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Opening the doors to AI-driven sales forecasting

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How Kineo AI powered solutions helped Marantec, a high class opener technology company, to improve their sales forecast. 

Who is Marantec?

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After being one of the pioneers in the field of opener technology, Marantec quickly became a global enterprise operating in over 70 countries worldwide.Their mission is to offer individualized and holistic solutions to simplify everyday life and contribute to a smart future that is worth living in. Marantec puts huge emphasis on innovation and just recently has been awarded as the 2021 Top Innovator company in the field of electronics/electrical engineering.

  • A lot of manual forecasting & planning
  • Highly time-consuming process
  • Prone to human errors

The Challenges

One of the underlying key factors for an optimal planning and interplay between procurement, warehouse and workforce planning is to have a reliable sales forecast. Until now, the sales forecasting at Marantec has been done manually by few, specialised people in-house. Thus, the process was very time-consuming and prone to human errors. Were we able to automate this sales forecasting process and produce more accurate & reliable predictions?

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The Solution

When we started the collaboration with Marantec, we were all excited to embark together on Marantec’s first AI project. We were sure that with the help of artificial intelligence, we could tackle the challenge and help Marantec to become a more data-driven company. 

Our collaboration started in June 2021 with our flagship project – the Lighthouse. During the Lighthouse process we investigate whether the provided data is of sufficient quality and quantity and whether the application of AI would generate business value.

The right team
A key factor in successful AI projects is the team. We were proud to work closely together with Marantecs Head of Operations Eva Stankewitz and the Head of Information Technology Heiko Ennen. With the expertise that both of them provided, we were perfectly positioned to get information immediately whenever we needed it.
ML-powered Sales Forecasting
We have looked into monthly aggregated sales data per product. We put a huge emphasis on identifying the right unique identifiers for each material and ensured we had relevant data for all points in time. For each of Marantecs unique products, a custom tailored time-series model was trained. The selection of the correct model per product was based on various characteristics such as purchasing frequencies, pricing variance and available amount of data. Marantecs strategy to eliminate big logistical delays, is to have more rather than too few items in stock. For us, this meant to take an overstock ratio of 15% into account.

The Result

The data quantity and data quality has proven to be sufficient enough to yield promising results for the use case. We evaluated that the implemented ML-based forecasting reduces the prediction errors enormously over all Marantec products combined. Thus, leading to an improved planning for the production, the warehouse and human resources.

The promising results of the Lighthouse have convinced Marantec to continue collaborating with us and tackle the Proof of Value (PoV) phase for the project. A clear proof of the genuine and excellent way of working that serves as our standard. In the words of Eva Stankewitz, the Head of Operations and Member of the Executive Board:

"The cooperation with Kineo has inspired us and brought us a big step closer to our goals. Kineo has helped us to implement our sales forecasting in a structured and efficient way. In addition, the use of AI-based models has been a great experience for us. The way we work together is also in line with our values and was pleasant and straightforward."

Eva Stankewitz, Head of Operations & Member of the Executive Board

If you are insecure about what is actually artificial intelligence, how it can benefit your business and which kinds of challenges in your company can be tackled with AI, feel free to contact us!

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