In a previous Supply Chain Matters commentary s latest ranking of supply chain planning SOR providers that best-of-breed software providers continue to dominate in providing broad vision and product innovation.

Last week provided yet another example of that tenet.

Demand analytics and supply chain optimization provider ToolsGroup made a noteworthy announcement last week.  This vendor has embedded machine learning into its SO99+ demand forecasting and management application to solve problems that supply chain planners more often than not, face every day.  In difficult product demand forecasting scenarios, those that involve concentrated incidents of trade promotion, product seasonality, and new product introduction, or product cannibalization, impacts must be measured against baseline demand. Too often, planners overreact to fluctuation or sudden changes in demand. ToolsGroup application of machine learning analyzes many of the relevant variables and interactions and adjusts the baseline by identifying the effects of stimuli at a detailed channel level.

The vendor cites application of this technology at customer deployments at Danone and Lennox Industries, among other unnamed customers. While Supply Chain Matters has not as yet had the opportunity to view a demonstration of application of this machine learning technology, we look forward to doing so.

This is yet another example of how smaller, more nimble vendors can stay at the edge of innovation by moving quicker to respond to needs in the market.