Both RedPrairie Corporation, a global supply chain and retail technology provider, and customer Sony of Canada Ltd., have been selected as finalists for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and SupplyChainBrain’s Supply Chain Innovation Award. The award recognizes the best and most innovative solutions and ideas in the supply chain profession.
RedPrairie and Sony of Canada were nominated for this award based on a case study detailing the challenges, new ideas, and successful implementation of a Collaborative Flowcasting/store level distribution resource planning (DRP) solution for Sony of Canada. RedPrairie and Sony of Canada’s case study was selected as one of eight finalists from among 50 submissions.
In 2009, Sony of Canada implemented RedPrairie’s store level DRP system to help profitably manage its retail supply chain, including many specialized “slow-selling” items with high price points, which create hard-to-forecast, intermittent demand patterns. Unlike traditional “bottom-up, top-down” historical-based approaches to demand forecasting that add complexity and do not account for seasonality, RedPrairie’s solution uses integer forecasting to intuitively model how demands will actually occur.
For the year 2010, Sony of Canada had achieved the following results:
- Improved store level forecast accuracy by 30 percent (on an annualized basis)
- Improved store in-stock from 87 percent in 2009 to 95-97 percent in 2010, including the holiday season
- Reduced supply chain inventory by 20 percent
- Reduced obsolete inventory from 14 percent to 9 percent of total inventory
“This was a relatively simple implementation with quick results,” says Rick Courtin, business process manager at Sony of Canada. “Store level DRP gave us the ability to improve store in-stocks and reduce inventory quickly, while at the same time providing us with the ability to automate many tasks that were manual and very cumbersome in the past. Thanks to the new system, we can now focus on fire prevention activities instead of being in a constant state of firefighting.”
“The farther from the consumer that forecasting takes place, the less accurate forecasts are likely to be,” says Andre Martin, the “father of DRP,” co-founder of RedPrairie’s Collaborative Flowcasting Group.
“The retail store is both the beginning and the end of retail supply chains. It’s the beginning of the information flow and the end of product delivery. Our approach is to create a computer-based model of the actual retail business; a representation of the real world, which can be used to intuitively model how demand will actually occur.”
RedPrairie’s Andre Martin and Sony of Canada’s Rick Courtin will co-present their case study to the panel of judges and the live audience of attendees at the CSCMP Annual Global Conference in Atlanta, Sept. 30–Oct. 3, 2012. The award winner will be announced onstage at the conference’s closing session on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
More about RedPrairie’s ground-breaking approach to Collaborative Flowcasting can be found in the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Best Practice Guideline: The Ultimate Retail Supply Chain Machine: Connecting the Consumer to the Factory.