GAINS

GAINS is a ‘best-of-breed’ demand, inventory and supply chain planning and optimisation system. GAINS’ unique planning capabilities enable businesses to optimally balance capital, costs, capacity and customer service.

AMR Research (now part of Gartner Research) often refers to GAINS as “the best kept secret in the industry”. This is a secret that highly successful, blue-chip companies have discovered. For example, Officeworks, the Australian Defence Forces, Super Cheap Auto and Symbion Pharmacy Services have all realised substantial, quantifiable and sustainable benefits through their use of GAINS.

Key features of GAINS
  • best-of-breed advanced planning system (APS)
  • integrates demand, inventory and supply planning
  • optimises the relationship between costs, constraints, risks and service levels
  • provides multi-dimensional performance measurement
  • exception based
  • powerful ‘what-if’ simulation tool

GAINS enables management by exception and provides powerful, fact-based decision support at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. The benefit to our clients is a sophisticated, easy to use tool that consistently and rapidly delivers benefit.

Many systems claim to ‘optimise’, but this is largely misunderstood. GAINS is a true optimisation system – it delivers a set of proven management controls that consistently deliver optimal results. GAINS optimises the complex relationships between customer service levels, inventory investment, operating costs, demand plan error, and supply variability.

For the last 35 years GAINS has worked with over 500 companies across a range of industries managing in excess of $75 billion worth of inventory across 50 million items. GAINS has delivered inventory reductions in excess of $30 billion whilst simultaneously and sustainably increasing service level performance.

With its origin as an operations research consulting tool in the early 1970s, GAINS has had more than three decades of focused effort invested in its development. Development input has come from recognised international and domestic experts in fields such as academia, operations research, advanced mathematics and industry best practice. Importantly, the effectiveness of GAINS has been rigorously time-tested and proven over the years. The amount of specialist, proven knowledge that GAINS embodies is unparalleled in the industry.

Typical Benefits (within 6 – 12 months)
  • rapid, sustainable cash generation
  • average 20:1 return in first 12 months
  • 20-40% inventory reduction
  • sustainable, controllable service level improvements
  • enhanced return on equity (ROE)
  • improved return on assets (ROA)
  • significant working capital improvement
  • improved operating efficiencies
  • improved relationships with suppliers and customers
  • integration of business goals and operational practices
GAINS Solutions

GAINS is an enterprise-scale best of breed advance planning solution that encompasses the following solutions:

Customer Demand Planning and Forecasting

The Demand Planning and Forecasting solution provides unbiased and accurate demand pattern recognition abilities to reduce inventory and working capital. It also improves service levels, thereby reducing expediting costs and increasing revenue.

It also integrates multiple data inputs extrinsic to the enterprise, such as interest rates, business cycles, and competitor performance. These forecasts, and the error residual to them, are vetted to ensure effective integration with Inventory Optimisation.

The GAINS Demand Planning solution provides algorithms, processes, and key performance indicators (KPIs) in several areas of this process. These include:

  • Algorithms for pattern recognition based on observed, historical demand
  • Algorithms for new item launches based on neural network analysis
  • Algorithms applicable for maintenance applications determining parts needs, based on reliability and fleet usage/effort history and projections
  • Processes and portals to manage detailed exceptions for expert review
  • Processes and portals for incorporating unstructured, aggregate market knowledge into the plan for middle or top-down adjustment
  • Algorithms to incorporate structured, aggregate leading indicator data into the demand planning process
  • KPIs to review the efficacy of both GAINS “raw” plans as well as the value-add of refinements and adjustments.
Inventory Optimisation

The core GAINS solution offerings is the Inventory Optimisation solution. It uses sophisticated, automated, and proprietary algorithms that consider a comprehensive set of cost and source variability, including service-level goals, demand plan error and lead-time for every SKU location. This results in: improved customer service levels and reduced expediting; reduced inventory investment at any given level of service; minimised total annual operating costs and maximised profit; and the management of supply variability.

The GAINS Inventory Optimisation proprietary algorithms include:

  • Inventory Policy Optimisation algorithms to precisely achieve targeted service levels by comprehensively managing sources of planning error. These include: demand plan/forecast error, lead-time variation, supply yield, and optimal ordering cycles
  • Service Level Optimisation algorithms that automatically determine service levels uniquely for each item to achieve an aggregate target while minimising or maximising a business objective, (e.g. minimised total cost, minimum inventory, specific inventory turns target, maximum profit, etc.)
  • Sourcing Optimisation algorithms that determine the supplier(s) that provide the lowest-total-cost supply, including solving for the trade-off of unit cost, purchase minimums, and lead time
  • Network Flow Optimisation algorithms that determine which supply route provides the lowest-total-cost supply, considering lead times, minimums (line-item and PO-level), handling, and transportation costs
  • Multi-echelon/Indenture Stocking Policy Inventory Optimisation algorithms that determine whether or not to stock an item and at what service level. These solve for interdependencies among locations and/or within the bill-of-materiel (BOM) to devise postponement strategies and address customer expectations to minimise cost or maximise profit
Replenishment Optimisation

Retailers use GAINS Replenishment Optimisation to custom-manage the complexity of managing millions of SKU/location decisions without oversimplifying with broad-brush schemes, such as Min/Max or ROPs. The GAINS solution helps clients reduce store-level inventory and related costs while increasing on-shelf availability, sales and profitability.

