Fluctuating markets and the uncertainty of a global crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult challenges for food SMEs. This has inspired the Spanish meat company Carnicas Hicor to explore the development of a digital platform for real-time stock management and accurate production planning based on reliable forecasting of demand.
The OptiStock project will draw on AI technologies and classification algorithms to help manufacturers avoid under or over-production and ensure end-products are dispatched in order of their due date – improving quality control, food safety and traceability, minimising waste and boosting profits at the same time.
By equipping manufacturers to anticipate demand, OptiStock is also the way to high customer satisfaction and trust.
Final project summary
The main outcome of the project has been a dedicated and personalised software platform that can:
1) control and organise all production and sales data, which can be easily visualised as a weekly or monthly view.
2) predict or estimate the demand of a given customer, the Kg to be sold and the price of the total transaction, based on historical trends. The system has demonstrated accurate, reliable forecasting up to three weeks ahead.
With this system, along with the IT management (ERP) system previously running in the company, Hicor will be able to manage their stock and plan production more accurately, anticipating demand trends to produce only what is needed, avoiding losses of stock or lack of product to satisfy demand. The next steps will be to connect the ERP system to the platform and develop a predictive tool for finances, i.e. a system that can predict the benefits, margins and other economic indicators, depending on each customer or product type.