Mike Doherty

After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Mathematics, I began my career with Capgemini in the Manufacturing & Logistics Consulting practice. After 5 years of consulting, it was clear to me that I had found my niche, supply chain management.

My specific expertise in forecasting & replenishment evolved while I was leader of a project team at Canadian Tire in Toronto, Canada. Our team had an ambitious, though simple, mandate: to completely redesign how the forecasting & replenishment process works in retail, from factory to shelf. As we honed the design we developed a set of timeless principles, based on tailoring and applying to retail, strategies that were already working in manufacturing.

The project was a huge success. It fundamentally altered the way Canadian Tire planned. The result? Significant improvements in service levels, inventory turns doubled and order cycle times were reduced by over 50%.

It was also one of the first, large scale implementations of integrated retail time-phased planning, which we now call Flowcasting (and it provided the seeds of inspiration for our eventual book, Flowcasting the Retail Supply Chain).
Once that valuable experience was behind me, I decided to team up with a colleague to share the approach and principles that we had used so successfully with other retailers. It gives me a very unique perspective – as a consultant. I can readily admit to “walking a mile in your shoes” – since I’ve been in the role of leading a retail team charged with changing the forecasting & replenishment process and function.

I have had the privilege of consulting and working with a number of Canadian retailers and their suppliers, including Canadian Tire, Loblaw Companies Limited and Home Depot Canada. The approach and principles that we developed at Canadian Tire have stood the test of time for every one of them. It still amazes me but I actually do see former clients continuing to diligently apply the principles we instilled in them 10, or even 15 years ago.

I am an avid reader and consider myself a life-long student of business and life. I read, on average, about 50 books a year on a wide range of topics. This helps keep my mind active and bring new and interesting ideas to a project. I love to learn, especially to unlearn what most would consider conventional wisdom. I enjoy teaching and helping people learn and make change successful.

In 2006 I coauthored a book, Flowcasting the Retail Supply Chain, that outlines a new approach for managing the retail supply chain. This process is currently being adopted and put into practice by some of the world’s largest retailers and CPG manufacturers.