FuturMaster launches AI forecasting software

Written by Peter Walker
10/06/19

FuturMaster is launching a new forecasting solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies more successfully launch new products.

The supply chain planning software firm already counts L’Oreal, Heineken and LVMH as clients and found that in a recent trial with a Chinese textiles firm, the tool was more accurate in over three-quarters of forecasting scenarios and twice as fast at unravelling data, when compared to using teams of trained forecasters and manual methods.

According to Harvard Business School research, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 80 per cent fail.

FuturMaster’s machine learning software works by using algorithms to group products based on the sales history and behaviour of products with similar characteristics - a laborious process, known as clustering - the autonomous system then applies a set of rules to automatically calculate volume requirements over a variable period, adjusting and constantly adapting over time.

Gilles Lefebvre, product manager at FuturMaster, said the software is likely to be of most benefit to companies that typically launch a lot of new products – for instance, apparel brands and retailers that introduce several new lines every season in multiple size and style combinations.

“Launching new products is a complicated process that involves numerous teams collaborating together and requires close monitoring of sales and demand, not to mention harvesting accurate, clean data,” he stated. “Decisions - which can make or break a company - have to be taken early on and it’s an area ripe for the benefits of AI technology.”

The latest release of FuturMaster’s version 8.3, which features automated clustering for new product launches, may next be developed for helping retailers plan which stores to open in future.