ToolsGroup Announces Significant Enhancements To Its Industry-Leading Demand Planning Solution
Version 8.60 of ToolsGroup’s award-winning software elevates forecasting and new product launch capabilities and deepens machine learning and AI utilization.
BOSTON — February 28, 2023 — ToolsGroup, a global leader in retail and supply chain planning and optimization software, has announced the latest version of its Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+) software, making major advancements in its forecasting and demand sensing capabilities. This is just the latest of the company’s significant strides towards making supply chains a force for good by helping organizations guarantee service, reduce excess stock, and increase profits.
“ToolsGroup SO99+ improved the accuracy of our forecasts for slower moving items by 5-10%,” said Sarah Voorhees, Vice President of Demand and Inventory Planning at American Tire Distributors. “Better probabilistic forecasts translate into better fulfillment, helping us reduce inventory, carry less safety stock, and increase revenue through fewer stockouts.”
With the release of v8.60, ToolsGroup aims to further improve customer experience and supply chain performance with expanded capabilities that now deliver:
- A New Product Introduction (NPI) Dashboard that provides an interactive display for SO99+ NPI forecasting. The dashboard enables immediate what-if scenario planning for all the attributes that may impact the performance of a new product introduction, a deeper understanding of the variables that affect the success of a new product launch, and the rationale supporting the projections for the launch forecast.
- Automatic Forecast Model Backtesting that eliminates the typically time-consuming, manual calibration process of configuring, defining, and simulating forecast models, delivering significant forecasting accuracy improvements nearly automatically.
- Re-Forecasting Based on Pre-orders that empowers users to incorporate actual orders into probabilistic forecasts to better determine future demand, improving short- and medium-term forecast accuracy while enabling customers to respond quickly and proactively to market changes.
- Machine Learning Speed and Accuracy Enhancements, thanks to the implementation of new light gradient-boosting machine functionality (LightGBM) into the SO99+ machine learning engines. By incorporating this advanced modeling technique, SO99+ delivers unmatched machine learning scalability and results, ensuring faster processing and major forecast accuracy improvements.
- Flexible Forecast Aggregation that simplifies demand planning by allowing demand teams to plan at the aggregate level, while retaining the variables and details necessary for accurate supply planning processes. This ensures higher-quality, more flexible forecasts because SKUs are no longer restricted to a single hierarchical view.
“As businesses continue to face significant disruptions across their supply chains, new challenges are constantly rising to the forefront. Demand planners need to be able to act quickly and decisively,” says ToolsGroup CEO, Inna Kuznetsova. “With this release, we have improved the power of our demand planning and demand sensing abilities in SO99+ and further enable our customers to navigate uncertainty and make the most informed planning decisions faster. More accurate forecasts translate into less waste and greater customer satisfaction, making supply chains a force for good in demand.”
These exciting new capabilities add to the industry leading innovations in SO99+ which include:
- Probabilistic Forecasting that combines historical, real-time, and other demand-relevant data into an probabilistic model that determines the possibility (and likelihood) of a range of outcomes, accounting for risk and enabling greater planning dexterity. It seamlessly self-adjusts to a wide variety of demand behaviors, generating optimal forecasts in uncertain demand scenarios.
- Demand Sensing that helps users better leverage granular data to capture changes in the market before they happen, ensuring proactive adjustments in demand planning and lower downstream latency while still delivering optimal service levels, ensuring fewer lost sales and increased revenues.
- Self-Adaptive, Frequency-Based Forecasting that effectively forecasts both fast-moving items and products with intermittent demand by capturing network-wide changes and events and accounting for both order size and order frequency, delivering the most accurate forecast available.
- Machine Learning Engines that are mapped to every unique attribute that can affect a forecast, from seasonality and promotions to causals and external factors, ensuring the most accurate and robust forecasts on the market.
With SO99+, ToolsGroup provides the power of dynamic planning to over 365 customers across 45 countries, enabling intelligent decision making at the speed of business that transforms supply chain performance. Customers report a 5-10 percentage point improvement in forecast accuracy and a 3-5 percentage point increase in service levels while simultaneously achieving a 20-30% inventory reduction. Built-in automation cuts the planning workload by up to 90% and helps companies reduce waste by 10-30%.
For more information about SO99+, read our blog on the 8.6 release HERE.
ToolsGroup’s innovative AI-powered solutions enable retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to navigate through supply chain uncertainty. Our retail and supply chain planning suites empower a new level of fast, intelligent decision making and unlock powerful business improvements in forecast accuracy, service levels, and inventory – delighting customers and achieving financial and ESG KPIs. Stay in touch with ToolsGroup on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or visit www.toolsgroup.com.