Prescient Applied Intelligence, Inc. (OTCBB: PPID), enabling retail trading partners to align planning and execution, today announced the release of Forecast Exchange, a Web-based collaboration tool where retailers and their suppliers can easily share forecast information, manage to exceptions and improve forecast accuracy.
Todays competitive retail environment is driving retailers and suppliers to seek innovative ways to add strength to their supply chains. The companies that effectively communicate, collaborate and integrate with their key trading partners will gain significant competitive advantages. Forecast Exchange provides a secure online forum for retailers and suppliers to easily compare and collaborate on forecast data, which allows them to improve forecast visibility and accuracy, reduce excess inventory and out of stocks, conduct better promotion management and increase their overall sales.
Prescient also announced today that Rite Aid Corporation has selected Forecast Exchange for collaboration with suppliers (Leading Drugstore Chain, Rite Aid, Selects Prescient for Forecast Exchange Initiative, Feb. 14, 2005, Business Wire).
A better forecast means a better store shelf, and a better store shelf means more satisfied customers, said Jane Hoffer, president and CEO of Prescient Applied Intelligence. The battle for customers has never been more competitive, and both retailers and suppliers understand the need for improved forecasting and perfect order performance. Forecast Exchange provides a comprehensive yet cost-effective way to achieve both.
Forecast Exchange is located on a customized and secure extranet hosted by Prescient that integrates with retailers and suppliers current enterprise resource planning (ERP) and forecasting systems. After the retailer and its supplier contribute forecast information, the data is tested against pre-determined exceptions to check for anomalies. Items exceeding these conditions are then automatically grouped in e-mails and proactively sent to both supplier and retailer in real time, allowing them to address problem items and make appropriate adjustments in their ERP or forecasting systems. In addition, Forecast Exchange can be accessed at any time to review expanded forecast information, including monthly totaling and forecast and sales history.
Key features built into Forecast Exchange include:
Low maintenance: No additional software is needed beyond Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Ease of use: Intuitive, one-click navigation between levels of detail.
Customizable and automated exceptions: Because exceptions can vary across product lines, users can set specific alert levels.
Integrates with existing systems: Uses data already in ERP/forecasting systems as well as existing productivity tools, including Microsoft Excel and Access.
Forecast granularity: Forecast information down to specific products at the distribution-center level, as an example.
Easily accessible: The system can be accessed from any Windows PC running IE 6.0.
Prescient provides a continuum of retailer-centric and collaborative commerce solutions that capture scan-sales data at the point of sale, provide greater visibility into real-time demand and turn information into action across the entire supply chain. Companies using Forecast Exchange will experience improved forecast accuracy and reductions in excess inventory and out of stocks.