Smart Software to Preview New Gen2 Forecasting Models at Microsoft Community Summit 2021

Belmont, MA, September 2021 – Smart Software, Inc., provider of industry-leading demand forecasting, planning, and inventory optimization solutions, today announced that will participate at the Microsoft Community Summit North America 2021 and preview it’s soon to be released Gen2 forecasting algorithms.

One of the most significant challenges executives now face is the increasing pace of business. In the past, forecasting processes typically ran at quarterly or monthly tempo.  Smart’s Gen2 methods harness daily transactions from Microsoft 365 ERP systems and represents a giant leap forward compared to traditional inventory planning and forecasting methods. Gen2 applies patent-pending probabilistic forecasting and machine learning methods expanding on Smart’s field-proven Gen1 modeling that has been so impactful for so many companies.

Most inventory planning teams rely upon traditional forecasting approaches, rule of thumb methods, and sales feedback to determine stocking policies and demand forecasts. Come by booth #1820 to learn about these approaches, why they often fail, and how the new Gen2 probabilistic forecasting and optimization methods can make a big difference to your bottom line. Whether you are a seasoned Microsoft user looking for new ways to optimize your supply chain, or are new to Dynamics Applications and want to understand how a planning platform can help drive revenue increases and inventory reductions, please stop by.

 

About Smart Software, Inc.
Founded in 1981, Smart Software, Inc. is a leader in providing businesses with enterprise-wide demand forecasting, planning and inventory optimization solutions.  Smart Software’s demand forecasting and inventory optimization solutions have helped thousands of users worldwide, including customers at mid-market enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, such as Otis Elevator, Mitsubishi, Siemens, Disney, FedEx, MARS, and The Home Depot.  Smart Inventory Planning & Optimization gives demand planners the tools to handle sales seasonality, promotions, new and aging products, multi-dimensional hierarchies, and intermittently demanded service parts and capital goods items.  It also provides inventory managers with accurate estimates of the optimal inventory and safety stock required to meet future orders and achieve desired service levels.  Smart Software is headquartered in Belmont, Massachusetts and can be found on the World Wide Web at www.smartcorp.com.

Community Summit 2021 Smart Software Inventory planning


For more information, please contact Smart Software, Inc., Four Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478.
Phone: 1-800-SMART-99 (800-762-7899); FAX: 1-617-489-2748; E-mail: info@smartcorp.com

 

 

Inventory Planning Becomes More Interesting

The Smart Forecaster

 Pursuing best practices in demand planning,

forecasting and inventory optimization

Taiichi Ohno of Toyota is credited with inventing Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing in the 1950s. JIT ensures that a manufacturer produces only what is needed, only when required, and only in the necessary amount. That innovation has since had major impacts, some good, some less so.

A recent New York Times article “How the World Ran out of Everything” describes some of the “less so” impacts.  For example, JIT has kept inventory costs very low improving return on assets.  This in turn is rewarded by Wall Street, so many companies have spent the last few decades reducing their inventories dramatically. Focused as they were on financials, many companies ignored the risks inherent in reducing inventories to the point that “lean” began to border on “emaciated.” Combined with increased globalization and new risks of supply interruption, stock-outs have abounded.

Some industries have gone too far, leaving them exposed to disruption. In a competition to get to the lowest cost, companies have inadvertently concentrated their risk, been interrupted by shortages of raw materials or components, and sometimes forced to halt assembly lines. Wall Street does not look kindly on production halts.

We all know that random events have added to the problem. First among them has been the Covid pandemic. As the pandemic has hindered factory operations and spread disarray in global shipping, many economies worldwide have been tormented by shortages of an immense range of goods — from computer chips to lumber to clothing.

The damage is compounded when more unexpected things go wrong. The Suez Canal Blockage is a prime example, obstructing the main trade route between Europe and Asia. Recently, cyberattacks have added another layer of disruption.

The reaction creates its own problems, just as the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline created gas shortages through panic buying. Suppliers start filling orders more slowly than usual. Manufacturers and distributors reverse course and increase inventories and diversify their suppliers to avoid future stockouts. Simply expanding warehouses may not deliver the solution, and the need to determine how much inventory to keep is more urgent every day.Manager In Warehouse With Inventory Management Software

So how can you execute a real-world plan for JIT inventory amidst all this risk and uncertainty? The foundation of your response is your corporate data. Uncertainty has two sources: supply and demand. You need the facts for both.

On the supply side, exploit the data you have on recent supplier lead times, which reflect the current turbulence. Don’t use average values when you can use probability distributions that reflect the full range of contingencies. Consider this comparison. Supplier A is now reliably filling orders in exactly 10 days. Supplier B also averages 10 days but does with a 78%/22% mix of 7 and 21 days. Both A and B have an average replenishment delay of 10 days, but the operational results they provide will be very different. You can only recognize this if you use probability models of inventory performance.

