Inventory Forecasting Software
Thrive Technologies offers inventory forecasting software for multi location distributors and retailers who are looking for a way to reduce stockouts and increase the profitability from their inventory.
Thrive’s inventory forecasting software delivers a significant financial impact to distribution and retail companies that desire to “break through” and sustain higher inventory performance measured by inventory metrics such as inventory turns and fill rates.
Thrive’s software starts with the industry’s most accurate prediction of upcoming sales for each of your items at each location. You can view your upcoming demand up to 12 months in the future for all items or any meaningful group. The inventory forecasting software then automatically identifies and predicts seasonal patterns for each item at each stocking location. And then the system analyzes your existing on-hand and on-order data to recommend optimal purchase orders by vendor.
What Does Inventory Forecasting Software Do that my ERP System Doesn’t Do?
Sometimes referred to as advanced Inventory Purchasing functionality, inventory forecasting software is really advanced inventory buying functionality that leverages the data in your existing ERP system to supercharge the inventory purchasing process. Thrive’s forecasting engine delivers unprecedented forecast accuracy which directly translates into more sales with less inventory. We set up the software with your strategic inventory policies (eg. what service levels you want to maintain at what level of inventory turns). Then the software automatically analyzes demand and current daily stock status data from your ERP system to optimize inventory re-orders so they automatically conform to your strategic goals.
Using Spreadsheets for Inventory Forecasting?
The ability for companies to improve their inventory metrics typically plateaus with the inventory forecasting software modules in common ERP systems such as Epicor Eclipse, Prophet 21, Infor, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, custom systems or industry specific distribution or retail software.
Inventory buyers resort to heavy spreadsheet usage to supplement the limited inventory forecasting functionality in their ERP system. They manually load the data into the spreadsheets which they use to analyze, evaluate, and manipulate the ERP estimates of upcoming sales and recommended order quantities. Our experience is that these buyers override at least half of the quantities generated by the ERP system. In businesses with long lead times or heavy seasonality, the ERP inventory forecasting software module is frequently unusable for the buyers to build their purchase orders. The buyers build their PO quantities in spreadsheets based on subjective review and manually intensive analysis, then key the items and quantities into the ERP system to build PO’s.
This reliance on spreadsheets to prepare inventory replenishment purchase orders is costly in terms of the manual labor involved not to mention the imprecise calculations and manual determination of demand and order quantities. Growing companies are forced to invest in additional buying staff in an effort to better manage inventory. As hard as the buyers work, the tool and methodologies they are using to determine what items and quantities to stock severely limit the company’s ability to improve inventory metrics.
Finally, management gets very little meaningful reporting of inventory performance and trends because it’s really hard to get consolidated reporting from your buyer’s spreadsheets which is where the real data resides.
Considering the investment of time and money required by any new software, most companies are only interested in software that can clearly demonstrate a significant positive impact on their businesses. Thrive’s inventory forecasting software has an immediate impact on your inventory levels, reducing inventory where it is not needed for upcoming sales, but increasing those that are historically prone to stock outs. The inventory forecasting software lowers your overall inventory by 20% to 30% or more while increasing your sales by 5% due to reduced out of stocks.