Machine Learning Makes Better Supply Chain Planning

Cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions provider Plex Systems has introduced new machine learning capabilities for its Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning (SCP). Consequently, the new addition enhances forecast accuracy to improve customer service at lower levels of inventory coverage.

Plex Systems is a company of Rockwell Automation, Inc.

Accordingly, manufacturers need more sophisticated supply chain planning technology. Especially, to respond to shortages in workforce and raw materials, logistics challenges, and impacts to overall business revenue. Forecasting is a necessary foresight among business planners. Hence, they need to look for innovative ways to include a variety of data sources to expand planning resources.

Advances Automation of Pattern Recognition

Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning unites business functions within the organization with their planning variables. This aims to solve inventory problems quickly and proactively. Thus, helping planners easily interpret data ​with automated statistical forecasting. At the same time, the solution also enables a continuous planning and execution feedback loop.​

The addition of machine learning for DemandCaster SCP dramatically advances the automation of pattern recognition. In addition, it also allows application of correlated related data to improve forecast accuracy. Higher forecast accuracies cascade through the supply chain planning process by reducing the need to carry extra inventories. This provides buffer against uncertainties.

“The days of steady and dependable supply chains that enable long-term lean and just-in-time replenishment to manage costs are behind us. Businesses now understand that planning and forecasting must include the assumption of disruption and rely on data to navigate this new normal,” said Ara Surenian, Vice President, Product Management at Plex Systems.

Surenian added the machine learning component to Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning empowers customers to overcome supply chain planning challenges. In addition, it enables to digitally transform their planning.

“By infusing the sales forecasting process with machine learning, customers can bring in a wealth of additional data as an input to the forecasting process that a human nor traditional statistical forecasting methods can discern. These additional inputs are used to help calculate and recalibrate the process to improve forecast accuracy,” said Surenian.

Expansive Smart Manufacturing Platform

Plex offers the only single-instance, multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) manufacturing platform operating at scale. This includes solutions for MES, ERP, quality, supply chain planning and management. In addition, it also covers asset performance management, production monitoring, process automation and analytics.

The cloud-native Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform serves over 700 customers and manages more than eight billion transactions per day. In September 2021, Rockwell Automation acquired Plex, expanding its industrial cloud software offerings.