Huffy Bicycles relies on
predictive demand planning to increase forecast accuracy
Huffy's lead-time for bicycles is 90-120 days. Due to this relatively long lead-time, Huffy places a high-value on correct DC inventory at the time the retailer places an order, results in lost revenue and unhappy customers.
Build a platform with IBM Analytics to create a solution to fit Huffy's exact business needs. The solution seamlessly integrated the final, approved forecasts directly into Huffy's order management systems.
Sales associates have a significant reduction in work load through forecast automation. Sale associates also have a wealth of information available that serves to validate and improve forecasts.
About Huffy Corporation
Huffy Corporation designs and markets one of the top selling bicycle brands in the U.S. and internationally. Huffy not only distributes Huffy brand bicycles but is also a key partner with Disney, Marvel, Panama Jack, and others in marketing co-branded bicycles. From its headquarters in Dayton, Ohio Huffy sources from manufacturers in Asia and imports products to its own U.S. based distribution centers to supply both online and traditional brick and mortar retailers.
Huffy’s lead-time for bicycles is 90-120 days. Due to this relatively long lead-time, Huffy places a high-value on correct DC inventory stocking levels. Insufficient inventory at the time the retailer places an order, results in lost revenue and unhappy customers. Traditionally, to prevent inventory short-falls at the DCs, a relatively
high level of safety stock is kept on-hand. However, this inventory represents a large carrying cost that reduces Huffy’s free cash flow. Forecast accuracy is incredibly important to Huffy; however, the forecasting process prior to the QueBIT solution was a challenge due to intuition and not enough reliance on analytics. As a result,
Huffy was finding that it was difficult to produce accurate forecasts. The accuracy problems were the result of a process that was largely driven by customer input and sales associates intuition. Without a data driven analytics process in place inconsistencies were found at the sales associate and customer levels. Finally, because the process was manual it required a large amount of the sales associate’s time which resulted in sales inefficiencies.
The challenge was to replace this laborious, inconsistent, manual process with a fully automated, analytics driven solution that made sales professionals more efficient, improved forecast accuracy, reduced inventory short-falls while maximizing inventory availability at multiple DCs for all the items in the Huffy supply chain.
“Given the time constraints on our entire business process, QueBIT’s implementation set the stage to streamline and improve our forecasting accuracy.”
- Dan Carlascio, CIO/Director of Global IT
Delivering the Solution
The QueBIT predictive demand planning solution represents a significant change in the forecasting business process for Huffy. The QueBIT solution is based on the integration of several IBM platforms: IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Cognos BI and IBM SPSS Modeler. These products are platform based and allowed QueBIT to create a solution that was fully customized to fit Huffy’s exact business needs. The solution seamlessly integrated the final, approved forecasts directly into Huffy’s order management system.
The end result is that Huffy now has an improved planning process that enables them to deliver more insight and maximize product availability for their customers while maximizing their own cash flow (through reduced overstock levels).
Request a Planning Session With a QueBIT Expert
Participate in an hour-long discussion with one of our Solution Architects and receive an agile planning roadmap to help your company progress along its journey to business agility.