07 August 2003 | Robin Parker
A US software company specialising in stock forecasting and demand planning is in talks with British retailers after setting up a UK office.
DemandTec has developed a range of what it calls "demand-based management" applications, which help retailers to forecast sales, set prices and manage in-store promotions based on historical demand. These are then linked to back-office software from the likes of i2 and SAP.
Its US customers include electronic goods chain RadioShack. In the past year, it began to target consumer goods manufacturers, signing General Mills as its first customer in this sector.
The company is now setting up a UK team. Two European supply chain academics have joined its board of scientific advisers - Luk van Wassenhove, professor of operations and supply chain management at the Insead business school in France, and Arnd Huchzermeier, chair of production management at the WHU business school in Germany.
Dan Fishback, president and chief executive of DemandTec, said the company had always looked to the British market.
"UK retailers have a proven ability to use technology to maximise profits and they understand more about their customers than many North American retailers."
• Sainsbury's has automated more than 95 per cent of orders and invoices for goods not for resale. Suppliers can now receive orders through the supermarket's self-service procurement programme, originally developed for consumer goods orders by supply chain software vendor Kewill.