Welcome!

News Feed Item

ToolsGroup is First to Raise Demand Forecasting Accuracy by Embedding Machine Learning Technology

BOSTON, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ToolsGroup, a global provider of market-driven demand analytics and supply chain optimization software, is the first vendor in its class to embed machine learning into a commercially available demand forecasting product. The new technology has been proven to significantly improve forecast accuracy in major global customer installations (see below).

Forecast accuracy is an important driver of business outcomes.  Analyst firm Gartner writes, "Benchmarking data of 70 supply chains across multiple industries shows the best forecasters gaining the following: 15% less inventory, 17% stronger order fulfilment and 35% shorter cash-to-cash cycle times." (Gartner How Good Is Your Forecast? by analysts Noha Tohamy and Debra Hofman, published February 11, 2011).  

Yet most demand forecasting systems today often produce disappointing results and significant forecast errors. The standard models found in these systems cannot easily identify trends in the data. Their inability to model the underlying causes of demand variability can also lead to poor trade promotion execution and failed new product launches. And they can be manually intensive, resulting in poor planner productivity.

A data-driven approach using more intelligent software has been shown to improve forecasting accuracy. ToolsGroup's innovation is to embed machine learning technology into its SO99+ forecasting solution to solve problems that planners face every day and yet have vexed organizations for a long time. It harnesses the power of machine learning to accurately model demand in difficult forecasting scenarios such as trade promotions, new product introductions, extreme seasonality and product cannibalization.

Machine learning takes demand forecasting to new heights because older technologies didn't solve the difficult problem of measuring the impact of external stimuli on baseline demand.  ToolsGroup's demand modeling creates a reliable baseline, then uses machine learning to adjust the baseline by identifying the effect of stimuli and demand indicators at a detailed channel level. It analyzes all the relevant variables and the complex interactions among them in a highly automated fashion.  

ToolsGroup's machine learning technology creates a major improvement in demand visibility, forecast quality and level of forecast detail, which are all critical for reliable supply chain planning.  It has already been successfully deployed in the forecasting process of multiple clients, including:   

  • Leading food company Danone deployed it to identify the effects of promotional and media events. Its trade promotion forecasting covered a wide range of fresh products characterized by dynamic demand, short shelf life and the need for accurate demand forecasting. The project resulted in a 20% reduction in forecast error, 30% reduction in lost sales, and a 10 point ROI improvement in promotions.  
  • Leading heating and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturer Lennox deployed it to sift through hundreds of thousands of SKU-Locations to identify "clusters" of those with similar seasonality profiles. Defining seasonality groups for forecasting was very challenging due to many slow moving parts, diverse demand behaviors, and an extremely seasonal business. Machine learning has allowed Lennox to automate the process and create an improved inventory mix over its large distribution network. 

    "By enhancing our seasonality clusters, machine learning substantially increased our peak period forecast accuracy and improved our supply chain responsiveness during a period of strong growth," according to Keith Nash, Vice President, Supply Chain Logistics, Lennox Residential.
  • Other ToolsGroup customers are using machine learning for new product introduction (NPI) to identify which new products will have significantly above average sales. Identifying those successful new products early on allows companies to determine  the most advantageous way to allocate additional marketing, purchasing and replenishment resources to "up and coming" products.

ToolsGroup CEO Joe Shamir said: "After pioneering machine learning to enhance demand forecasting, we are excited to have taken the next step to embed this technology into our standard product footprint. We are proud to be the first supply chain planning vendor to offer a seamless solution to improving demand planning and forecast accuracy through this new technology."

ToolsGroup's embedded machine learning is available as part of its SO99+ version 7.3.1 demand forecasting solution. An embedded approach also has the benefits of shrinking the software footprint, integrating the forecasting process, and offering users a standardized solution.

About ToolsGroup
ToolsGroup is a global provider of "Powerfully Simple" supply chain planning and demand analytics software. Our customers overcome volatile demand and challenging supply chains to generate accurate forecasts and outstanding customer service levels with less global inventory. Reliable behind-the-screen technology and scalable statistical models enable highly intelligent data-driven decision making, combined with ease of use. ToolsGroup's solutions span key supply chain planning areas such as Demand Forecasting and Collaboration, S&OP, Demand Sensing, Promotion Forecasting and Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization.

About Lennox Industries
A worldwide leader in residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems, Lennox Industries Inc. is based near Dallas, Texas, and is part of Lennox International Inc.'s Worldwide Heating & Cooling business segment. Lennox Industries is a subsidiary of Lennox International, which operates in over 100 countries and is a global leader in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration markets.

About Danone
One of the fastest-growing food companies in the world, Danone is present in over 120 countries on five continents. In 2010 Danone had more than 160 production plants and around 100,000 employees, generating sales of €17 billion. The group holds top positions in healthy food through four businesses: it ranks # 1 worldwide in Fresh Dairy Products, # 2 in Bottled Water and Baby Nutrition, and is Europe's # 1 Medical Nutrition company.

CONTACT:
   Jeffrey Bodenstab
   1-617-263-0080 x1013
   [email protected]

SOURCE ToolsGroup

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...