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Patent Issued for Product-Family Inventory Replenishment System Using a Composite Product Mix Framework

July 15, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Xing, Zhouding (Johns Creek, GA), filed on March 15, 2012, was published online on July 1, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8768790 is Logility, Inc. (Atlanta, GA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of this invention relate generally to implementations of supply chain management systems. More particularly, embodiments relate to systems for generating estimates of required supplies of individual products within a family of products.

"As supply chains have stretched to span the globe, the complexity of supply chain management systems has increased along with the potential for significant cost savings by more effectively managing the chain. Meanwhile, increasing variety within a given family of products has added additional complexity that can be difficult to properly factor into supply chain management systems and methods.

"Current electronic supply chain management methods and systems rely primarily on determinations based on the demand consumers exhibit for a family of products to generate estimates of future needs. It is generally regarded as easier to generate more accurate predictions for the total number of a company's 'widgets' consumers will buy than for the individual numbers of each of the many different varieties in which the company may produce their 'widgets'. Several forecasting models have been implemented in supply chain management systems in efforts to more accurately forecast demand at the product family level, including: simple exponential smoothing, the Box-Jenkins model, and the Holt-Winters model.

"A common approach may be to use a forecast for the product family and a demand mix to create individual product level forecasts. Individual target replenishment quantities are then determined by simply offsetting the demand forecast by the projected inventory. In addition to other failings, this approach ignores the information available in historical inventory data, which like demand can fluctuate over time. Taking into account the supply management difficulties caused by vender-imposed minimums and constraints on production capacity further complicates forecasting efforts.

"Therefore, there is a need for better estimation of inventory replenishment and quantity adjustment for individual products within a family of products to account for these difficulties."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In accordance with some embodiments of the present invention a system and method for providing replenishment quantity estimates for a family of products in a supply chain management system is provided. A system for forecasting the future supply chain needs of a plurality of individual products within a product family can include a data storage device storing at least a current composite product mix, wherein the current composite product mix comprises percentages for the plurality of individual products within the product family; a computer processor operable to receive a first parameter and a second parameter for the product family, receive the current composite product mix, a current demand mix, and a current inventory mix, the mixes being associated with the single product family, generate a new composite product mix, the new composite product mix being based on: the first and second parameters, the current demand mix, the current inventory mix, and the current composite product mix; and a display in connection with the computer processor for communicating the new composite product mix.

"A method for creating a new composite product mix of a product family can include receiving a first parameter and a second parameter into a data storage device; receiving a current composite product mix, a current demand mix, and a current inventory mix, the mixes being associated with the product family, into the data storage device; generating, by use of a computer processor, a new composite product mix associated with the product family, the new composite product mix based on the first and second parameters, the current composite product mix, the current demand mix, and the current inventory mix; receiving a total target replenishment quantity for the product family; and generating a plurality of individual target replenishment quantities for each of a plurality of individual products within the product family based on the new composite product mix and the total target replenishment quantity.

"In some embodiments, a non-transitory machine-readable medium can include a plurality of machine-readable instructions which when executed by one or more processors of a computer are adapted to cause the computer to perform a method including receiving a first parameter and a second parameter; receiving a current composite product mix for a plurality of individual products within a product family, the current composite product mix containing a plurality of percentage values corresponding to each of the plurality of individual products; receiving a current demand mix and a current inventory mix wherein the mixes are associated with the product family; generating a new composite product mix for the plurality of individual products within the product family, the new composite product mix being generated based on the first and second parameters, the current demand mix, the current inventory mix, and the current composite product mix; and generating a target replenishment quantity of each of the plurality of individual products using the current composite product mix.

"These and other embodiments are further discussed below with reference to the following figures."

For additional information on this patent, see: Xing, Zhouding. Product-Family Inventory Replenishment System Using a Composite Product Mix Framework. U.S. Patent Number 8768790, filed March 15, 2012, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8768790.PN.&OS=PN/8768790RS=PN/8768790

Keywords for this news article include: Logility Inc, Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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