Smart Software Inc., Belmont, Mass., says that Ameristar Fence has purchased its SmartForecasts Enterprise product to improve its demand planning.
Ameristar Fence, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of metal ornamental fence and wood fence hardware. Product sales are growing annually through a multi-tiered distribution network, which includes large retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes. The company hopes to reduce inventories, increase service levels, and improve asset utilization by automating much of its demand forecasting and planning process. Ameristar is also integrating SmartForecasts with its JD Edwards ERP system.
Prior to SmartForecasts, Ameristar's forecasting process was done primarily on a manual basis using spreadsheets. The company has undertaken a major effort to upgrade its information systems, and chose SmartForecasts over other vendors following a competitive evaluation process.
Ameristar has traditionally maintained high inventory levels, in part, because it didn't have the systems it needed to properly forecast seasonal demands and overall trends. The company will use SmartForecasts' ability to analyze seasonal demand patterns to help improve its capacity and inventory planning and better utilize its assets during the slow winter months.
"We've been forecasting individual SKUs largely by history and spreadsheets, and replenishing by re-order point, thus we needed better information to improve product availability and reduce inventory," says Bill Thompson, director of materials/planning at Ameristar. "By having good demand forecasts, we will have the information we need to enhance our short-term and long-term planning performance."
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