M. Kerry Simpson

Past Awards

Franz Edelman Award: Winner(s)

A series of subjectively parameterized models was developed and implemented, beginning in 1982, to aid Syntex Laboratories in deciding how large their sales force should be, and how it should be deployed. The response functions of the models were estimated by a team of knowledgeable managers and salespeople using a modified Delphi technique. The model structure and parameter estimation techniques were developed in response to constraints unique to Syntex Laboratories and its available data. The original response functions were significantly better predictors of the sales of each Syntex product for two years in the future than were the existing forecasts. Use of the models helped the corporation to decide to significantly increase its sales force size and to try to change its deployment. This decision resulted in a documented continuing $25,000,000, eight percent annual sales increase. The model had important impacts on the strategic direction of the firm, helping to change its focus to product markets with better future potential.

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