On the demand side, similar considerations apply. First, recognize that there may have been a major shift in the character of item demand (statisticians call this a “regime change”), so purge from your analysis any data that represent the “good old days.” Then, again, stop thinking in terms of averages. While the average demand is important, it is not a sufficient descriptor of the problem you face. Equally important is the volatility of demand. Volatility is the reason you keep inventory in the first place. If demand were completely predictable, you would have neither stockouts nor excess inventory. Just as you need to estimate the full probability distribution of replenishment lead times, you need the full distribution of demand values.

Once you understand the range of variability in both supply and demand, probabilistic forecasting will allow you to account for disruptions and unusual events. Software will convert your data on demand and lead times into huge numbers of scenarios representing how your next planning period might play out. Given those scenarios, the software can determine how best to meet your goals for such metrics as inventory costs and stockout rates. Using solutions such as Smart Inventory Optimization , you will confidently plan based on your targeted stockout risk with minimal inventory carrying cost. You may also consider letting the solution prescribe optimal service level targets by assessing the costs of additional inventory vs. stockout cost.

In inventory planning, as in science, we cannot escape the reality of uncertainty and the impact of unusual events. We must plan accordingly: using inventory optimization software helps you identify the least-cost service level. This creates a coherent, company-wide effort that combines visibility into current operations with mathematically correct assessments of future risks and conditions.

Inventory planning has become more “interesting” and requires a greater degree of risk awareness and agility. The right software can help.

 

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Four Ways to Optimize Inventory

Four Ways to Optimize Inventory

Inventory optimization has become an even higher priority in recent months for many of our customers.  Some are finding their products in vastly greater demand; more have the opposite problem. In either case, events like the Covid19 pandemic are forcing a reexamination of standard operating conditions, such as choices of reorder points and order quantities.

Top 3 Most Common Inventory Control Policies

Top 3 Most Common Inventory Control Policies

To make the right decision, you’ll need to know how demand forecasting supports inventory management, choice of which policy to use, and calculation of the inputs that drive these policies.The process of ordering replenishment stock is sufficiently expensive and cumbersome that you also want to minimize the number of purchase orders you must generate.

How to Choose a Target Service Level to Optimize Inventory

How to Choose a Target Service Level to Optimize Inventory

When setting a target service level, make sure to take into account factors like current service levels, replenishment lead times, cost constraints, the pain inflicted by shortages on you and your customers, and your competitive position.

Recent Posts

  • Inventory Planning for Manufacturers SOFTWARE Forecasting.A Beginner’s Guide to Downtime and What to Do about It
    If you manufacture things for sale, you need machines to make those things. If your machines are up and running, you have a fighting chance to make money. If your machines are down, you lose opportunities to make money. […]
  • Multiechelon software inventory management animatedAn Example of Simulation-Based Multiechelon Inventory Optimization
    Managing the inventory across multiple facilities arrayed in multiple echelons can be a huge challenge for any company. The complexity arises from the interactions among the echelons, with demands at the lower levels bubbling up and any shortages at the higher levels cascading down. […]

    Smart Software to Present at Epicor Insights 2021

    Smart Software President and CEO to present Epicor Insights 2021 Breakout Session on Creating Competitive Advantage with Smart Inventory Planning and Optimization

     

    Belmont, MA, June, 2021 – Smart Software, Inc., provider of industry-leading demand forecasting, planning, and inventory optimization solutions, today announced that it will present at Epicor Insights 2021.

    Greg Hartunian, CEO of Smart Software, will present “Creating Competitive Advantage with Smart Inventory Planning and Optimization.” Greg will explain how to empower planning teams to reduce inventory, improve service levels, and increase operational efficiency. Most inventory planning teams rely upon traditional forecasting approaches, rule of thumb methods, and sales feedback on demand. Our Breakout Session at Epicor Insights discusses these approaches, why they often fail, and how new probabilistic forecasting and optimization methods can make a big difference to your bottom line.

    • The presentation is scheduled for Wed July 14th 10:25 -11:15 AM  (PST) 

    1 Epicor Inventory Mangement Platinum Partner

    Epicor Insights 2021 will bring together more than 2,000 users of Epicor’s industry-specific ERP solutions for the manufacturing, distribution, and service industries.  To learn more, visit INSIGHTS 2021.

     Join us at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, at the Solution Pavilion,  Booth #1.

    3 Epicor Inventory Mangement Platinum Partner

     

    2 Epicor Inventory Mangement Platinum Partner

     

    Smart Software is an Epicor Platinum Partner and leading provider of demand planning, forecasting, inventory optimization, and analytics solutions. Our web platform, Smart IP&O, leverages probabilistic forecast modeling, machine learning, and collaborative demand planning to optimize inventory levels and increase forecast accuracy. You’ll use Smart IP&O to create accurate forecasts and optimal stocking policies that drive automated ordering in Epicor. The platform includes bi-directional integrations to both Epicor ERP and Prophet 21.

