New Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Solution Helps Retailers Improve Demand Forecasting Accuracy, Increase Sales and Reduce Waste
Symphony RetailAI, the leading global provider of Artificial Intelligence-enabled decision platforms, solutions and customer-centric insights that drive validated growth for retailers and CPG manufacturers, today announced its new SR Demand ForecastingAI solution at the company’s annual Xcelerate Retail Forum in Boston. Built internally and born from years of direct experience with retail customers, the solution incorporates industry-leading machine learning to understand sales patterns and anomalies, helping retailers understand external impacts, determine their relevance and improve forecasting accuracy.
For high-volume retailers, demand forecasting is central to sales, profitability and the customer shopping experience. Today’s fast-changing retail environment, characterized by industry convergence and new paths to the consumer, further complicates existing forecasting and replenishment challenges. Retailers struggle to produce accurate, timely demand forecasts, and many third-party systems are outdated and incapable of understanding complex consumer behavior patterns. As a result, 34% of retail supply chain leaders say one of their top supply chain challenges is lack of forecast accuracy.1 Different forecasting strategies are required for different product types, too, especially fresh and ultra-fresh. Many of today’s systems lack the sophisticated and grocery-specific logic required to handle this.
SR Demand ForecastingAI enables high-volume retailers to overcome these challenges and dramatically improve forecast accuracy. Early tests have indicated that retailers could achieve more than 50% improvement in forecasting accuracy versus their existing legacy demand forecasting systems and approaches, leading to a significant increase in sales. AI alleviates inconsistent inventory buys, overstocks (and the resulting markdowns), out-of-stocks, margin erosion, and fresh waste optimization. It also reduces the need for manual intervention because of continual data cleansing and machine learning, and it yields more accurate forecasts. Prior to an early implementation of SR Demand ForecastingAI, one leading grocer had a 20% error rate in its current demand forecast. Symphony RetailAI’s new solution was able to cut this down to just over 5%.
1 Symphony RetailAI, “Strengthening the Retail Supply Chain” survey, September 2018
“Having a solution with the ability to merge customer data and AI demand forecasting algorithms – all in one platform – is hugely beneficial to a retailer’s bottom line,” said Patrick Buellet, Chief Strategy Officer, Symphony RetailAI. “We’re already seeing vastly reduced error rates through SR Demand ForecastingAI’s forecasts and seasonal predictions, as well as significant time savings for demand planners. By intelligently applying the best algorithms based on data, retailers can now better forecast demand for fresh and ultra-fresh grocery items alongside other categories, improving service levels while simultaneously reducing food waste.”
SR Demand ForecastingAI algorithms are automated and analyze all the data – not just part of it – at scale, unlocking an enormous amount of business value. The data is automatically cleansed, overcoming traditional forecasting problems generated by bad data. With cleaner data, retailers can create better inventory strategies, with AI providing immediate feedback on next best steps. Better forecast accuracy also improves customer loyalty because of more relevant and localized assortments, and higher availability.
“SR Demand Forecasting AI underscores our industry-leading position in delivering AI-enabled solutions to today’s top retailers, as we leverage our 30 years of retail expertise to address the day-to-day pain points affecting business,” said Graeme Cooksley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Symphony RetailAI. “We’re proud of how rapidly we’re able to innovate to bring these offerings to market, especially when you consider the approach of many in the industry, acquiring other vendors or establishing partnerships in order to provide AI capabilities and insights. AI is essential in overcoming the challenges retailers face with demand forecasting, as demonstrated by the way our SR Demand ForecastingAI pilots are delivering new levels of speed, accuracy and insight to our customers.”
SR Demand ForecastingAI extends Symphony RetailAI’s lead in delivering new AI solutions for retailers and CPG manufacturers. Personalized MarketingAI and Promotion PlanningAI were released to the market earlier in 2018, and CINDE, the first and only digital analytic assistant specifically for grocery and hard goods retail, was introduced a year ago at Xcelerate.
Symphony RetailAI will provide Xcelerate Retail Forum attendees an in-depth look at SR Demand ForecastingAI throughout the event, which runs Oct. 2-4 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
About Symphony RetailAI
Symphony RetailAI is the leading global provider of Artificial Intelligence-enabled decision platforms, solutions and customer-centric insights that drive validated growth for retailers and CPG manufacturers, from customer intelligence to personalized marketing, and merchandising and category management, to supply chain and retail operations. Symphony RetailAI is innovating rapidly to drive faster, more profitable decisions through AI, machine learning and voice technologies. We are trusted by over 1,200 organizations including 15 of the world’s 25 largest grocery retailers, thousands of retail brands, and hundreds of national and regional chains worldwide to help solve their toughest business problems, through AI-powered customer intelligence and retail solutions. Symphony RetailAI was formed in 2018, merging Symphony GOLD and Symphony EYC. Symphony RetailAI is a SymphonyAI company. More at www.symphonyretailai.com. Follow us on Twitter: @symphonyretail.
SymphonyAI is a group of companies that provide the leading AI-centric solutions for transforming the business enterprise by driving revenue growth and operational excellence, for the retail, CPG, healthcare and industrial verticals, and for finance, IT and other key enterprise horizontal functions. Founded by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, SymphonyAI is one of the fastest growing companies in the business-to-business AI solutions sector with revenue this year of $275 million and 1,500 employees. More at www.symphonyai.com.