Improving Demand Forecast Accuracy at ATP

Auto aftermarket manufacturer deploys planning solution from Smart Software to optimize inventory stocking levels

Auto aftermarket manufacturer deploys planning solution from Smart Software to optimize inventory stocking levels

Belmont, MA — June 8, 2005 — Auto aftermarket manufacturer ATP is using a forecasting and planning solution from Smart Software as part of an initiative to improve demand forecast accuracy and optimize inventory stocking levels.

A supplier in the $900 million market for automotive drive train parts, ATP is privately held manufacturer with headquarters in Morton Grove, Ill. The company manufactures transmission parts, repair kits and other automotive aftermarket products.

ATP carries an inventory of approximately 6,000 product items, and like many companies in the automotive aftermarket industry, ATP has a large number of inventory items that are hard-to-forecast because they have intermittent, or "slow-moving," demand patterns.

Lowering Inventory, Maintaining Fill Rates

ATP is using Smart's flagship product, SmartForecasts Enterprise, as part of a drive to lower its inventory and reduce costs without affecting its historical ability to consistently achieve a 98 percent fill rate.

Smart said that SmartForecasts helps companies like ATP produce accurate forecasts and reliable, cost-effective safety stock estimates, even for items with intermittent demand.

"Our goal is to reduce inventory without reducing service," said Maureen Rogak, vice president of supply chain at ATP. "To do that, we needed a better way to accurately forecast the demand for our products, especially those with intermittent demand, and SmartForecasts gives us that ability."

Rogak said that the solution also has helped ATP streamline its monthly forecasting process by reducing the time involved from one week to two days. "And with the more accurate forecasts, we've begun to see our inventory levels and order quantities start to go down," she concluded.

Smart Software has a client base comprised of mid-market and Fortune 500 enterprises, including such companies as Monsanto, Mitsubishi, Siemens and Labatt Breweries. Smart is headquartered in Belmont, Mass.

Additional Articles of Interest

— For more information on demand planning and forecasting, see the analyst articles in the April/May 2004 and February/March 2005 issues of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For an in-depth look at how agribusiness Syngenta is reducing inventory while maintaining customer service levels by building a demand planning process based on a collaborative forecasting solution, see the article " Forecasting Processes from the Ground Up ."

— Demand planners at glove manufacturer Wells Lamont have put their finger on a way to bring new value to the company by leveraging technology that allows them to plan by exception. Read their story in the article " Planning by Exception," in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.