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Frost & Sullivan Recognizes ToolsGroup for Retail and Wholesale Demand Forecasting and Supply Chain Planning Technology Leadership

ToolsGroup’s unique combination of machine learning and advanced analytics applications include social sensing, weather, and enhanced NPI forecasting

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — May 16, 2017 — Based on its recent analysis of the supply chain management (SCM) for the retail and wholesale market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes ToolsGroup with the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership.

For a copy of the full report, please visit www.toolsgroup.com/resources/analyst-reports/frost-sullivan-supply-chain-management-for-retail-wholesale-technology-leadership-award/.

ToolsGroup has leveraged its deep interest in artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver advanced SCM solutions that boast powerful machine learning applications and functionalities. The combination of cutting-edge algorithms and inputs from numerous data sources in the machine learning engine (MLE) generates highly accurate forecasts, which help customers manage faster response times, gain superior customer understanding, and improve services.

While most companies still employ a single-number, top-down approach to forecasting at the aggregated level, ToolsGroup began using a highly automated, statistical, bottom-up approach more than 10 years ago. Its system incorporates order lines and order frequencies that yield better results for its customers. It has also transitioned to level-3 ‘outside in’ forecasting using demand sensing.

However, the highly complex connectivity between people and machines has resulted in an explosion of dirty, incomplete, and constantly changing data. In response to these industry concerns, ToolsGroup rolled out its breakthrough MLE, which provides complete functionality and infinitely scalable applications to improve data analysis. The MLE is embedded within its solutions that runs across critical supply chain planning areas such as demand forecasting and demand collaboration, sales and operations planning (S&OP), demand sensing, promotion forecasting, and multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO).

“Being the first to embrace machine learning has given ToolsGroup a significant head start,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sankara Narayanan. “For instance, its MLE is already being applied in cloud and real-time data, and the output enhances customers’ visibility, accuracy, inventory optimization, and cost reduction. Additionally, it enables better replenishment, and, in a highly autonomous system, a 2X or more increase in productivity.”

Additionally, the MLE incorporates a new Web-based social listening/social sensing system, Groover, which listens to social channels and gauges consumer sentiment. It not only monitors and archives live data streams/tweets on specific brands, but also employs the social media data in demand forecasting, enabling a new level of decision support, sharpening of the demand signal, and enhancing supply chain planning and demand sensing.

Besides supporting more precise forecasting, ToolsGroup’s new product introduction (NPI) machine learning application generates revenue by addressing demand complexities during the launch period. ToolsGroup’s external data machine learning application crunches large amounts of data without having to make a lot of statistical assumptions for the different types of demand. The user experience is simpler because the machine understands the demand without extensive manual tuning or intervention.

“With changing industry dynamics, ToolsGroup, using its MLE, has significantly scaled up its retail offering. Its advanced demand analytics enables retailers to get a unified demand signal that helps to address demand volatility,” noted Sankara Narayanan. “Its actionable insights give retailers greater supply chain visibility and shelf fill rates, lower lost sales at point of sale and smaller global inventory. Furthermore, its single integrated system helps retailers synchronize demand and supply.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents the Technology Leadership award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds large R&D spend towards innovation, its relevance to the industry and the positive impact on brand perception.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

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