Harry Drajpuch interviewed Charles Lunden, VP of Strategic Planning, Operations and Ecommerce at 32 Degrees — an activewear-inspired collection that sells direct to consumer and through retail channels.
The 32 Degrees business model is based on high volume and low price. This requires a strong focus on numbers. Charles draws on his background in buying, planning, merchandising and operations to help him handle forecasting effectively.
Harry and Charles discuss the importance of communication, along with alignment between marketing and operations, to avoid disconnects. It’s important to constantly update forecasts in order to get labor planning right at the fulfillment warehouse.
When discussing the software or tools used for forecasting, Charles advocates for simplicity, as it makes it easier to understand why forecasts are correct or incorrect.
While AI-driven tools have their advantages, he prefers a more hands-on approach. This allows him to incorporate domain knowledge and to better understand the factors influencing demand.
Data is important for Charles, but there are instances where intuitive knowledge and soft forecasting play crucial roles, especially in understanding customer behavior or matching product combinations.