J.D. Edwards & Co on Thursday announced software that brings together internal users from sales, planning and operational departments, as well as external suppliers and customers, to collaborate on forecasts.
Called Demand Consensus, the new Web-based application is designed for companies that face fluid demand and frequently adjust their production schedules, the company said. The idea is to increase forecast accuracy by letting supply-chain business partners contribute to a collaborative forecast-generating process.
Demand Consensus first aggregates data from all sources, then weighs the data based on how accurate each forecaster has been in the past. Data from more accurate contributors is weighted more heavily than data from forecasters whose information is statistically less correct. The software includes alerting features that notify users when indices deviate from normal ranges.
"Outside partners and customers can participate in the collaborative forecasting process with minimum investment -- they need only an Internet connection to use the self-service format to input or view forecasts," said Andy Carlson, director of supply-chain product marketing at J.D. Edwards.
Demand Consensus can be purchased individually or bundled with J.D. Edwards' Advanced Planning 4.0 suite, which was announced in December. When linked with J.D. Edwards' enterprise resource planning suites, Demand Consensus lets users exchange statistical forecast data with other applications.
In the future, J.D. Edwards plans to integrate Demand Consensus with its customer relationship management suite so that users can incorporate forward-looking data from sales-force automation applications -- such as sales opportunities and promotional information -- in their forecasting process.