Fast-moving consumer goods
Forecasting is a key driver to improving to supply chain performance, in particular for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies who need to forecast hundreds or thousands of products automatically.
Assortments are often heterogeneous, with different time series patterns of seasonality, trends and level shifts from listings & de-listings across product groups and regional markets, which require robust tools for automatic forecasting model selection. External influences from out-of-stocks and promotions need to be captured automatically in advanced statistical algorithms or through aided expert judgment. The recent shortening of product-lifecycles, proliferation of promotional activities and the increasing availability of downstream data are demanding more sophisticated forecasting solutions than ever before.
Despite being at the core of many standard ERP and advanced planning systems (i.e. SAP APO-DP, JDA, Oracle, Demantra, Manugistics or I2) the forecasting functionality is often little understood and poorly customised, and allow for significant gains in forecasting accuracy, reduced safety stocks and higher service levels when properly aligned with the product assortment.
The Lancaster Centre for Forecasting has developed specialised solutions, providing support and tools for improving statistical baseline forecasting: