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ToolsGroup

 
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
1993
Company Overview
ToolsGroup is an experienced provider of demand analytics, inventory optimization and supply chain planning software.
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Products and Services

Demand Collaboration Hub

 
ToolsGroup’s Demand Collaboration Hub (DCH) is a consensus building platform that complements demand forecasting by bringing together data from multiple stakeholders. It is a native web application usable from most operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), including browsers, tablets, iPhones and Android devices. It provides a simple-to-use environment where even inexperienced or casual users can collaborate in the forecast planning process. By evaluating and comparing multiple forecasts inputs (from sales departments, POS data or any other source) this unique approach mitigates forecast bias and quickly improves forecast accuracy. DCH supports both internal sources (such as marketing and salespeople) and external sources (such as partners, retailers, distributors or suppliers). After Demand Forecasting provides the baseline forecast, DCH users add their market knowledge by making changes. The net result is a single consensus forecast, minimizing inter-departmental differences, which can facilitate an SCP or S&OP (Sales and Operations Planning) process.
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Demand Sensing

 
Demand Sensing allows you to incorporate detailed demand data into your short-term forecasts to reduce forecast error by up to 50%, increase inventory performance by up to 20%, and optimally deploy downstream (e.g., Distribution Center) inventory. Downstream data, such as customer and channel data, is employed to identify demand trends, provide advanced warning of problems, and remove the latency between plan and what is really happening in the supply chain. The quicker deviations can be identified, the quicker and more intelligently a company can respond. Demand Sensing imports fresh daily demand data, immediately senses demand signal changes compared to a detailed statistical demand pattern, and evaluates the statistical significance of the change. It analyzes partial period actual demand to perform automatic short-term forecast adjustments using probabilistic pattern recognition and predictive analytics to detect patterns in replenishment orders and to identify and rapidly react to sudden changes in customer demand.
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Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization

 
ToolsGroup’s Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) routinely generates million dollar ROIs via increased service levels, reduced stock-outs and improved inventory turns. This unparalleled effectiveness is the result of unique demand and inventory modeling technology specifically designed to overcome the gross approximations (and limitations) of traditional inventory approaches. Its proprietary analytical relationships between inventory levels and customer service have proven to be highly reliable, even for very slow moving and intermittent demand items. This allows ToolsGroup to optimize even very large assortments, including products in the “long tail”. ToolsGroup MEIO effectively optimizes even complex supply chains, including multiple distribution and manufacturing echelons. It can automatically suggest the right “decoupling points” and the adequate levels of materials, components, subassemblies and finished goods in any location of the entire supply chain, by optimizing the balance of inventories across different locations (optimal staging) and different Bill-of-Material (BOM) levels (optimal postponement). Despite its power and level of sophistication, ToolsGroup MEIO is highly automated for an extremely low cost of ownership.
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New Product Introduction

 
ToolsGroup's New Product Introduction offers stochastic forecasting to predict the baseline demand, using techniques such as advanced attribute clustering to find patterns of historic demand from similar products. In addition, machine learning can predict the demand profile during the initial launch period. Their models can include early indicators such as web analytics, product attributes or even social media data, thereby predicting the performance and profile early on of a product launch. These inputs are hard to account for with traditional forecasting techniques, but can be automatically incorporated using machine learning embedded in the demand planning software where they leverage deep neural networks to produce a forecast that is responsive to early market indicators. When the bulk of sales revenue occurs within the first months of launch, advanced demand planning software not only offers improved forecasting, but a revenue and growth generator that promptly reacts to early market indicators and enables planners to prepare for the market reaction — ultimately reducing lost-sales and optimizing stock.
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Production Planning

 
Maximizing production processes and manufacturing resources requires a fully integrated approach that goes beyond trying to stitch together individual solutions. Unlike planning systems that address only specific portions of the manufacturing process, ToolsGroup's Production Planning is an all-inclusive solution that addresses the entire production planning lifecycle. ToolsGroup helps planners and supply chain professionals gain greater insight and control of their manufacturing processes, spanning from understanding what’s in the supplier base to all phases of the production plan. They bring together four powerful modules that provide the ability to precisely model and maximize your production: PLAN addresses medium to long term planning, with deeper insight into long-term demand feasibility; MRP communicates seamlessly with your supplier network, truly making your supplier a partner; SCHED handles production planning, taking into account process constraints as well as production resource optimization – down to the shop floor; MES brings visibility to all the steps of the production cycle, supporting the execution of manufacturing operations and production tracking. Together these tools allow professionals to ensure maximum efficiency and provide end-to-end visibility from a fully integrated solution.
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Sales & Operations Planning Software

 
ToolsGroup’s Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) platform is an operations planning tool enabling enterprises to bridge the gap between strategic planning and operational execution. ToolsGroup’s S&OP employs the same data model for both tactical and operational planning, creating a single integrated data model with one version of the truth. It is coherent at every level, continuously synchronized through perfect mapping. This single model solves another S&OP problem. Finance and management must work at a higher level of aggregation to efficiently identify trade-offs. But operations must optimize with a detailed model that includes real-world constraints such as plant level production or distribution center capacities. Their single model supports the S&OP process with best-in-class optimization based on detailed constraints, while synchronized with higher aggregation levels where collaboration and decisions are made. In all, it supports three levels of S&OP processes: strategic (sometimes called Integrated Business Planning or IBP), tactical Sales and Operations Planning, and operational/execution planning (Sales and Operations Execution or S&OE).
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Service Optimizer 99+

 
The uniqueness of the Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+) platform stems from being designed from the beginning as a single model for an end-to-end planning process. SO99+ encompasses core supply chain functions such as demand forecasting, fulfillment and replenishment. But it also includes next-level functionality such as demand sensing, multi-echelon inventory optimization, and trade promotion and new product demand modeling.
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Supplier Collaboration Hub

 
The Supplier Collaboration Hub (SCH) is a web-based portal for publishing the company’s supply plan. It is a visibility and collaboration platform for enhanced planning with suppliers across the extended end-to-end network. With SO99+ providing a powerful optimization engine, SCH publishes planned delivery quantities to major vendors and gets back confirmation or variations from the vendor. Because SO99+ creates a min-max replenishment tunnel, SCH can communicate an extra degree of freedom to the supplier network, allowing them to optimize their operations around a range of available options. SCH provides a work flow for suppliers to communicate revisions to the supply plan. The web-based portal provides a simple-to-use environment where even inexperienced users can collaborate in the supply planning process. SCH adds web-based scalability, seamlessly integrated with SO99+. The net result is a single consensus supply plan that can then be fed back to supply chain planning (SCP) or Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process. SCH can be configured for both “upstream” and “downstream” collaboration. In the upstream configuration, supply proposals are shared with the company’s suppliers. In the downstream configuration, VMI proposals are shared with the company’s dealers.
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VMI Replenishment

 
VMI Replenishment produces reliable and robust daily forecasts using comprehensive, highly automated, and self-adaptive statistical modeling. It uniquely models demand for each “Ship To” Location and operates on a daily level with a real calendar underneath – differentiating expected demand behavior depending on the position of the day within the week, and the position of the day within the month. Then it calculates inventories required to deliver promised customer service levels. Rather than simply replenishing to a fixed inventory target, manufacturers can define service level policies (SLAs) with retailers and dynamically calculate optimal inventory targets to comply. Finally, it automatically generates daily replenishment proposals to meet the target service levels for each SKU-Location. Optimal loads are calculated for each truckload. Multi-tier scalability makes store level replenishment possible if reliable perpetual inventory levels are available. It can simultaneously plan multiple supply chain structures and also dynamically move SKUs from one flow path to an optimal one.
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