Blue Yonder, a leading provider of predictive analytics, today announced the integration of current weather data into its SaaS solution, Forward Demand.
Launched in September, Forward Demand provides accurate demand planning and precise forecasts that provide enterprises with a clear and reliable picture of their future needs. These accurate demand forecasts make over and under stocking a thing of the past, which is particularly important for seasonal goods and promotional items.
Customer-specific weather data was already part of the Blue Yonder solution, however the latest version of Forward Demand now offers current weather forecasts for selected regions in its demand planning. This means that weather variables, such as expected minimum and maximum temperatures, are not only incorporated into the forecasting model, but the user also sees them graphically as context factors.
Exact materials planning and reliable strategic planning
For businesses whose sales are strongly dependent on the weather, exact material and strategic planning is key. German business, Kremer Garden Center, is testing Forward Demand’s new functionality. The SaaS solution allows exact demand calculations to be made based on a 21-day time span, of which the first week receives an extra boost due to the incorporation of current weather forecasts.
In Blue Yonder’s Forward Demand release, customers can also define specific events that may affect demand levels such as Easter weekend for example, and input into the sales forecast. Thanks to Forward Demand, in future, the business will be able to carry out day-to-day materials planning and strategic planning more accurately.
“Forward Demand gives us demand planning capabilities that are firmly focused on actual demand. Integrating the weather into sales planning offers a huge advantage for a business like ours, and that is why we decided to work with Blue Yonder,” said Alexander Kremer, business manager at Kremer.
A simple application with measurable success
“In the latest version of Forward Demand, we have added a fundamental influencing factor for retail-companies’ demand planning — the weather. This improves sales forecasts, making them more accurate and more robust,” saids Blue Yonder CTO, Jan Karstens. In addition, overviews of forecasts and actual sales can be compared and used to draw conclusions about future forecasts. Various filters based on categories such as product groups, individual articles, regions and branches provide the precise information that is needed.
The SaaS solution has a user-friendly interface and can be integrated into any existing IT system landscape without added expense or additional investment. The model uses all the advantages of the cloud. SMB’s will find it very useful, as it allows integration with the company’s ERP system and/or data warehouse, so that available data can immediately be used with standard interfaces. Blue Yonder also offers a broad range of services to support customers across the entire process chain.