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I2 Technologies has unveiled multi-echelon inventory optimisation capabilities for lifecycle events and promotions with the release of its I2 Inventory Optimisation solution.

I2 Inventory Optimisation is designed to allow companies to continuously manage inventory policies to optimise performance against business objectives, changing market conditions and supply-chain constraints.

The solution supports inventory planning for lifecycle events across the entire supply chain, spanning the procurement of raw material and components, the manufacturing of semi-finished goods and the distribution of end products.

With these new capabilities, companies can now apply best practices of postponement and risk-pooling to efficiently handle promotions and lifecycle events such as product introduction, last-time buy and product transitions, according to the company.

Companies can leverage these practices to reduce cost and free up cash, while improving service levels.

Kelly Thomas, I2 senior vice-president of product strategy and planning, said: ‘Our solution enables deep analysis of buying behaviour and demand patterns.

‘By going through better processes enabled by I2 tools that close the loop between planning, execution and performance management, we enable our customers to achieve better service levels at a lower cost,’ he added.

As global competition increases, companies need to ensure their inventory plans make the right decisions to support transitions worldwide.

A company may have a product launched in Europe and a product in the growth phase in North America and both regions may share a common supply chain that includes suppliers in Asia.

I2 claims that, as a result, companies must have the ability to plan safety stock inventories at every level in the supply chain in order to support the launch requirements for Europe, while also supporting consumption needs in North America.

Poor inventory decisions during lifecycle events and promotions may be more costly than bad safety stock decisions during growth and mature stages, according to Thomas.

He said: ‘Insufficient inventory during a product launch can result in lost revenue when the product commands the highest price and margins.

‘Excess inventory at the end of the lifecycle can result in excessive long-term carrying costs and large aged inventory write-offs – or both.

‘Also, poor inventory planning during promotions can damage the brand and lose revenues for the company.’

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