Executive Briefings

NSF Funds Research to Improve Intermittent Demand Forecasting

Smart Software, provider of demand forecasting, planning, and inventory optimization solutions, has been awarded a second Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Nationally, only 20 percent of the NSF grant applicants were funded.

Smart will use the research funds to extend and improve its current intermittent demand forecasting solution. This new research extends work undertaken more than 10 years ago under Smart Software's first SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants, which led to the development of technology known as the Smart-Willemain method of forecasting intermittent or "slow-moving" demand. In 2001, Smart received a U.S. patent for this new method. This technology is currently available in Smart's supply chain planning and forecasting system, SmartForecasts.

The innovation in Smart's proposed research is that companies can achieve even greater accuracy and power in forecasting intermittently demanded items, such as service and spare parts, by approaching the problem in an unconventional way. The research has already established the statistical validity of a new way of conceptualizing and analyzing a firm's "portfolio" of service/spare parts, one that moves beyond the conventional one-item-at-a-time approach and deals with multiple items simultaneously. The need for this new solution is based on Smart's experience working with customers in major industries -aerospace, automotive, utilities, high tech- where large numbers of service and spare parts must be inventoried.

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Smart Software, provider of demand forecasting, planning, and inventory optimization solutions, has been awarded a second Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Nationally, only 20 percent of the NSF grant applicants were funded.

Smart will use the research funds to extend and improve its current intermittent demand forecasting solution. This new research extends work undertaken more than 10 years ago under Smart Software's first SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants, which led to the development of technology known as the Smart-Willemain method of forecasting intermittent or "slow-moving" demand. In 2001, Smart received a U.S. patent for this new method. This technology is currently available in Smart's supply chain planning and forecasting system, SmartForecasts.

The innovation in Smart's proposed research is that companies can achieve even greater accuracy and power in forecasting intermittently demanded items, such as service and spare parts, by approaching the problem in an unconventional way. The research has already established the statistical validity of a new way of conceptualizing and analyzing a firm's "portfolio" of service/spare parts, one that moves beyond the conventional one-item-at-a-time approach and deals with multiple items simultaneously. The need for this new solution is based on Smart's experience working with customers in major industries -aerospace, automotive, utilities, high tech- where large numbers of service and spare parts must be inventoried.

Read Full Article