Leveraging sophisticated demand forecasting with predictive analysis as well as detailed inventory optimisation, GAINS Replenishment Optimisation offers clients the ability to accurately predict supply needs and dynamically adapt to changing demand patterns at the POS level. The methodology predicts both shortage and overstock conditions and identifies profitable inventory deployment. The GAINS solution addresses complexity at every level of the supply chain, thereby improving on-shelf availability and reducing stockout duration. This results in minimising lost sales and inventory excess/spoilage. Retailers can improve in-stock position, increase planning efficiency, and optimise inventory throughout the supply chain.

GAINS Replenishment includes the following key elements:

  • Optimised expediting and de-expediting
  • Transfer order prioritisation and creation
  • Optimised redistribution and rerouting
  • Automated and optimised full order generation in light of constraints (e.g. vendor minimums)
  • Rotables planning optimisation
  • Optimised component allocation
  • Rough-cut” production sequence and capacity plan optimisation
  • Optimised component allocation
  • Cross-dock optimisation with dynamic reallocation
  • Cycled production management
Sales Inventory and Operations Planning

The SI&OP module links high-level strategic plans with day-to-day operations to balance demand and supply while integrating financial and operations planning. By thoroughly optimising inventory, supply and demand disparities are smoothed. The results include:

  • Increased plan accuracy by integrating leading indicator information and market knowledge
  • Synchronised planning across the organisation and among enterprises
  • Matched resource and/or capacity plans to sales plans
  • Accurate estimates of total financial impacts of any plan and the ability to simulate scenarios.
Differentiators

Why the GAINS methodology is superior to alternative approaches.

  • Provides unbiased and accurate demand pattern recognition
  • Provides superior variability management to meet Service Level goals
  • Powerful algorithms optimise a complete set of costs to maximise profit
  • Increases plan accuracy by integrating leading indicator information and market knowledge
  • Synchronises planning including resources/capacity & sales plans
  • Offers new level of automation and intelligence in planning
  • Value evidenced by extremely-high GAINS customer retention rates
Deployment Options

GAINS can be deployed either as an onsite solution or as a Software as a Service solution. Both methods can leverage GAINS pre-built data extraction tools to obtain rapid implementation and time-to-value.

What our clients say 

“User-friendly screens easy to understand”

“The GAINS screens have much better information than ASW where we have to go through many screen options.”

“Learning about items as we see so much detail so easily…”

“Forecasting by line item is so easy…”

“The high & low growth items – we can see with the low growth items to easily identify for turning off replenishment – better stock profiling for low growth items.”

“With GAINS it is much easier for us to review a complete picture of items.”
Planning Team Members, The Laminex Group

“GRA provided us with the vision on what an advanced inventory management system could deliver for us, along with the benefits. Through the implementation GRA managed the key activities of the project and delivered, by working closely with our small team, the project on time and on budget. GRA came to understand our business needs and tailored the implementation to suit these needs, whilst not modifying the software. To date the benefits are being delivered in line with the business case and the user experience is excellent. GRA, throughout the project, acted in an very professional manner and delivered on our expectations.”
Chris Wigg, Group Planning Manager, The Laminex Group

“We saved $14m in six months. We’re used to being promised these kinds of numbers – we’re just not used to having them delivered.”
Wing Commander, Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF)

“As anticipated, the GAINS solution has more than met our objectives and expectations.”
General Manager, Parts Operations, Mitsubishi Engine

“We are very excited to announce Panasonic Avionics as our client in the presence of our users and partners. Through this partnership, Ramco’s future-ready Aviation suite will effortlessly address the complex functionalities and requirements of Panasonic Avionics, while seamlessly integrating with their existing solutions. The strong integrated ecosystem between GAINS & Ramco, and our relentless commitment around innovation and automation is helping us win the trust of large brands, globally.”
Virender Aggarwal, CEO, Ramco Systems 

“Now I do the purchasing each month for all 14,000 items in three days – that used to take six people two weeks.”
Michael Byrne, Group Stock Controller, CPI

“GAINS is unique in the functionality provided to support Inventory Management (IM). In addition to functionality typically supported by IM specialists… GAINS approaches the IM problem in a precise, sophisticated fashion that focuses on profit optimisation.”
AMR Research, Inc. – Alert on Supply Chain Management and Enterprise Applications

In reference to planning inventories based on maximising corporate profits: “To date, only GAINSystems’ inventory management application takes this approach in a systematic way.”
AMR Research, Inc. – Report on Supply Chain Management

"After achieving much success with its retail planning implementation, Australian supply chain consulting firm GRA has again partnered with Officeworks to develop the business’s planning function, including significant improvements to processes and systems, with the integration of GRA’s flagship forecasting and planning software, GAINS, and its IT platforms."
"GRA partners with Officeworks"

Find out more about GAINS Inventory Management Software.

Download a copy of the GAINS Features & Functions brochure

Testimonials

"GRA built capability within the organisation on the importance of S&OP and its role in managing the business. This enabled senior leadership to fully engage in the S&OP process to drive an issues-based, KPI-driven S&OP process with clear ownership of the forecast and other key areas."

– Demand Strategy & Planning Director and S&OP Transformation Programme Manager, Lion Dairy & Drinks

Typical results

  • 20-40% inventory investment reduction
  • increased service levels ranging up to 99.9%
  • 10%-15% reduction in supply chain operating costs
  • 5%-20% spend management savings
  • the ability to fund business initiatives from operating cash flow (OCF) improvements
  • improved return on capital employed (ROCE)
  • a minimum 3:1 ROI (10:1 to 30:1 typical)