-Neus Guash-

Hi everyone!

I want to share with you some content about the TG16 User Forum that was organized last month in Barcelona by ToolsGroup. I think that what Enric Parera, CEO of the company, said in the congress is similar to the things that he commented in his visit to our class about the importance of analytics and big data and I found the example of Ulabox.com really interesting.

As you should know, ToolsGroup is a specialist provider of supply chain planning solutions and Demand Analytics. Every year they organize a congress aimed to its customers in which they discuss different issues.

This year the company offered its vision on the future of the supply chain.

In the initial presentation, Enric Parera explained the business approach to the great opportunities of Advanced Analytics applied to the supply chain and the enormous possibilities of Big Data for companies that already have the data they need to achieve great results in terms of forecasting demand. Therefore, he commented things like the importance of the exchange of information with which it is hoped to enrich forecasting and the need to transform the enormous volume of data of the companies by statistical analysis to turn them into information applicable to the business strategies. He also claimed that “At ToolsGroup we have been working on interesting projects that make this transfer of technology as comfortable as possible for the customer and in the future we will continue to bet on it.”

According to Enric, Artificial Intelligence plays an important role in SCM (Supply Chain Management) and from ToolsGroup they have a technology called Machine Learning, to analyze the effect of promotions on forecasting demand.

On the other hand, Ricard Pascual, commercial director of ToolsGroup, referred to the current trends in the SCM first in the retail sectors, and secondly, in relation to manufacturers in the consumer and industrial sector. “In reference to retail, there is a paradigm shift from the current model, from product targeting to focus on the customer.” And specifically focused on the customer, Pascual reviewed the evolution of the customer demand, as technologies have become part of everyday life. Thus, while the generations of yesteryear communicated unilaterally, receiving information but not generating it, those born after the year 2000 are already ‘digital natives’ and conceive the information world in another way: “Buy where they like, like they want, receive the products where and how they want and return them whenever they want.” So, he warned companies that they should know how to adapt to the new buyer model. But not only to them, they must also take into account that in their own company different generations coexist and the challenge today is to integrate and work in harmony. “Generation Z will soon enter the labor market and companies should plan how to incorporate them taking into account their capabilities but also how they will relate to other generations.”

In the congress, they also talk about the latest features of the company and they allowed attendees to know firsthand cases of successful integration of their solutions. This time they presented the case of Ulabox.com, which has optimized the planning of the supply chain with the solutions of the company.

Automating the process of replenishing the vast product portfolio, generating Operational Cash Flow without penalizing the high availability of required product and having a scalable model to the current and future needs of e-commerce, were the main objectives of this supermarket 100% online. As explained by Ricardo Ribes, Ulabox.com director of operations, the ‘anti super’ opted for a global platform for long-distance planning supported by two pillars proposed by ToolsGroup: a stochastic model that automates the planning of the supply chain, guaranteeing the level of customer service, and a cognitive model, which supports marketing and analytics. Among other advantages of its commitment to this solution, Ribes highlighted “the decline of stock breakdown, the automation of processes or the improvement of scalability,” among others. He also claimed that there was still a pending task: “Incorporate the campaigns to anticipate the sale”. (http://www.toolsgroup.com/es/news/announcements/2016/item/989-ulabox-com-optimiza-la-planificacion-de-la-cadena-de-suministro-con-las-soluciones-de-toolsgroup.html )

Finally, the managers of ToolsGroup Spain pointed out that they are currently developing new and innovative product lines. For example, it is worth mentioning the creation of a new division of operational and strategic planning, which will be effective from 2017.

Also see this interesting articles about Machine-Learning:http://blog.toolsgroup.com/en/topic/machine-learning