     

     

    About Smart Software, Inc.
    Founded in 1981, Smart Software, Inc. is a leader in providing businesses with enterprise-wide demand forecasting, planning and inventory optimization solutions.  Smart Software’s demand forecasting and inventory optimization solutions have helped thousands of users worldwide, including customers at mid-market enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, such as Otis Elevator, Mitsubishi, Siemens, Disney, FedEx, MARS, and The Home Depot.  Smart Inventory Planning & Optimization gives demand planners the tools to handle sales seasonality, promotions, new and aging products, multi-dimensional hierarchies, and intermittently demanded service parts and capital goods items.  It also provides inventory managers with accurate estimates of the optimal inventory and safety stock required to meet future orders and achieve desired service levels.  Smart Software is headquartered in Belmont, Massachusetts and can be found on the World Wide Web at www.smartcorp.com.

     


    For more information, please contact Smart Software, Inc., Four Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478.
    Phone: 1-800-SMART-99 (800-762-7899); FAX: 1-617-489-2748; E-mail: info@smartcorp.com

     

     

    Smart Software Celebrates 40 years

    40 years of Innovation for Demand Forecasting, Inventory Planning, and Supply Chain Analytics

     

    Belmont, MA, June 1, 2021 – Today marks the 40th anniversary for Smart Software, a leading innovator of demand planning, statistical forecasting, inventory management, and supply chain analytics software.

    Company CEO, Greg Hartunian remarked “Our success is built on continuous innovation. Our mission follows the path that our founders initiated 40 years ago; we provide cutting-edge analytical solutions that help our customers maximize sales and minimize waste.  We are enormously grateful to our customers who have given us their support, confidence, and trust.  Thank you to our partner community of resellers and consultants who have mobilized our growth and shared their expertise with us.  We are also indebted to our many employees, past and present, local and abroad, whose creativity and dedication have produced systems that are benefitting so many great companies worldwide.”

    Smart, Hartunian, and Willemain was incorporated in June 1981 by Charles Smart, Nelson Hartunian, and Thomas Willemain, our visionary founders. The firm later incorporated as Smart Software, Inc in 1984 reflecting their shift from boutique consultancy to software.  Over the years, their pioneering work produced the first-ever automatic statistical forecasting system for the personal computer, a patented APICS award-winning method for intermittent demand planning, and most recently a cloud-native probabilistic forecasting platform. All have produced major inventory cost reductions and service level improvements for our customers.  To learn more about Smart Software’s roots and journey, please click here:

     

      Smart Software Company History 

     

    Smart Software Logo 40 years

     

    “Smart gives us good information to work with.  The service level planning method has led to productive conversations between sales and supply chain and given us a common ground from which we base our discussions. People are feeling comfortable with numbers, and through our S&OP process we’ve been able to create buy-in across the company.”
    Rod Cardenas  – Purchasing Manager, Forum Energy

     

    “It was deployed as part of our implementation of a new centralized distribution model and highlighted significant blind spots in the original project plan. The accurate forecasts of stocking levels and SKU count provided fact-based data that allowed us to strategically phase the consolidation effort where warehouse space was at a premium.”
    Eric Nelson – CPA, CMA. Manager, Parts Supply and Logistics. BC Transit

     

    “Its easy for us to give suppliers information they never had before. Our suppliers can plan their production and work with their suppliers. That visibility has been invaluable. That’s where the real payoff will come. Not just reducing inventory or saving time on people managing the inventory but being more responsive to customers’ needs. To me, that’s the overarching benefit of this software.”
    Bud Schultz – Vice President of Finance  NKK Switches

     

     

     

     


     

    SmartForecasts and Smart IP&O have registered trademarks of Smart Software, Inc.  All other trademarks are their respective owners’ property.

    For more information, please contact Smart Software, Inc., Four Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478.
    Phone: 1-800-SMART-99 (800-762-7899); FAX: 1-617-489-2748; E-mail: info@smartcorp.com

     

     

    Prophet 21 User Group Webinar: Inventory Planning Processes

    Smart Software is pleased to introduce our new webinar, offered exclusively for Prophet 21 Users. In this webinar, Greg Hartunian, CEO at Smart Software, will lead a 45-minute webinar focusing on specific approaches to demand forecasting and inventory planning that will enable you to increase revenue capture, improve service levels, and reduce inventory holding costs.  Minimizing excess stock, equipment downtime, and lost sales requires the right planning foundation. Most inventory planning teams rely upon traditional forecasting approaches, rule of thumb methods, and sales feedback. Many companies struggle to keep up, putting businesses at risk when the insulation of a growing top line thins. Our Webinar at EUG discusses these approaches, why they often fail, and how new probabilistic forecasting and optimization methods can make a big difference to your bottom line.

     

    Please contact us to request access to the webinar. During the webinar, we will outline the challenges associated with traditional inventory planning processes and show how Smart Software can help. You’ll see a live demo of the Epicor Smart IP&O platform including the bi-directional P21 integration.

     

    Smart Inventory Planning and Optimization is an integrated set of native web applications that provides a single, easy-to-use, scalable, environment with field-proven inventory and forecast modeling that optimizes inventory stocking policy and improves forecast accuracy. We hope you will be able to join us!

     

     


    SmartForecasts and Smart IP&O are registered trademarks of Smart Software, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    For more information, please contact Smart Software,Inc., Four Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478.
    Phone: 1-800-SMART-99 (800-762-7899); E-mail: info@smartcorp.com