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I've been a stakeholder/user of Infor XA's Forecast module, and have
concrete, real world experience so that I can state categorically that it
does a very good job. For some companies, with multinational needs or with
hundreds of product lines (not to be confused with SKU's) the
administration of the application can exceed its usefulness. Typically
this is when a company is between $150 million and $500 million of
revenue. Up to that point, it does a very good job of predicting external
demand. It has the ability to apply life cycle coefficients, seasonality
coefficients, and logic to determine whether and by how much to accelerate
or decelerate planned demand. My favorite feature is what I call the
'idiot stop'. This is for the many sales/marketing types who just love to
think that they know more than the computer. These are stakeholders who are
always overriding system forecast. (A polite way of saying this is that
it's the "Presidents Prerogative") XA's Forecast application will actually
monitor these 'overrides' and tell you when you should stop overriding
because the computer algorithms are smarter than you are. (The corollary
is that it also tells you that you should adjust the computer model because
your guesses are better than the computer calculations.)

In the many years of being a stakeholder and consuming the output of the
Forecast applicaton, and the many more years of working with XA customers
that use the Forecast application, I've found it to be an invaluable tool
in driving inventory down. As an example, you can download a real world
graph of what my company accomplished when I was VP of Manufacturing for a
$400 million group within a $2 billion global corporation. We found it the
perfect tool. Here is a link to download the graph:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/25226139/Raw%20Material%20On%20Hand%20Analysis.pdf

It should be noted that our sales volume doubled during the same period.

At some point, for some enterprises, forecasting becomes it's own process
and depending on demand types and needs, the XA Forecast application can
begin to become tedious to maintain. We have implemented several different
solutions.

First, using XA's Enterprise Integrator, we can automate many of the
maintenance tasks and permit an enterprise to continue to use the Forecast
application for many more years to come with a reasonable investment. One
of the nice outcomes of this is the graphical views of the product forecast
and historical demand.

Another option, as Ross Freeman has mentioned, is Infor's Demand Planning
suite of applications which is part of Infor's Supply Chain Planning
product line and is one of the best applications available. The Demand
Forecaster application offer's best in class tools that graphically present
the user with the product forecast. Usability is what this application is
all about as, like XA Forecast application it utilizes seasonality, unlike
the Forecast application, Demand Forecaster automatically detects
seasonality and automatically applies the cooeficients. In addition it
automatically detects trends, slow-moving items and step-changes in demand.
This application will work across the entire enterprise including multiple
distribution points, manufacturing locations and supports global
operations. My favorite feature is the seamless integration to Infor's
S&OP suite. This is truly collaborative S&OP and in my opinion, there is
none better. The applications are designed to work with any ERP system and
XA integration is relatively quick and easy.

To summarize, Infor XA's Forecast application is a good, effective and low
cost solution for the majority of small and mid-range companies. If your
company outgrows the usability of Forecast, then Infor's Demand Planning
suite, and specifically Demand Forecaster module is the right solution as
you will never outgrow it's capabilities.


On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 5:22 AM, Ross Freeman <Ross.Freeman@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:

The standard Infor solution for forecasting with XA is Demand Planner. We
do not currently support the integration, but the integration is quite
simple. Demand Planner has extensive forecasting capabilities.

I know there is another product in the Infor family that has also been
used with XA. If Kevin Fox is listening on this thread, he would probably
be the expert.

Best Regards,

<http://www.infor.com/>Ross Freeman - System i Strategy Leader, Senior
Product Manager ERP XA
mobile: +1 404 386 5684
ross.freeman@xxxxxxxxx | http://www.infor.com


<http://go.infor.com/ibmi>






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