Franklin Translates Demand Data into Supply Chain Efficiencies

Handheld electronics company works to improve forecast accuracy, trading partner relationships

Handheld electronics company works to improve forecast accuracy, trading partner relationships

West Chester, PA — July 27, 2004 — Franklin Electronic Publishers Inc., a developer and distributor of portable knowledge products, said it has improved its relationships with the major retailers that sell its products after implementing Prescient's retailer-centric software and services for consumer products companies.

Franklin noted that it has been able to better manage over- and under-stocks on retailer customers' store shelves, enable efficiencies throughout the global supply chain, and it has broken into the top 10 on Circuit City's "Supply Chain Excellence Scorecard."

Franklin's four-month product development cycle poses many challenges, according to the company. Franklin designs its products in-house, then commissions five overseas contract manufacturers to build the product and ship it back to Franklin to distribute to its retail trading partners.

As the number of product stock-keeping units (SKUs) increased dramatically with new goods and new package configurations to meet retail customer needs, the ability to develop accurate demand plans on Excel spreadsheets became increasingly difficult.

Franklin also wanted to automate the input of point-of-sale (POS) data from end consumers to more accurately reflect true product demand and better service the retail customers who are its distribution channel.

"When evaluating supply chain providers, Prescient was the natural choice," said Timothy Weed, director of forecasting at Franklin. "Prescient's consumer products expertise, complemented by its direct experience working with companies that source products overseas, allowed for a smooth transition and the most efficient accommodation of our unique forecasting needs."

Since implementing Prescient's supply chain planning suite, Franklin said it has seen improved forecast accuracy and reduced error rate. The company is also able to more confidently anticipate seasonal spikes in demand. In addition to scoring high on Circuit City's list of preferred suppliers, Franklin has fostered a more collaborative relationship with Wal-Mart, another major retail customer.

Jane Hoffer, president and CEO of Prescient, commented, "In the wake of tighter margins, SKU proliferation and retailer mandates, Prescient helps consumer products companies like Franklin facilitate a compliance-to-collaboration approach to supply chain planning, allowing them to maximize trading partner relationships."