Smart Updates Forecasting Solution

Version 6 of SmartForecasts expands inventory optimization, reporting, collaboration capabilities

Version 6 of SmartForecasts expands inventory optimization, reporting, collaboration capabilities

Belmont, MA — March 10, 2004 — Smart Software, a supplier of demand forecasting, planning and inventory optimization solutions, has started shipping version 6 of its flagship product, SmartForecasts, adding new planning tools for optimizing inventory stocking levels and safety stock requirements.

In addition, this version includes enhanced database management and product group forecasting capabilities, as well as new performance tracking reports and collaborative forecasting options.

The provider said that SmartForecasts gives demand planners the tools to handle sales seasonality, promotions, new and aging products, multi-dimensional hierarchies and intermittently demanded service parts and capital goods items. It also provides inventory managers with estimates of the minimum inventory and safety stock required to meet future orders to help ensure the most cost-effective inventory allocation to achieve desired service levels.

Major new features in version 6 include inventory planning tools to automatically estimate optimal stocking levels and safety stock requirements for all forecasted items; performance tracking reports, including "forecasts versus actuals" reports to better assess the accuracy of the forecasting and planning process; and updated product group forecasting to improve top-down and bottom-up results.

Version 6 also incorporates Smart Software's "intermittent demand forecasting" technology, as well as additional multidimensional sorting, promotion modeling and OLAP data management capabilities. This version has the ability to access remote databases over the Internet, and its user interface has been refined to make the SmartForecasts software more straightforward to use, including new uses of color, more toolbars for easier program navigation, and improved online help, according to Smart.

Other new features: improved database management capabilities, including customized displays of forecast/audit information and quicker connection to corporate databases; collaborative forecasting options to save and review multiple forecasting scenarios for any group of items; and integrated comments facility for adding notes and documenting changes.

The new version is compatible with Smart Software's new Web-based collaboration software, SmartWeb Collaborator. Also, Smart said that the solution integrates with major corporate databases, such as Oracle, IBM DB2 and SQL Server, as well as most supply chain management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

"As companies seek to improve their supply chain solutions, they learn that input from across the enterprise is essential to success," said Julie Fraser, a principal at Industry Directions, Newburyport, Mass. "With Version 6, Smart Software has added significant capabilities critical to collaborative forecasting and planning efforts, such as reports to track forecast accuracy, multiple forecast scenario options, improved product group forecasting, and a fully integrated comments facility. Those pursuing a richer demand planning environment will also appreciate this version's enhanced inventory planning tools."

Pierre Belhumeur, senior project manager for sales and marketing at Labatt Breweries and an early SmartForecasts 6 user, offered a possible review of the latest version. "I enthusiastically worked with Version 6 of SmartForecasts and enjoyed all its new functionalities and especially the database connectivity," he said. "This latest upgrade is quite impressive."

Smart's customers for its forecasting solution include both mid-market enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, such as Mitsubishi, Siemens, Labatt Breweries, Coca-Cola and Monsanto.