I was recently asked when the development of our software would be finished. While we generally like to finish tasks and move on to new challenges, this notion does not really apply to smart analytics software. Inventory optimization being one of our core areas of activity, we are continuously improving performance, extending functionality, and refining user experience in close cooperation with our clients.
Over the last 12 months, under the lead of Rinat, our software development team has taken the existing version of Salescast completely apart and started to re-design and re-build the program from the ground up. We managed to never loose faith that they would be able to put it all back together, and we are excited that the new Salescast is going into production today!
_Salescast solution view: Manage and see settings and reports of an individual solution. _
Extending the vision from demand forecasting to inventory optimization
While we considered demand forecasting to be the major complexity when planning inventory, we have come to realize that this is only part of the challenge. A demand forecast is a rather theoretical value. Turning this data into an operative inventory policy is a big part of the challenge. The planner’s decisions boil down to two ‘simple’ questions: when to order and how much to order.
The new release consolidates changes we have introduced in the past months. Effectively Salescast has evolved into an integrated inventory optimizer:
- Reorder points: The on-hand inventory level that should trigger an order (when to order).
- Order quantity and lot multipliers: The optimal quantity that should be ordered (how much to order).
- Quantile forecasts: Our break-through forecasting technology that provides a major increase in planning accuracy and solving the issue of planning slow movers.
Support of Big Data accounts
A completely new architecture has been implemented in order to increase the speed of data import and consolidation, which is now up to 300 times faster! Scalability of data import has never been an issue for our eCommerce clients, however for large retail networks this brings a major speedup gain.
Proactive, automated troubleshooting during integration
When integrating for the first time with Salescast, much more detailed error messages and feedback are now delivered, thus making it much easier to quickly iterate and iron out the integration. We have been keen on this feature, which will make the integration process again more efficient, and remove a potential headache for our client’s DB administrators as well as our support team.
No update without new features, of course. A few are still ‘hidden’ and will be released in the future. However one we can mention is a full and detailed history of any single project run (i.e. planning or forecasting). This makes it easier to fine-tune the forecast settings.
Also, we have now a public tiny REST API for Salescast. Through this API, it becomes possible to programmatically trigger a project run. This is handy to achieve complete automation of the inventory optimization process.
Alxander, our UI expert, has worked hard on improving the user interface again, after he released a major upgrade almost to the day one year ago. We will refrain from suing Twitter and Co. for stealing our designs even before we have created them.
Salescast account view: See all activity and all your projects (i.e. forecasts that are set up)
New clients will start working with the new version as of today, our existing clients will be switched over successively in the next few months. We want to thank the whole team for the relentless work and great outcome!
Suggestions, feedback or rants concerning our new baby? We would love to hear from you directly or leave your comments below.