Demand Planning / Forecasting

Demand Planning Systems, Demand Forecasting, Scheduling, Execution, Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment, Sales & Operations Planning(S&OP) and improving quality control functionality.

French rail company SNCF deploys FuturMaster solution to optimise the maintenance of its trains

French rail company SNCF deploys FuturMaster solution to optimise the maintenance of its trains
SNCF, one of the major global passenger travel, freight logistics and transport groups, has recently implemented the ‘Demand Management’ solution of FuturMaster, a specialist in supply chain software, to manage the forecasting of replacement parts required for the maintenance of thousands of trains.

FuturMaster’s solution offers improved visibility over the spare parts needed for SNCF’s rolling stock. This should enable the company to improve the performance of its 38 technical facilities responsible for trains’ maintenance and spare parts replacements, as well as reduce the associated maintenance costs through faster turnarounds and better use of resources.

“Planning for spare parts and maintenance on trains is a very complicated business,” said Servane Morin-Badier, SNCF’s Business Project Manager. “The software allows us to treat in four hours very large volumes of daily forecasts with around a million data configurations recalculated every day.”

A rail network comprises millions of components, from rolling stock to signals, rails, stations and the staff who run it all. Efficient planning is vital to avoid delays and dissatisfaction among commuters. Maintenance can sometimes mean trains being out of action for a few days, or even months. Planning scheduled maintenance programmes requires a dedicated team of eight people managing over 150,000 parts for over 14,000 trains operated daily across 20,000 miles (32,000km) of track.

In order to optimise the planning and the use of resources dedicated to the rolling stock maintenance, SNCF decided to change its forecast processes for replacement parts. SNCF executives have to implement short and long-term business forecast processes in order to achieve greater insights into the procurement needs for the parts dedicated to train maintenance.

This includes the ability to see exactly which parts are likely to need replacing or servicing over a two-year period, as well as looking much further ahead over a 10-year period for more long term investments, such as the phasing in and out of TGV high speed trains.

SNCF needed a flexible and collaborative forecast and demand management solution that would be capable of providing more than 150 users from various departments, spread all around the country, a real platform of exchange for the construction of a single, reliable and shared forecast. SNCF’s has now implemented and started to use FuturMaster’s demand planning solution and considers it an efficient tool capable of calculating and consolidating all its replacement parts over fixed timelines.

“Our supply chain purpose is to guarantee the availability of replacement parts in order to meet our partners’ requirements for material maintenance. These maintenance operations are necessary to guarantee our clients’ safety and comfort. In order to anticipate these requirements more efficiently, we had to implement an efficient, collaborative and adaptive tool capable of supporting the new forecasting processes and to integrate easily with the IT systems of the group,” said Servane Morin-Badier.

The close collaboration between SNCF’s and FuturMaster’s teams was divided into different phases - workshops with the users, development and testing phases. The implementation of FuturMaster’s solution was successful, complied with the schedule that was fixed at the beginning of the project and was deployed for all the users of the Material branch’s forecast process for replacement parts.

Following a tender, SNCF admired FuturMaster’s skills and expertise: “The profound understanding of the stakes of our business processes from FuturMaster’s team and its ability to offer us much more than just features, but a complete solution that was tried and tested to meet our requirements was a decisive element in our decision-making,” added Servane Morin-Badier.

Beyond our comprehensive understanding of SNCF’s business expectations for their principle activities, we were able to demonstrate that FuturMaster’s solution can be perfectly integrated into SNCF’s IT infrastructure, which proved to be another vital stake in this project,” said Michel Ramis, EVP Sales & Marketing at FuturMaster.

A second phase of the project will involve extending the forecasting capabilities to planning for material requirements for the company’s rail infrastructure, such as when stones next to the rails need replacing.