Batch Module added to TimeTrends® Forecast System

MONTREAL - February 14, 1997 -

A Batch Module has been added to TimeTrends, a powerful forecasting system for the Windows operating system, by ALT−C Systems, Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Ideal for sales/marketing, production/inventory control, and MRP specialists, the batch module offers the option of updating, forecasting and exporting thousands of items at a time by the beginner or expert user.

The batch module adds a mission-critical dimension to the TimeTrends forecasting system, for manufacturing and distribution environments where forecasts are needed to drive Master Production Scheduling (MPS), creation of purchase orders or are otherwise a critical component of a company's resource deployment. This requirement means the forecasting system must work with an electronically created database, with data captured from a host Sales/Order Entry system or data repository. The summarized data is forecasted, smoothed and adjusted within TimeTrends by users, then sent back to the host system, again by electronic means, thus preserving data integrity and avoiding manual data handling.

Data is typically extracted from a mainframe, AS/400 or other minicomputer system, and then brought down to the PC or network level using emulation software/hardware. In the case of a host system residing on networks, or in the case of data warehouses, data may be obtained by establishing an ODBC or equivalent connection and using query tools to extract the required data.

The source database could therefore be in Oracle or other ODBC-accessible formats. This would be a batch job performed for all forecasted items simultaneously, even if thousands of items (SKUs) are involved. Depending on the design of the database, the data may be summarized or detailed, i. e. customer level or market, item or product family, territory or sales region. The data may have been collected based on order/shipments or consumption.

A script file editor allows the user to define batch processes that span multiple database files, directories and drives managed by different forecasters, particularly useful in LAN and multi-user environments. An update procedure is run each period to perform incremental updates to the forecasting database. The software automatically runs extensive diagnostics on both the update file and the database files to ensure data integrity and the validity of the updating process. It allows the user to make any needed adjustments to the update file before database records are affected.

Each time series has its forecast parameters and defaults stored with it, in order to ensure that each item is forecasted in the manner pre-selected by the user. With the batch module all the items may be re-forecasted as one automated batch job.

Upon completion of the forecast, items may be reviewed individually, in tabular, or graphic form. Results may be exported to various OEM MRP programs, or to report generators using links provided to numerous third party programs. Reports can include summaries, exception reports, safety stock, forecast accuracy or variance. In the case of an MRP or ERP system, the forecast results will be sent to the Master Production Schedule (MPS). Also, the unit forecasts converted using Average Selling Price (ASP) or Standard Cost could be sent to a financial system to drive revenue planning.

Designed to run on Windows 3.1 or higher, Windows 95, or Windows NT, the software is network compatible.

For additional information on TimeTrends Version 1.2 forecasting software, sold directly or through VARs, contact:

ALT−C Systems Inc.
5117 Savoie,
Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada
H8Z 1C4
Tel. 450-635-5404
FAX 514-685-0463


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