Most companies we talk to are fully aware of the growing need to deliver a better customer experience in a multi-channel world and the complexity this adds to the supply chain. What is not so clear, is how they can take real advantage of the huge increase in customer data that is now available to better plan their forecasts.
Using data more intelligently
Legacy systems have some fundamental challenges. They still use approaches based on cumbersome old algorithms and aggregated sales histories in Excel which means they cannot easily identify demand signals and don’t solve the difficult problem of measuring the impact of external factors on baseline demand. The process is manually intensive and time consuming and the output is disappointing with significant forecast errors.
The latest technology uses a data-driven approach in more intelligent software that has been shown to achieve big improvements in forecast accuracy, demand visibility and the level of forecast detail. This translates directly into improved service levels and inventory efficiencies, particularly for “long tail” items. You don’t just get a more accurate forecast, you get a better plan.
SO99+ has embedded technology in its forecasting solution to solve problems that planners face every day. Rather than a “pick best” approach, we utilise a far more accurate self-adaptive demand forecasting algorithm that creates a reliable baseline. Machine learning can adjust the baseline by identifying the effect of stimuli and demand indicators at a detailed channel level. This “demand modelling” approach analyses all the relevant variables and the complex interactions among them in a highly automated fashion producing better, more accurate results faster to help the business meet rapidly changing market conditions.