one season in which the business will be in operation. Entrepreneurs who come in to the business for a very short time with an aim of making quick money and pull out usually apply the short-term forecast.

For small enterprises, most of them just participate in medium term forecast to determine the future of their businesses. The impact of technology and policy, consumer behavior itself has changed, consumers are readily replacing their methods and approaches of communication, for instance, they are replacing wireless phone for wire line service and broadband services for second lines. This is an indication of how flexible the consumer base has become, therefore the entrepreneurs ought to adapt to the same if the wish to retain their clients and increase the client base.

Correlation in functionality between Small businesses and project management

How small businesses thrive puzzles mid-level firm managers. Mid sized firms are firms that have about 500-employees and an annual turnover of millions of dollars. On the other hand, a small business is tiny organization with less than 20-employees. In fact, many small businesses are single handedly managed, yet, they make millions of dollars every year. Small businesses are more of projects, managed single-handedly. Project management is an approach towards decision making, rationally, and drawing functionality from mathematical processes and models system (Reingold 19). Project management is more of managing a micro-enterprise. This makes project management correlate with small business management processes.

Project manager can significantly build up capacity by borrowing immensely from dynamic change management observed in small businesses. This change aims at minimizing impact on dependability and performance in small businesses. Small businesses hardly adopt technology to manage their business processes rather concentrate in improving their positioning and market-share. In project management, data collection, research and system analysis is essential. Data is collected qualitatively to measure and come up with resolves to operational problems related to project management.

Problems of project management (Data on problem)

Qualitatively, measuring the needs in project management shows that, without specific technological requirements, project management can go into paralysis. After preparing a set of questions, and issues, I set off to discuss these questions with project managers. I discussed these questions with project managers at both individual and group level.

Group interviews with project managers

This aimed at establishing major issues surrounding the implementation of project management benchmarks, schedules and the plans. I used an interview protocol to facilitate healthy discussion. Responses to my uniform standard queries provided the final evaluation of the study and study findings comprehensively.

Individual Interviews with project managers

The aim of this interview was to investigate earlier major research around project management and the views and recommendations of project managers. Responses to my queries provided the final evaluation of the study and study findings comprehensively.

Study findings

Various project managers project that the following needs should be addressed through technology for project management to smoothly be achieved.

  • Demand forecasting systems
  • Integrated suites and systems to manage and ensure business process superiority
  • Quality systems management
  • Labor management, and maintenance operations


There are many challenges associated with project management. Borrowing the operations constraints experienced in small businesses, we establish that, global project management faces numerous hurdles including the following

  • Lack of communication protocol
  • Product development and marketing
  • Communication infrastructure

These constraints can be addressed using the following;

  • A communications protocol
  • Product demand forecasting
  • Select effective communications platforms.

However, the problem of project management is profoundly larger than the select problems cited above. As such, we need, in continuum with principles, to establish other operational related constraints that reduce effectiveness of project management roles.

Resolving the problems in project management through technology

To remain relevant in the ever-changing business world, small business enterprise must be ready to embrace technology and use it to the maximum. This is because the growth and development of the telecommunication and the internet communication sector has made most business change their tactics of doing business (“Business Week” 98).

Electronic Data Interchange is arguably the most vital ingredient of success in small business models. Though studies show that large sized corporations mostly used EDI, it has an equally significant role in small enterprises. Due to the similarity between small business models and project management practices, as earlier discussed in this paper, adoption of EDI in project management can help resolve the problems highlighted by the project managers in our research above.

EDI requires compatible information technology applications that can support EDI frameworks. The neo-advanced technology integration with EDI applications requires mainframe computers as platforms. Mainframe computers are now affordable, in fact, PC’s nowadays come at a much lower cost, yet they have smart applications and an expandable capacity.

Because of such advancements, small businesses now take advantage of this technology affordability to enjoy Electronic Data Interchange benefits. Technology-organization platforms provide the framework to support implementation and execution of project management benchmarks. It is observed that small-enterprise EDI adoption models thrive under technology supported management. The benefits of using technology supported project management include cutting cost of business research, operations management, and market analysis. Small businesses using EDI are referred to as ‘adopter firms.’ Adopters firms report enjoy direct benefits due to short business process frameworks.

Adopters firms adopt a technology-organization-environment platform to thrive under EDI. This resolves the problem of interpreting information and strategy. This brings lower financial costs and increases the technical competence of the small enterprise.

Using marketing technology as a project management tool to resolve related problems

There are various marketing strategies that the small business enterprise can use to forecast product / service demand and this will enable them be prepared for the task ahead (Reingold 19). Advertising is the most powerful tool that an organization can make maximum us off; however, instead of relying on the “ancient” modes of advertising, the small business enterprise can adapt to a more modern approach. The business can use well-designed websites that allow the consumer to comment on the product / service that he / she would like to be introduced / availed to them, by so doing the proprietor of the business will be able to forecast on what is required and at what time.

In addition to that, the consumer can use the popular social websites that have become an addition to many internet users, for example twitter, and face book as a tool for forecast study. The small business enterprise can create and page to allow consumers post their comments on the improvements they would like to see in future. This will greatly help in the improvements of service delivery (Robert, Thierauf, & Hoctor, 31).. Another communication tool that an organization can use the telephone, the small business enterprise can reserve a special number that the consumers can use in case of need that needs to be addressed.

