Tuesday 20th Aug 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

FuturMaster launches AI forecasting

FuturMaster, the supply chain planning specialist, has launched forecasting software that uses artificial intelligence to aid in the launch of new products.

It said that a recent trial with a Chinese textiles firm found that the software was more accurate in over three-quarters of forecasting scenarios and twice as fast at unravelling data when compared to using teams of trained forecasters and manual methods.

The machine learning software works by using algorithms to group products based on the sales history and behaviour of products with similar characteristics (a process known as clustering). The autonomous system then applies a set of rules to automatically calculate volume requirements over a variable period, adjusting and constantly adapting over time.

FuturMaster said that trials showed that rival solutions were often too quick to replenish products and that the resulting, spiralling costs of unsold stock could be reduced using AI-assisted tools.

“Launching new products is a complicated process that involves numerous teams collaborating together and requires close monitoring of sales and demand, not to mention harvesting accurate, clean data,” said product manager Gilles Lefebvre. “Decisions – which can make or break a company – have to be taken early on and it’s an area ripe for the benefits of AI technology.”