How Flowlit simplifies inventory management for manufacturers

2000 billion euros in the world per year. The estimated value of shortages and surpluses has not decreased despite the many tools available. “This figure is based both on lost sales, on the one hand, and on the obsolescence of a stored product or excessively saved capital,” explains Jean-Baptiste Cloire, co-founder of Flowlity. In 15 years, in proportion to demand, we have 32% more stocks, and in some sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, their stocks have increased tenfold.”

The supply chain software startup, founded in 2019, also relied on overseeing a more fluid, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous supply chain, with products with multiple configurations, dispersed inventory, and a large number of suppliers. “Management becomes complicated, for example, to know where to place shares.” To answer it, she surrounded herself with a team of researchers in artificial intelligence and applied mathematics.

Answer on three levels

Flowlity is primarily aimed at operational players in charge of inventory planning, with SaaS software that will help a company have the right inventory at the right place at the right time through an AI-powered forecasting system. “AI is involved in probabilistic demand and lead time forecasting by integrating delay forecasts or actual product delivery.”

Second, Flowlity will predict various scenarios to implement the optimal strategy with a buffer designed to cover demand uncertainty thanks to machine learning and statistical algorithms. Finally, the solution is involved in the management of replenishment orders, when each supplier has its own quantity or price criteria with an operational research optimization algorithm.

A new solution for modeling the impact of strategic decisions

Along with this tactical combination, which meets the requirements of operational planners, Flowlity will release a solution for supply chain managers in February. Impoverished in the aftermath of the Covid crisis and the war in Ukraine, supply chain managers lacked the tools to support decision making, content to make and repeat calculations. “They worked with S&OP solutions [sales and operations planning] but there was nothing reactive to flexibly test scenarios and see their impact.”

For example, when these managers set year-end share value targets, Flowlity is modeling the impact of each manager’s strategic decision on achieving them. From there, he can decide what he will keep or not, choose in favor of the client or negotiate with the supplier. Through simulations, Flowlity will test various levers. “This is a breakthrough tool in the market because we started from scratch,” insists Jean-Baptiste Cloire.

This new solution was developed in collaboration with several startup clients and partners such as Saint-Gobain and L’Oréal, as well as other CAC 40 companies. The beta version will be released to the market in February 2023 and is aimed primarily at industrial players in assembly production (automobile, aviation, electronic, watch, pharmaceutical, etc.). “We will add machine learning to group similar products to gauge how the group responds to the strategy.”

The Flowlity team of 32 is also working on a new innovation by the end of 2023.

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