SAF Brings Replenishment Planning Solution to U.S. Retail Market

European company offers computer-assisted ordering solution to help retailers base replenishment decisions on actual customer behavior

European company offers computer-assisted ordering solution to help retailers base replenishment decisions on actual customer behavior

Dallas — June 28, 2006 — Europe's SAF Simulation Analysis Forecasting AG, a provider of automated ordering and replenishment systems for retailers and industrial manufacturers, is expanding into the U.S. market, staking a claim as the first company to provide practical solutions for replenishment planning based on consumer demand patterns.

The company, which began ramping up its U.S. operations in January, said that the simulation capabilities of its software can help customers in the retail sector optimize general logistics conditions with proprietary statistical methods.

"U.S. retailers can now use computer-assisted ordering to realize improvements across the entire value chain, including cost savings, lower inventories, improved product availability and higher levels of customer satisfaction," the company said in a statement. Maine-based Hannaford Bros. and California-based Holiday Quality Foods are among SAF's early U.S. customers.

Computer-assisted Ordering "Rare" in U.S.

"Fierce competition in today's U.S. retail market demands the savings potential and operations efficiencies that automatic ordering can deliver," said Dr. Andreas von Beringe, founder and CEO of SAF AG. "Computer-assisted ordering is necessary, yet historically rare and unfamiliar in the U.S. retail environment. Having been successful at advanced demand forecasting in Europe, we are confident that we can provide U.S. retailers similar cost savings and the increased efficiencies that our overseas customers have experienced."

The demand chain management platform on which SAF's software is built focuses on the process chain from the customer perspective and their purchase behavior. Until now, there have been no options for completely automating demand chain management in a software solution, according to the solution provider. SAF said its solution is the only software available that can completely automate the ordering process and influence replenishment decisions based on actual customer purchase behavior.

"Evolving consumer demands and requirements, increased competitive pressures and shrinking margins are forcing retailers to deploy innovative solutions that optimize operations and increase sales," said Daniel Brandon, vice president with SAF US. "We have helped leading European retailers such as METRO Group and Woolworth Germany dramatically boost sales."

Replenishment Optimization

The core of the SAF solution is a component called Replenishment Engines, which facilitates automatic ordering by generating inventory forecasts using statistical analysis to determine the right product in the right quantities at the right place and desired time. SAF's Replenishment Engines include SuperStore, a store-level forecasting and replenishment tool, and SuperWarehouse, a replenishment optimization tool designed for the warehouse and distribution center. These two solutions, along with SuperForecast, a collaborative forecasting solution for retailers and their suppliers, support networking between the retail process chain and manufacturer for collaborative planning forecasting and replenishment (CPFR).

SAF's ApplicationSuite includes tools for users to manage configuration of the Engines to achieve a company's desired results, such as DataMonitor, ConfigurationManager, EngineManager and OrderManager. SAF Analytics service portfolio complements and assists the core products to create optimal general logistics conditions with a series of calculations deployed at the operative and strategic levels of the demand forecasting process, the solution provider said.

"Compared to conventional, computer-based ordering practices that only fully automate 10 percent of replenishment planning, SAF's solution reaches up to 100 percent automation of the ordering process," von Beringe said. "We have successfully eliminated the time consuming and costly process of manual planning and ordering in retail and wholesale operations in a way that no other company has matched."

Additional Articles of Interest

— What are the skill sets that will catapult your supply management group to its peak performance? For a guide to help unlock their potential, read "Building a Better Supply Chain Professional" in the April/May 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— What do CEOs want from their supply chains, and is Supply Chain delivering? Read more in "The Supply Chain Disconnect," the Executive Memo column in the April/May 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.