Two years ago Top-Slice Company moved from just making golf balls to also producing oversized drivers. Top-Slice makes three different models: the Bomber, the Hook King, and the Sir Slice-A-Lot. As the names suggest, the last two clubs help correct for golfers who either hook or slice the ball when driving.
While Top-Slice is pleased with the growing sales for all three models (see the following tables), the numbers present Jacob Lee, the production manager, with a dilemma. Jacob knows that the current manufacturing work cell is capable of producing only 2,700 drivers a month, and total sales seem to be rapidly approaching that number. Jacob's staff has told him it will take at least three months to plan for and implement an expanded work cell.
1. Develop a quantitative forecast model for Jacob. Which modeling technique did you choose, and why? What are the assumptions behind your model?
2. According to your model, when will Top-Slice need to have the expanded work cell up and running? What are the implications for when Jacob should start the expansion effort?
3. Now suppose that over lunch the marketing vice president says to Jacob:
We're feeling a lot of heat from Chinese manufacturers who are offering very similar clubs to ours, but at significantly lower prices. The legal department is working on a patent in fringement case, but if we can't block these clubs from entering the market, I expect to see our sales ﬂatten, and maybe even fall, over the rest of the year.
What questions should Jacob ask? How would the answers to these questions affect the forecast? Does it still make sense to use quantitative forecasting under these circumstances? Why?