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Looking into the future

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We tend to use the term ‘the wide blue yonder’ as a synonym for the big unknown, but also for the boundless opportunities that exploring a new situation can bring. As its name suggests, Blue Yonder GmbH is also treading new ground and pushing back frontiers.

“Big data has really taken off in the last few years,” says Marketing Director Dunja Riehemann. “The main areas that have emerged from the ability to analyze ever-larger data sets are predictive analytics and predictive applications. Unlike traditional business intelligence software, they are able to predict future trends with a relatively high degree of accuracy.”

Blue Yonder’s predictive applications automate decision-making based on current and historical data. Artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms make precise forecasting in real time a reality. They can even cater to ad hoc events without affecting performance.

“We live in the information age, with more data at our fingertips than ever before,” says Ms. Riehemann. “Our products allow managers to base their decisions on up-to-the-minute information, which is a key driver for future success.”

Blue Yonder offers a number of different ways for companies to use the information available. Its Forward Demand application allows companies to draw up accurate demand forecasts based on a range of influencing factors, including sales, price, special promotions and even the weather forecast.

“Depending on the area in which a company operates, there are a host of factors influencing demand, and understanding these is a key success factor in retail, manufacturing and logistics,” says Ms. Riehemann. “A better understanding of future demand allows our customers to plan staffing rosters, allocate storage space and logistics resources far more efficiently, and avoid the situation of disappointing (and potentially losing) customers during key sales periods such as Christmas.”

The rise of e-commerce has favoured the use of dynamic pricing. Blue Yonder’s Forward Pricing is a software as a service (SaaS) solution for e-commerce that is able to analyze the price elasticity between price and demand and automatically set prices to maximize revenue or profit. The software is able to optimize thousands of prices per day.

“Forward Pricing does not ask the question ‘what is this product worth?’ but rather ‘what is the customer willing to pay?’,” explains Ms. Riehemann. “Getting the answer right can lead to a significant increase in profitability.”

Although the applications for Blue Yonder’s products have focused mainly on retail and manufacturing as well as travel and transport, it is increasingly working with industrial clients on business digitization and change managerment. For Blue Yonder the future is also clear.

“We will continue to target the retail sector and optimizing important core processes with applications such as replenishment to help companies maximize efficiency,” says Ms. Riehemann. “At the same time, we will also be innovating new services in the Internet of Things environment by generating value out of sensor data.”

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