50 Innovators of the Year 2021
“As part of our strategy, we constantly explore new ideas and challenge the conventional way of thinking.”
John Galt Solutions, a market-leading global supply chain planning software company, provides a comprehensive supply chain planning platform for customers looking to solve complex supply chain challenges. With customers across the globe, the Dallas, TX-based company was founded in 1996 and works with recognizable brands such as Mars, Hasbro, Sun-Maid, Milwaukee Tools, and many more.
Interview Excerpt: Alex Pradhan, Product Strategy Leader
Tell us about the history of innovation at John Galt Solutions.
Innovation has always been at the core of the company since our founding by a group of mathematicians and engineers. This group set out with a vision to deliver supply chain planning software that leverages advanced analytics to empower supply chain professionals, automate processes, and help them make more confident decisions. Today, John Galt is a leading global supply chain planning software company serving customers across a wide range of industries. An early pioneer, we introduced statistical forecasting and demand planning to companies in the late 1990s. Today, we continue that tradition of innovation, expanding our supply chain software portfolio to serve the needs of the most complex global supply chains with our Atlas Planning Platform. In addition, we have developed an incredibly powerful solution for companies just getting started with supply chain planning. Our solution ForecastX is an Excel plug-in that produces accurate statistical forecasts.
How has the culture at John Galt helped fuel innovation?
We have a technology-led innovation culture that fosters creativity and drives business value for today and the future. Working closely with our customers, we deliver rich solutions that help transform supply chains. The secret sauce is our team of experts. From our software developers, focused on improving our computational performance, to our data scientists who develop new machine learning algorithms, and our services team that works closely with customers, everyone in the company is focused on delivering supply chain innovation and excellence across everything we do.
As part of our strategy, we constantly explore new ideas and challenge the conventional way of thinking. Today, we focus on three key areas to help foster creativity and innovation:
Data and Decision Science: Research leading-edge approaches to turn data into actionable insights.
User Experience: Focus on redefining the user experience to surface the items that require attention and ensure planners are aligned to corporate strategy instead of fighting fires.
Product Innovation: Our team constantly seeks new opportunities to drive innovations and advance our solutions.
What is your track record of delivering innovative solutions to the market?
John Galt Solutions was one of the first companies to bring a demand planning solution to the market. Throughout our history of innovation, we have pioneered developments in demand sensing, multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO), transportation optimization, and financial planning to help our customers achieve supply chain excellence.
Today, John Galt continues this history of industry-leading innovation by reinvesting a significant portion of our annual revenue into R&D and bringing the latest developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to supply chain organizations worldwide. Our culture of innovation allows us to develop advanced planning capabilities that continuously drive customer value.
Why are innovative supply chain capabilities important?
The supply chain significantly impacts business operations. Strong supply chain organizations are a source of competitive advantage and differentiation. Innovations in AI, ML, and other advanced techniques are critical to driving growth and new business and operating models. Our approach is to help companies progressively leverage advanced technologies in line with their maturity level and readiness for adoption while giving them established technology that can support today’s goals.
How do you deliver innovative products to customers?
Everyone at John Galt is focused on delivering solutions that help our customers achieve extraordinary success. We are laser-focused on research and development to deliver innovative products to customers and do so by working closely with them to shape new opportunities and apply the next-generation technology to their supply chains.
We set our sights on delivering product enhancements that incorporate the latest technology and solve customers’ real-world challenges. We know that each business has unique requirements, challenges, and goals, and therefore, their planning software must be flexible. As part of our innovation process, we work closely with our customers to align with their needs and industry requirements. Through a continuous feedback process, we are able to focus on the right outcomes and ensure we deliver the innovation our customers need today as well as in the future.
We hear a lot about innovation in machine learning and how it can transform mountains of data into actionable insights, accelerate decision-making, and reduce latency throughout the supply chain. What are some tangible examples and benefits of machine learning you have seen with your clients?
At John Galt, we work with companies across many industries and geographies, which has allowed us to work with some very innovative teams. One example is our work with the world’s largest packaged ice manufacturer to use demand sensing to help
planners refine their forecast based on near real-time data using automated pattern recognition. This company places IoT sensors in its iceboxes across grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores. Each sensor measures how full iceboxes are throughout the day to provide real-time inventory levels. This information is then combined in the John Galt Atlas Planning Platform with point-of-sale (POS) and weather data to forecast each location’s hourly consumption level and plan their deliveries as precisely as possible.
In another example, we have worked with an oil and gas distributor to utilize automated clustering and segmentation to help intelligently and automatically cluster various types of data such as products, customers, and attributes to accelerate and enhance decision making. Companies can leverage clustering and segmentation together with machine learning algorithms to establish relationships and find contextual information that can be used to create strategies. You can then cluster like products to understand halo or cannibalization impact. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this oil and gas distributor adjusted forecasts as residential propane use increased as more people worked from home and commercial use fell as fewer people worked from offices.