Inventory Forecasting Software Lives in the Cloud
November 4, 2014 Alex Woodie
Wholesaler distributors that fail to update demand forecasts are often left holding the bag when sales patterns change downstream or retailers cease carrying a product. Now a company called Thrive Technologies says it can offer advanced demand forecasting and inventory optimization for a variety of industries with its cloud-based offering.
In exchange for vast volumes, big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot extract deep concessions from their suppliers and often require them to maintain high service levels and in-stock percentages. When retailers add or drop products from their shelves, or demand unexpectedly changes, that makes it more difficult for distributors to maintain that “Goldilocks” zone between overstocking and understocking.
Plain vanilla ERP systems often lack the functionality needed to maintain optimal inventory levels for millions of SKUs across space and time. One of the software vendors looking to fill this gap is Georgia-based Thrive Technologies.
Thrive was founded in 2001 and today helps companies in SKU-intensive industries optimize their inventories. The company says its proprietary analytics software can automatically identify and predict seasonal patterns for each item at each location. It claims the better forecast lets distributors lower their inventory by five to 10 percent, while increasing sales by two to three percent.
“We have a patent pending forecast engine that can very accurately predict demand for each item,” states Thrive CEO Rick Morris in a press release. “Since we analyze demand at the customer level for each item, our clients can specify the exact date that one of their big retail customers will be adding or discontinuing an item in certain locations in the future. Our system automatically adjusts the forecasts accordingly, as well as the inventory buying plan, so that stock is aligned accurately with demand at that time.”
The company has experience integrating with a variety of ERP systems, including IBM i-based software from Infor and others. The software, which runs in a private data center, pulls item master files with SKU information from the host ERP system.
For more information see www.thrivetech.com.