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ASTON-BLAIR INC CASE ANALYSIS Aston-Blair is a producer of precious metal alloys and other specialized alloys for commercial and industrial use Aston-Blair Case 1999 M-6 13 At the time of the case this company is experiencing difficulties due to the economic slowdown that occurred in the early 1990s and the declining price of gold caused by the start of the Gulf War At the end of an executive committee meeting Wynn Aston III CEO of Aston-Blair charged Peter Casey Vice President of Marketing and Chris Trott Vice President of Corporate Planning with examining the companys forecasting processes in order to achieve better inventory control financial planning and improve production scheduling Aston believed that poor forecasting was one of several underlying factors contributing to the firms poor performance Aston-Blair Case 1999 M-6 13 Trott and Casey assembled a task force to investigate the forecasting problem They mandated that the task force would focus its research on the Marketing Division because this is where the final forecasts for product demand are created They allocated members to the task force and decided that Michael Bacon Trotts special assistant would lead the task force During the first meeting of the task force it was quickly decided that the team should be divided into three different subgroups One group Holt and the three product managers would focus on the Marketing Division one person Meir would focus on gathering data for the new forecasting model and one group Bacon Reiss and Bodin would concentrate on the Sales Divisions inputs into the forecast The subgroups worked on their analysis to meet the August 4th deadline set by Casey and Trott Shortly before the deadline Bodin presented Bacon with a report that exposed some systematic biases in the Sales Divisions inputs into the forecast Aston-Blair Case 1999 M-6 17 This data was kept confidential and it was decided that would not be presented to the rest of the task force until Bodin
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