By embracing technology to the fullest, the small business enterprise stands to gain a lot by increasing it market base as well as the sales. The business will also be in a better position to compete on an equal basis with other well established enterprises since it will have access to the most important and powerful tool in business today – internet and telecommunication. In reference to market base, internet is unrestricted and can be accessed from any corner of the earth, therefore the small business enterprise will be in a position to interact will clients from all over the world, and with relevant knowledge and skills, the entrepreneur can venture into modern way of doing business (E – Commerce). This is a milestone for any small organization

Principles as insulation

Principles help to increase market understanding and credibility, raise accuracy and reduce variation, enhance understand and mitigate system-wide risk and finally increase value for money. The four principles can guide a small business entrepreneur be able to manage this business well and it will help greatly in the forecasting product / service demand. It will also help the entrepreneur be a good manager of his finances in case he / she do not have an accountant (Robert, Thierauf, & Hoctor, 175).

Technology in project management; a manager’s approach

There are consistently changing set of needs in an organization during the process of strategy execution. New sets of challenges are generated during the process of project implementation, hence affecting the project management. Technology is believed to provide solutions to such continuous changes and challenges to streamline operations management and the execution of the project mission. Available technologies could be a major driving force in the successful execution of projects (Dumitraş, Roşu, Dan, and Narasimhan 1-20).

Project management can heavily lean toward use of technology, especially communication and project process analysis. Let us examine how the role of a project manager and others involved in the process can take advantage of available technology to carry out their roles.

Conference calls as a communication avenue with everyone involved in the project. The calls effectively disseminate emotions and voice. In fact, they transmit the psychological position of a project manager effectively, helping him/her delegate effectively. Individuals on the project can develop discipline and a habit to communicating with project teammates.

Video conferencing transmits pictures or live images of the project manager as he delegates and instructs. This method is expensive and cannot serve its purpose in a small enterprise set up. However, it can be effective if the infrastructure and framework can support it.

Electronic bulletins can significantly shape the future direction and pattern of strategy execution in project management. It is deemed an excellent platform for documenting what has been learnt and what should be done.

While technology is only a facilitator, the project manager still requires having face-to-face meetings with the project team. Such encounters help build up trust and respect both, which are core to providing the necessary commitment in the project execution process. In fact, trust and commitment to present oneself to the other team players is made relevant and voluntary.


Dynamic management can cushion project management problems and marketing principles, when the model is a small enterprise (“Business Week” 98). Dynamic management is autonomic infrastructure that draws functionality from product-oriented models and small enterprises project objectives (Reingold 19). It accommodates complex systems and objectives of a project manager to optimize delivery and completion of projects. Technology and applications that can support management systems can help optimize both external and internal management platforms (Robert, Thierauf, & Hoctor, 67).


This research on project management and how operations-related optimization problem in the context of small business enterprise can be checked has investigated the problems of performing project management objectives in an environment void of technology while maximizing the overall economic value throughout all levels of the small enterprise. We have collected sample data, analyzed it to illustrate this problem farcifying the scenario, and at the sometime proposed the essentials for maximizing the value of the business and the effectiveness of the project manager (Dumitraş, Roşu, Dan, and Narasimhan 1-20).

We have proposed that this approach to project management can lean or be centered on building and improving communication and product demand forecast protocols rather than pushing for delegating roles and using management principles to impact objective. We have concluded that, technology, especially, Electronic Data Interchange can help elevate operations management and increase project management ease. We have also highlighted essential communication platforms like videoconferencing for onsite and offsite project managements from the small enterprise rationale (Dumitraş, Roşu, Dan, and Narasimhan 1-20).

It is also vital that an organization focuses on insulation against impeding business weather. Insulation means putting in place, measures to prevent impacts of business downturns, off-peak seasons, and financial storms. Insulation will help the organization come out of the woods when the business hurricanes strike. Investing in long-term venture, establishing strategic partnerships with resellers, distributors, and promoters can help create insulation. Investing in good employees, consistent market research, and quality will go a long way to provide good insulation

Works cited

Conford, Allan. B. “Methods and Systems for Optimization of Innovative Capacity and Economic.” US. Patent Application Publication (2007): 1-40. Web.

Dumitraş, Tudor, Daniela Roşu, Asit Dan, and Priya Narasimhan. “Dynamic Change Management for Minimal Impact on Dependability and Performance in Autonomic Service-Oriented Architectures.” CyLab Carnegie Mellon University. 2006: 1-20. Web.

Harrison, P.J, and O.L Davies. “The Use of Cumulative Sum (Cusum) Techniques for the Control of Routine Forecasts of Product Demand.” Operations Research 12.2 (1964): 325-333. Web.

Reingold, Jon. “Project Management in the Information Age.” PM NETWORK. (1996): 19. Print.

Robert, J, Thierauf, and James J Hoctor. Smart business systems for the optimized organization. 1ST. WestPort: Praeger Publishers, 2003. 31,63,147,175. Print.

“The Virtual Corporation.” Business Week 1993,: 98. Print.

Find out the price of your paper