Like many things in the retail supply chain/technology arena, CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment), now one of the industry's more recognized acronyms, started with Wal-Mart. In 1993, the Bentonville Behemoth decided that, despite its considerable clout, it still needed the help of suppliers to do something that was inherently difficult -- forecast consumer demand. "If we could create a more accurate forecast of demand," wrote Ron Ireland, one of the key drivers ...

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