The Social Enterprise Strings for Hope: Learning to Forecast
Strings for Hope was started by a woman who discovered food insecurity in her middle-class community. She began making bracelets from discarded guitar strings then selling them at art fairs and tourist locations. The popularity of the organization grew much quicker than she had anticipated and quickly became overwhelmed with managing the organization. Her lack of organizational structure and processes eventually cost her a great deal of money and threatened the sustainability of the organization. The purpose of the case is to help undergraduate students see the need of business processes in both nonprofits and social enterprises, specifically forecasting.
- Distinguish several methods of forecasting
- Differentiate between the different forecasting models and analysis tools
- Defend the importance of using these tools in an organization’s sustained success.
- Analyze sales data as a tool for forecasting
- Compare different forecasting models
Application: This description-based teaching case is targeted at junior or senior level undergraduate business students to be used in an operations management course (forecasting and forecast error) or in a strategic management course to illustrate the importance of forecasting in business plan development. The case may also be useful to practitioners looking to apply forecasting methods and forecast accuracy measurements within their organizations.