Year of Graduation
The demand forecasting of the service organization on the example of the network of health centers
Faculty of Management
Over the last few years in Russia the demand for the paid medical services has been constantly increasing. Therefore, the role of the demand forecast in the healthcare organization’s performance and efficiency is becoming more and more significant. While overestimated demand for healthcare services can result in irrelevant costs for the rent and staff salaries, underestimated demand may lead to the loss of clients and cause some reputational damage.The present research deals with the problem of demand forecast in service organizations in the healthcare sphere, using an example of the chain of medical centers X. The main goal of this proposal is to forecast the demand for the chain of medical centers X for one year in order to improve the quality of its services and to find a better way to adjust to the essential changes in demand in the future. To fulfill this purpose the specific objectives are highlighted as follows:•Examine various theoretical and empirical studies in the field of demand forecasting as well as factors, which determine the selection of the most appropriate forecasting method •Carry out an environmental scanning of the chain of the medical centers X, •Identify factors which might a have a major impact on the selection of a certain method of forecast demand; •Elaborate and adjust the one-year demand forecast for the chain of medical centers X,•Develop recommendations on the methodology of the demand forecasting process and the ways it may benefit the organization.Both theoretical and empirical studies in the field of demand forecasting as well as the key factors, which determine the choice of a certain demand forecasting technique are observed in the paper.The results of the environmental scanning, which was carried out in order to define the main factors that impact the demand for the paid medical services in Moscow, are provided. Micro- and macro-environmental factors are analyzed with the help of the PEST analysis and the Porter's 5 forces Analysis Model respectively. According to the results of the environmental scanning analysis, the overall state of the sphere of paid medical services is quite stable and no major changes are expected to happen in the demand in the nearest future.After that the most appropriate methods of demand forecast for the chain of medical centers X are selected and a firm basis for this choice is provided. In accordance with the data available and assuming that the variation in demand that occurred in the past few years will continue to occur in the future, a time series forecast is chosen as the most appropriate and it is performed further. Several time series techniques are applied such as moving average, weighted moving average, simple exponential smoothing, exponential smoothing with trend and seasonal adjustments.As the result of the research the demand forecast for the chain of the medical centers X is elaborated and the recommendations concerning the methodology of the process of forecasting demand and the improvements of the demand management system of the organization are given. In particular, providing discounts and extra services alongside with launching advertising campaigns is proposed in order to attract clients and boost the sales during the periods of time when the forecasted demand is low. During periods when the forecasted demand is high, part time staff recruitment is proposed as a suitable way to balance supply and demand.