COMPANY: Factors Group
INDUSTRY: Retail, Manufacturing
COMPANY TYPE: Privately Held


Safety Works is a joint venture of MSA and MCR Safety. The joint venture creates the first full-line glove, garment and safety products company in the North American retail market. Safety Works combines MSA's leading line of respirators, hard hats, and fall protection with MCR Safety's premium brands that include Memphis Gloves, Crews® Protective Eyewear, and River City Garments. As the only major manufacturer serving the North American retail market with this sole focus on consumers' health and safety, Safety Works is best positioned to be "Your Personal Safety Specialists."


Safety Works began forecasting with a rudimentary process that was unresponsive to their business. Safety Works' forecasts were based on simple averages, which were unable to capture the seasonality that drove their business. As a result, purchasing was consistently high on certain products and low on others, resulting in a major inventory imbalance. Safety Works' team had little experience with regimented forecasting, so the next steps to build the process still needed to be developed.


Safety Works saw the need to build a true forecasting process, and the first step in doing so was to get a forecasting tool that would be functional and accurate, but also allow the team to experiment and build their process. John Galt's ForecastX Wizard was ideal for this. With its Excel interface and powerful statistical forecasting capabilities, the Wizard enabled Safety Works to build a more accurate forecast in less time, freeing planners to make better decisions about purchasing. John Galt also provided a 2-day training session to Safety Works' team, giving them a thorough background in planning techniques and best practices, and ensuring that their process would continue to grow in the right direction.


With the ForecastX Wizard, Safety Works immediately saw a dramatic improvement in their planning capabilities. By capturing the patterns in their demand, Safety Works was able to save $1.5 million in inventory by finding imbalances in their inventory and correcting them. With the added visibility offered by the Wizard, Safety Works has also been able to enter into better relationships with their larger suppliers, offering more detail and accuracy about their future requirements and purchasing appropriately. With the Wizard's safety stock calculation abilities, Safety Works is also able to build an efficient buffer against any instability.