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o9 Digital Brain Building Blocks Innovations - September 2023

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Published: Reading time: 7 min
Igor Rikalo President & COO at o9 Solutions
Igor RikaloPresident & COO at o9 Solutions

Integrated Business Planning

Demand Planning

Supply Planning

Segmentation Foundation


Control Tower

Assortment Planning

Replenishment Planning

Knowledge Hub


Production Scheduling




We continue to innovate our products at a breakneck speed and have been releasing new features and enhancements to all of our building blocks on a quarterly basis. Our clients are the main inspiration for our product management organization since we can observe firsthand what new solutions will drive value in their companies. Certainly, our valued customers are also driving our existing products to become better by suggesting feature enhancements through o9’s Voice-of-Customer (VoC) quarterly process. If you’re a client and not participating in this process, make sure to ask your Client Manager.

We have released over 50 new enhancements since the beginning of the year to all of our core products. As each quarterly release is chock-full of new features and enhancements, here we will only mention a few that we think will most resonate with the reader. For a complete exhaustive list of new features and enhancements, please review the Release Notes.

Integrated Business Planning

The new features of this core building block include the following:
Risks & Opportunities (R&O) is a new feature allowing users to systematically simulate volume assumptions at any level of the hierarchy. These volumes can simulate the downside (risk) or upside (opportunity) of the plan. The solution automatically calculates the final plan based on these simulations during the Demand Review phase of the IBP process and allows management to understand various tradeoffs.

This release enhances the existing Supply Chain Simulation feature by allowing easier simulation of Capacity or Demand changes. The system automatically evaluates the impact and provides side-by-side comparisons graphically in the user interface.

Demand Planning

The new features of this core building block include the following:
Forecast Value Add (FVA) is a feature enhancement designed to help answer the question “Are demand planning efforts making the forecast better or worse?” by providing an automatic comparison of the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) between system-generated forecast and final consensus number.

With this release, users have the ability to set the calendar for the Best-Fit forecast algorithm selection process. Using this feature, the solution will not run the Best-Fit algorithm selection during each forecasting run, resulting in significant performance improvements without sacrificing the quality of the machine-generated forecast.

Supply Planning

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Incremental Planning workflow now allows users to selectively update demand quantities or priorities, and/or update supply quantities or delivery/commit date, and/or increase or decrease capacities and then rerun plans only for a selected part of the overall supply network. This allows for quick and accurate what-if scenarios without the need to run a full plan cycle.

Adherence to Production is a new feature where the system automatically tracks actual vs. planned production and allows users to provide reasons for deviations. The system can use the reasons to learn over time. Also, in conjunction with a new feature Balance-to-go Production users receive automatic insights on the reasons for over or under-production.

Segmentation Foundation

This new building block helps businesses to perform:

ML-based segmentation acts as a baseline and monitoring tool to keep track of the supply chain KPIs.

Detailed procurement analytics based on transactional data (e.g., sales or purchase orders, production orders, stock transfer orders, etc.) and provides various insights (e.g., OTIF%, Supplier Value%, Observed Lead Times, etc.)

Production analytics such as Throughput, Line Speeds, Schedule Adherence, and Production Plan Adherence with Lag.

Inventory Optimization (MEIO)

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Primary Path Network Visualizer allows users to see inventory recommendations across all the nodes in the primary network and associated node-level KPIs. Only constrained nodes are highlighted and root cause analytics are provided.

Approval Workflow is a new feature allowing a fully traced approval hierarchy including the ability for the users to create a pulse, and assign tasks as part of their daily workflow.

Supply Chain Control Tower

The new features of this core building block include the following:

The order-at-risk feature in the Demand Alerts shows near real-time exceptions using ETA data from providers such as Four Kites or Project44. Planners can then decide to use Incremental Planning capability to replan those orders.

This release includes the ability to track a container location and ETA with full visibility of the orders within it.

Retail Assortment Planning

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Rate of Sale (ROS) is now automatically calculated at any level, product attribute group, class, location/country/channel/store cluster. Planners can choose to include/exclude markdown sales. Full override capability is provided with automatic disaggregation to lower levels.

New Heatmap visualization that shows top performers and slow movers at style color level allowing planners to define class-wise benchmarks to identify style colors to be repeated across seasons.

Retail Replenishment Planning

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Auto approval of Stock Transfer Orders (STOs) based on user-defined lower and upper thresholds. Planners can also set the release window allowing full auto-approval capabilities and realizing significant productivity gains.

Procurement Capacity workflow is a new feature allowing users to manage inbound, storage, and truck capacities at the warehouse level.

Knowledge Hub

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Commodity Price Forecasting allows users to view and manipulate 12-month statistical forecasts generated by Knowledge Hub. Users can perform what-if scenarios using the forecasts based on user-selected drivers.

Earthquake Hazard Map can be used to track earthquake location risk across the globe.

Geo Routing & Emissions Estimation feature calculates and displays the route taken by the transport unit between any origin and destination location and the estimated emissions generated by that move.

Revenue Growth Management (RGM)

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Cost Based Pricing Assessment provides the ability for users to manage products that follow a cost-plus pricing methodology. All cost-based data as well as market share and consumer price indices are used to allow users to attain desired margins and pricing for product categories.

Market-based pricing assessment allows users to manage products that follow an elasticity-based pricing methodology.

Rolling financial forecasts allows users to perform what-if simulations at the P&L level. Users can perform a full Price Volume Mix (PVM) analysis to estimate the contribution of Volume Price or Mix to the change in net sales value between different scenarios

Production Scheduling

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Co-Product and by-product modeling allow users to maintain those as BOM components. The solver will calculate the production of the by-products and co-products and their inventory flow plan together with the plan for the main products.

Flexible modeling for Shift Patterns allows users to maintain different shift patterns and assign any combination to the main calendar pattern.

Sustainability Solutions

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Forward-looking emissions planning allows users to forecast emissions incurred from their Supply Chain based on the output of existing o9's Supply Planning solution implementation.

Outputs from the Supply Plan are collected as Activity Data in the Forward-Looking and multiplied with meaningful Emission Factors associated with the given activity. Activities included in forward-looking emissions are: Procurement of Goods and Services, Upstream Transportation of procured Goods and Services, Manufacturing Emissions at Contract Manufacturers / Company-owned locations, Downstream Transportation of produced Goods and Services

Next Generation Procurement

The new features of this core building block include the following:

Supplier Onboarding is a new workflow that allows buyers to onboard their Suppliers. The following are the features enabled: self-registration by the suppliers, review, and approval of supplier registration, ability to capture multiple data streams from the suppliers, like their certificates, and multi-tier visibility such as onboarding a supplier’s suppliers.

Supplier-side super user who can create additional supplier users while providing them Read / Read + Write Access as per their role. Onboarding Progress Tracker for individual/multiple suppliers. Ability to set up supplier authorizations once their registration has been approved. Ability to offer supplier training through the Platform feature ‘Online Meetings’.

O9 whitepaper sustainability planning framework 2 mockup 1

Sustainable Supply Chains: Mapping the Path

Turn the tide toward resilience, efficiency, and a greener future

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About the author

Igor Rikalo President & COO at o9 Solutions

Igor Rikalo

President & COO at o9 Solutions

Igor Rikalo is the President and Chief Operations Officer of o9 Solutions. He oversees the global operations of the organization and plays an integral role in ensuring the business continues to scale at a global level. At o9, he has developed a successful track record of building high-performing teams, managing global strategic initiatives, and delivering strong business results.


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